Subaru Corporation announced on Thanksgiving day the Japan-spec 2023 Subaru WRX S4 STI Sport R EX, and WRX S4 GT-H EX trim levels will get three new upgrades over the 2022 performance models. The changes will likely affect the U.S.-spec 2023 Subaru WRX, so we will inform North American buyers of the upgrades.
The WRX S4 is the same model sold by Subaru of America with minor badging differences. It still offers Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine, and a four-door sedan body style. Don't let the STI badge fool you. The WRX S4 STI Sport R EX trim is not an STI but only gets appearance upgrades to set it apart.
What changes are coming for the 2023 WRX models?
The changes tell us the 2023 WRX will be a carry-over model with only minor improvements over the outgoing model. Subaru Corporation says an automatic turn-off function has been added when the headlamp/interior light has been left on. In addition, the smart key is equipped with a sleep function and motion sensor to prevent relay attacks.
In addition, Subaru says the operability of the lighting switch has been reviewed, and the "car width light/tail light and Off" has been changed from one position to two positions, divided into "car width light/tail light" and “Off."
Two changes performance fans want to see
When Subaru dropped the STI, it took everyone by surprise. Fans want the STI brought back and wish to have a WRX hatchback body style.
Will Subaru bring back the STI?
Subaru released this statement: "As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing market and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).
As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next-generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification. In the meantime, a next-generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based on the new WRX platform.
The Subaru WRX STI and the STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru's performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru's unique DNA and rally heritage. As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles."
Will Subaru bring back the WRX hatchback?
Planet Subaru thinks Subaru could offer the WRX hatchback in the future. They say, "Perhaps when the global auto industry recovers from the chip shortage in the next year or two, Subaru might offer the hot hatch.” But it will similar to the hatchback model offered in Japan and Australia.
Should you wait for the 2023 Subaru WRX?
We do not expect any changes to the 2023 WRX other than the above-mentioned details. Subaru of America has yet to announce the 2023 WRX model change. If you wait for the 2023 models, a price increase will reflect supply chain parts and shipping cost increases. There's no advantage to waiting for the 2023 WRX.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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