2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features
Denis Flierl's picture

Why Subaru Won’t Build A Crosstrek Hot Hatch STI - What About A Turbo XT

Will Subaru offer a 2023 Subaru Crosstrek STI? What about a new Crosstrek XT turbocharged trim?
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Will Subaru build a Crosstrek STI to compete with the hot hatch Hyundai Kona N? The 2021 Crosstrek Sport with a 2.5-liter engine comes with 182 horsepower compared with the Kona N's 276 horsepower rating. Crosstrek enthusiasts can only dream about having an extra 94 horsepower. If Subaru put the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Crosstrek, it would have 277 horsepower, enough to keep up with the hot hatch Kona N.

Will Subaru offer a turbocharged Crosstrek?

Subaru likely won't offer a Crosstrek STI. Doug Betts, president of J.D. Power's automotive division, says more is not better. He says automakers should have fewer or no unicorns (low-volume configurations) and offer fewer engine and transmission options for customers. "Low-volume configurations are a drag on sales performance and costs," says Betts.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is doing very well without a turbocharged engine. We are expecting April sales of the Crosstrek to be another record month for the compact SUV. Don't look for a hot hatch Crosstrek anytime soon.

At the Chicago Auto Show in 2019, Subaru of America President and CEO Tom Doll told Motor Trend, Subaru won't be bringing a Crosstrek with a turbocharged engine anytime soon. Doll said it's because the demand for the new-gen Crosstrek SUV is too high and selling too well for them to offer a turbo version.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features

Doll said, "You could argue, and some people do that for the Crosstrek, we should have a higher-performance engine in that car, but on the other hand, we're selling as many as we can get. We haven't hit the top with the Crosstrek yet."

Subaru won't offer a Crosstrek STI performance line. They will stick with the WRX and WRX STI turbocharged models. It would be hard for the Camden, N.J. automaker to justify a Crosstrek STI when the 2021 Crosstrek Sport is flying off retailers' lots.

Will Subaru offer a Crosstrek XT?

Subaru of America could offer a Crosstrek turbocharged model, but it may not be the Crosstrek 2.4-liter XT trim. Subaru will likely upgrade the Crosstrek with a turbocharged engine, but it will be a fuel-efficient trim to replace the 2.0-liter engine.

A recent report from CarSensor, a Japanese website, says Subaru Corporation is working on a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine to be introduced sometime next year. The new engine will get the latest direct-injection technology that will improve fuel efficiency, which is why Subaru is revamping its engine lineup.

Subaru has not confirmed this information, but it fits with what the Japanese automaker spelled out in its Vision 2020 plan. They said they would develop smaller turbocharged engines for its all-wheel-drive lineup.

The 2021 Crosstrek was recently upgraded with the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine, so Subaru will most likely keep that engine option in the Sport and Limited trims. The Base, Premium, and Hybrid trims could get the new 1.5-liter turbocharged powerplant. The report says it will produce close to the same 152 horsepower (148-hp) as the 2.0-liter engine.

If reports are accurate, Subaru will likely wait to upgrade the Crosstrek and Impreza models with the new 1.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine when they get a complete remodel in 2022-2023. Impreza is set to get a new model change for the 2022 model year and Crosstrek in 2023.

Subaru Crosstrek enthusiasts would like to see a Crosstrek STI with 277 horsepower like the Hyundai Kona N hot hatch. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. What is coming is a Crosstrek Wilderness. Read the Torque New report below.

You Might Also Like: The All-New Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness - When It’s Coming And What To Expect

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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Comments

How lucky for me. Today: 210503 and it "crossed" (no pun) my mind IF a turbocharger was available for the Subaru Crosstek Sport I'm considering to buy. A call to my local Subaru dealer confirmed your concern that it's not in the cards. Does it make sense to install an after-market turbocharger on this model? Thanks.
There will never be a 280hp manual STI Crosstrek. Nobody even wants a regular manual crosstrek!