The juicy piece of forbidden fruit has been papped undergoing testing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a Tesla Model 3 following. The camouflage is still quite heavy, but with the trademark bonnet bulge scoop clearly visible, we know exactly what we’re looking at.
As for what’s on the other side of that scoop, the word from Japanese publication Best Car is that the next-gen WRX will use a new version of the ‘FA24’ 2.4-litre turbo engine. The boxer-four is currently used in the Ascent SUV and the US market Outback, where it provides 257bhp at 5600rpm.
Power is expected to rise to about 285bhp in the WRX, and we suspect that figure will be developed slightly higher in the rev range.
Sitting above the WRX will be an all-new WRX STI, with a previous report suggesting it’ll extract as much as 400bhp from an FA24 derivative. Mercedes-AMG’s 416bhp ‘M139’ 2.0-litre turbo inline-four has apparently been used as a benchmark, showing how seriously Subaru is taking the task of reclaiming lost ground from the hot hatch world.
Hotter versions of the fifth-generation Impreza have been a long-time coming. The saloon went into production way back in 2016, with Subaru continuing to build the fourth-gen Impreza-based WRX and WRX STI alive alongside it. The ‘VA’ STI may have dropped off the UK range a little while ago, but it’s still very much a thing elsewhere. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a generational ‘overlap’, with the ‘GR’ WRX and WRX STI sold long after the third-gen Impreza died off.
The question is, will the latest one be worth the wait?