The aging Subaru WRX STI needs upgrades and it also could use a little competition. According to a report from AutoCar, as a result of the Mitsubishi, Renault-Nissan alliance, the Evolution performance car could be resurrected soon and provide just what Subaru needs. Since Mitsubishi dropped the EVO in 2016, Subaru has been complacent thinking they had the small performance sedan market all locked up. Aside from the Honda Civic Type R, there isn’t much competition for the Subaru STI.
But that could change if the report is accurate. The Evolution X successor would get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from the next-generation Renault Megane RS coupled with a dual-clutch gearbox and Mitsubishi’s excellent S-AWC four-wheel drive system.
The Renault Megane RS MR in its current form produces 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. But if Mitsubishi drops in a 48V electric hybrid system being developed for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the Evolution XI could pump out around 341 hp and 319 lb-ft of torque.
Competition is good for STI
Subaru Tecnica International could use some fierce competition from a new Mitsubishi Evolution performance car. It would be the best thing for Subaru. The STI needs a complete remodel and what better motivation to bring a new model. STI needs at least five things to stay competitive.
The STI needs to drop the aging EJ25 2.5-liter engine a bring an upgraded FA20 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine with internal modifications and additional horsepower and torque. Reports say Subaru could use the new Ascent-sourced turbo 2.4-liter Boxer as its new STI powerplant.
The all-new fifth-generation Subaru WRX STI also needs a new exterior design language similar to the VIZIV Performance Concept car introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. Subaru needs to bring back the 5-Door hatch STI that fans have been asking for it since it was dropped in 2015. The new WRX STI needs new tech inside the cabin similar to what the 2020 Outback and Legacy are getting.
The 2019 Subaru WRX STI comes with only one gearbox, the 6-speed manual rower. It’s a good transmission for performance enthusiasts, but Subaru could take the performance of the STI up a notch with a new direct-shift gearbox commonly known as a DSG. If Subaru wants to seriously upgrade the performance sedan, they should develop a six-speed variant like VW Golf R’s DSG.
If the new Mitsubishi Evolution XI becomes reality, it will be the best thing that could happen to the all-new 2021 Subaru WRX STI. The competition will fuel new creativity that will keep the rivalry going for decades.
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Photo credit: Mitsubishi, Subaru, Renault