Even though Subaru in the UK has canned the WRX STI after a perfect storm of variables meant it just didn’t sell, we’re still excited to be able to tell you that its replacement will have a manual gearbox.
We know some automatics can be fun in their own way, but the inclusion of a cog-swapper you can work yourself is a welcome relief from the relentless efficiency drive towards automation. And anyway, if the car looks anything like the gob-smacking Viziv concepts we’ve seen lately, an old-school manual ratio whisk will suit it down to the ground.
The confirmation came from Subaru North America’s CEO, Tom Doll, who said it was only the Forester that would switch to automatic-only because of woeful sales of the manual.
It had previously been suggested that autonomous braking systems and the increased presence of self-driving technology could force Subaru to switch to automatics in order to reach the best overall safety potential.
The new WRX will reportedly be a mild hybrid, with a higher output than the WRX STI Final Edition’s 296bhp. Both four-door saloon and estate body styles have been drawn, but whether both make production remains to be seen.