Subaru makes two huge mistakes with 2015 WRX STI fans
Subaru does a lot of things right, but they missed it big time with the all-new 2015 WRX STI that launches this year. Subaru announced the new-generation performance car will launch with a new sculptured body and that upset many WRX STI fans. They felt somewhat deceived that it didn’t resemble the WRX Concept car that was unveiled last March at the New York Auto Show. After the big tease on Subaru’s website of what was to come, they expected a car that more closely resembled the WRX Concept car.
The new 2015 WRX and WRX STI body style wasn’t what fans expected or wanted from the new-generation sports car. In fact, it was a huge let down for WRX and WRX STI enthusiasts around the globe. They thought the styling was just a mild makeover of the outgoing 2014 model. Even the teaser image of the WRX Subaru revealed a few days before it was unveiled in LA, gave the appearance of a whole new body style. But that didn’t happen when the covers were taken off on November 20, 2013.
But a bigger mistake Subaru made to the new-generation WRX and WRX STI was dropping the 5-door body style from the sports car lineup. Subaru announced they will only be offering the 2015 WRX and WRX STI in a sedan variant. This may have alienated Subaru’s performance fan base more than anything else. The 5-door hatch is a popular car among many sports enthusiasts and the sedan model isn’t going to keep them coming back.
The performance hatch was a big draw for many fans and they liked the versatility and multi-function use of the 5-door body style. Why Subaru decided to ax the hatch model is anyone’s guess. The Japanese automaker said they want to appeal to a wider audience with the new WRX and WRX STI. But wouldn’t it make sense if you want new buyers who have never purchased a performance car before, to appeal to more sports enthusiasts who want the sports car for fun on the weekends and not for taking it to the track?
What was Subaru thinking? We can’t quite figure out Subaru’s thinking on dropping the five-door model from the lineup. A spokesman from Subaru West in Golden, Colorado said in previous years they sold 50/50 split sedan vs hatchback models. His reasons for Subaru dropping the hatchback was because of the additional cost of development. The spokesman said he expects to see a five-door WRX and WRX STI again in 2 years with the 2017 model.
Subaru may also be concerned about production time with their other models needing that space on the assembly line as they ramp things up to meet the growing demand for their entire lineup. Subaru is growing so quickly, that they need every bit of space to meet their production numbers on their top selling Forester and XV Crosstrek models. They are expanding production at their Indiana plant and this will relieve some of that pressure in the next two years.
While many fans are upset with Subaru for the styling and dropping the hatchback, Subaru dealers won’t have a problem selling every 2015 WRX STI and 2015 WRX they get in. Dealers can start ordering the new 2015 WRX STI on February 14 and should see delivers in June 2014. Stay tuned as we get more information on the five-door WRX and WRX STI coming back.