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Why Subaru WRX STI Backward Slide Signals Need for a Remodel; Here’s 2 Things Subaru Should Do

2017 Subaru WRX STI sales continue to slide backward in the US. Is it time for a remodel? Here’s 2 things Subaru should do.

The 2017 Subaru WRX STI is going backward in the US market. Sales slipped for the 3rd month and October saw WRX/STI sales drop 14.4 percent over the same month last year. Sales are down for the year 1.5 percent. Does this signal a need for a remodel?

The new-generation Subaru WRX STI was introduced in 2015 and the performance sedan isn’t due for a complete remodel for another 2 years according to Subaru’s 5-year cycle. That would mean the performance cars won’t see any major changes until 2020 when it gets the new Global Platform.

Subaru could do 2 things to generate new interest

Subaru could do two things that would generate big interest in the WRX STI. They could update the drivetrain to include the new-generation 2.0-liter boxer engine for one. The aging 2.5-liter power plant needs to go. WRX got the new 2.0-liter mill in 2015 along with a new 6-speed manual shifter. The STI kept the same drivetrain.

It’s time the STI gets a new powerplant

It needs to get the upgraded 2.0-liter boxer with internals like the Japan-only WRX STI S207. It's tuned to get a maximum power output to 328 PS (323hp). The high-output balanced 2.0-liter turbo mill gets internal upgrades from STI that include an exclusive engine control unit (ECU), twin scroll ball bearing turbocharger, performance muffler with lowered back pressure mated to an exclusive rear exhaust pipe and STI-designed strengthened silicon intake duct.

Bring back the hatch

Subaru dropped the 5-door hatchback in 2015 and went with the sedan body style. This would be another way Subaru could re-energize the WRX/STI. Bring back the hatch body style for performance enthusiasts who have been asking for one since it went away with the new-generation 2015 sports cars.

Sales have been hot for the Subaru WRX STI for three years now, and the sports car is showing signs of slowing down. Subaru can generate new interest in the performance car with a new 2.0-liter engine with more power like the 2017 WRX STI S207 Japan-only model. They can also bring back the 5-Door hatch body style.

Source: Subaru of America

Photo: Subaru


Scott (not verified)    November 3, 2016 - 2:50PM

323 is nice and all but that won't excite ppl. If they push closer to the 400 hp range that will excite ppl and sales will jump.

SubaStar (not verified)    November 5, 2016 - 5:17AM

Subaru was the pioneer of Boxer/Turbo/4WD at an affordable price.
The brand is nowaday recognized as sporty, adventurous, reliable and safe.
Now they became a grown-up trustable name, they need to add style in addition of all their core values.
And stay tuned with the competiton.
Ford came to disturb the Subaru's niche with the Focus RS.
The next WRX & WRX STI have to do better: hatch, style and a minimum of 350 hp, if they target to come back at the top of their niche market.
Will the 2.0 DIT powerplant be able to do the job ?

JohnWRX (not verified)    November 5, 2016 - 6:59PM

I had a 2011 WRX....nice car, but turbo laaaaaaaag, soft handling in the corners, and other issues...I sold it and bought a 2002 Corvette, AND leased a 2015 Impreza which HANDLES BETTER THAN MY WRX did.