The bad news is, the 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance sedans continued a downward slide in sales in the U.S. market. It’s the fourth month in-a-row sales have headed south. The good news is, they had the lowest decline of any of the models in the Subaru lineup and the smallest slide this year. The Subaru WRX/STI models were down (-6.3%) but all other models expect the new-generation 2018 Crosstrek and Impreza, were down for October too.
The 2018 Subaru Outback (-12.3%), Forester (-12.4%), Legacy (-26.0%), and BRZ (-17.9%) were all down in sales over the same month last year. Subaru buyers seem to waiting for the new-generation models that get the new Subaru Global Platform. It made a big difference in the Impreza and Crosstrek with improved safety, driving dynamics and ride quality. It will make a big difference in the other models too.
Where WRX/STI has been
It’s been a summer and fall of going backwards for the sport-tuned WRX and performance-tuned WRX STI sedans. They saw their biggest drop in August, down 20.9 percent for the month (likely due to the 2017-2018 model change), and sales of the WRX/STI were also down 10.8 percent in July and slipped 15.2 percent in June. So the -6.3 percent slide in September seems like a positive for the 2018 WRX/STI.
Subaru of American has sold 26,572 WRX/STIs in 9 months and it’s only down -4.3 percent for the year, compared with last year, so even with the four-month slide, demand remains strong for the performance cars in America. Subaru Canada, the brand’s second largest market, didn’t report the performance models were up so we assume sales were down up north too. Subaru Australia also didn’t say WRX/STI sales were up in September.
What’s in the future for the performance cars
We’ve written a lot about bringing back the 5-Door hatch body style for the WRX/STI, and we think it would be a big boost for the high-performance model. The STI isn’t due for a complete remodel until 2020, so fans will likely have to wait until late 2019 if Subaru does bring the hatch back.
Subaru did unveil the Performance Sedan Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show showing the design language for the next-generation models, and there was no hint of the return of the 5-Door body style. What’s in store for the WRX and WRX STI performance cars? Subaru UK just axed the 2018 WRX STI, so things are changing in a big way in the EU. Don’t be surprised if there’s a plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrain coming to the STI in the future.
Photo credit: Subaru