Will Subaru keep the 6-speed manual breadbox in the WRX performance sedan and BRZ sport coupe? A new report from Drive says Subaru Corporation will not drop the manual transmission in either sports car.
Until now, Subaru Corporation has not fitted the WRX or BRZ manual transmission models with EyeSight safety technology because they weren't willing to invest the resources to make the system work with a manual gearbox. But that changed according to the new report.
The report from Drive says, "Manual transmission versions of the Subaru WRX and BRZ performance cars will receive an advanced safety upgrade ahead of an (Australian) federal deadline for a technology mandate."
The EyeSight autonomous braking technology is now being updated so the WRX and BRZ manual shifter can come standard with the driver assist safety technology. Manual transmission versions of the Subaru WRX performance sedan and Subaru BRZ coupe account for most of the sales, and it's a significant improvement for Subaru to invest in the new technology.
Subaru dropped the manual transmission in the next-generation 2024 Crosstrek subcompact SUV and 2024 Impreza compact hatchback so that all trims could be equipped with EyeSight. Instead, all trims come with the CVT automatic transmission.
According to Subaru boss of Subaru Australia, Blair Read, when asked when autonomous emergency braking was coming to manual versions of the Subaru WRX and BRZ, he told Drive, "You will see that very soon. We expect to announce that within the next six months. So the manual's here to stay, and we can confirm we will bring that technology to our customers."
Subaru wants every WRX and BRZ trim level to achieve the highest safety scores. EyeSight will upgrade Impreza's safety score to a Top Safety Pick+ winner from the IIHS, like the new WRX with an SPT automatic.
In a previous report, Subaru chief Blair Read said, "From a Subaru perspective, we would like to see it as soon as possible, and it's something that we work closely with Subaru Corporation on and something that's definitely on our radar to get to market as soon as possible. Subaru Corporation has supported and worked to make it happen for us," Read said.
Read said, "We are committed to bringing autonomous emergency braking on Subaru performance cars with manual transmission to market."
Subaru would lose buyers if they had a CVT-only WRX
Subaru says a whopping 85 percent of WRX sales are 6-speed manual transmission models, and only fifteen percent are for the CVT automatic. We expect the results to be the same for the 2022 WRX GT trim with the new Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT).
Subaru is committed to making EyeSight with automatic emergency braking compatible with the WRX's 6-speed manual gearbox. Subaru will invest the resources to make it happen. As a result, the entire Subaru lineup will earn the highest safety ratings, the automaker's primary goal. Stay tuned.
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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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