A new WRX STI will be built, says Subaru, but not until the company can work out how to build a plug-in hybrid one.
The current car’s 2.5-litre flat-four is both a blessing and a curse, giving it legendary character and noise but also providing one of the major reasons that Subaru UK has stopped selling it at all.
High emissions and a thirst for unleaded have never been able to compete with the more mainstream, less interesting alternatives. A perceived lower-quality interior and higher depreciation made it less attractive than the likes of the Golf R and Focus RS.
Now, Subaru Europe’s sales and marketing manager, David Dello Stritto, has told Dutch website AutoRAI that the turbocharged boxer four-pot “can simply not exist in the future.” He blames emissions laws and refers to the recent Viziv Performance concept (pictured top and below) as the future of the WRX.
“Subaru is waiting for market developments and has set the concept down. We definitely do not say goodbye to the WRX STI; the car belongs to Subaru, but there is a period of time where we temporarily will not carry it.
“[Hybrid drivetrains are] something we need to investigate. There really will be a new WRX STI, but it takes time.”