Will Subaru correct the mistake of dropping the 2015 WRX/STI hatchback?
It looks like Subaru is reconsidering bringing back the 5-door hatchback which they dropped for the new-generation 2015 WRX and WRX STI. They only offer the 2015 WRX/STI in the sedan variant but that could be changing according to a report from Motoring.com.au in Australia. That’s good news for WRX/STI hatchback enthusiasts around the globe. And especially here in the U.S. where Subaru sold the most 5-door performance models.
WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu, told Motoring.com.au at this week’s Australian launch of the fourth-generation model, that a five-door body style was still under consideration. That should be no surprise as the there has been a strong backlash here in the U.S. and other markets from WRX/STI fans who want a hatchback in the performance models.
Subaru knows they have alienated many of their faithful hatchback fans and need to offer the five-door in the top three WRX/STI markets which are U.S., Japan and Australia. Half of all WRX/STI sales in the U.S. were hatchbacks and Subaru is hearing it from those performance fans who want the utility and versatility that the body style offers. “We have received strong interest from the US, where the hatchback was 50 percent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering it,” Takatsu said.
North America is the world’s biggest WRX/STI market (followed by Japan and Australia), so it’s understandable Subaru has not ruled out adding a hatch body style to the performance car. “The main target for WRX/STI is the U.S.,” said Takatsu. “Japan is number two, Australia number three. Basically, we target these three markets.”
Masuo Takatsu who was recently in the U.S. for the WRX/STI launch, said “limited engineering resources” were behind both the lack of new WRX hatch and an automatic version of the upcoming STI. Subaru has been busy bringing out the new 2015 WRX/STI, new 2015 Legacy sedan and new 2015 Outback wagon this year.
Why is it such a big deal for Subaru to reconsider offering a five-door hatch in addition to the sedan? For Subaru buyers, it’s all about the versatility and utility that the hatchback offers. Performance fans use their cars for everything and they love the extra functionality that the hatch offers. In addition to offering performance, it offers buyers to use the WRX/STI for multi-purposes. It can be used for recreational activities like transporting mountain bikes, snowboards, and surfboards for use on the weekends.
Subaru is attracting a new buyer with the 2015 WRX and WRX STI beyond the loyal fans. But if they want to keep their loyal fans happy they need to bring back the five-door hatch. It looks like Subaru is listening to their performance fans and will bring it back in the next two years. Maybe we’ll see the WRX/STI hatch by 2017.
Other 2015 Subaru WRX/STI stories of interest.