Even though sales of sedans is not exactly rosy in Japan, Subaru continues to offer the all-new WRX in its home country, after the model was first premiered in the US.  

While the pink STI emblems are seen on the front grille and boot lid of the Japan-spec Subaru WRX, they are far from being the hot-blooded full-performance STI model. Subaru Japan is using the STI Sport R moniker as a very effective grade differentiator.

At launch, there are only two Subaru WRX variants on offer- the entry-level WRX GT starting at JPY4,004,000 (approx. RM149k) and the higher range WRX STI Sport R at JPY4,389,000 (approx. RM163k). For an additional JPY385,000, both variants can then be equipped with the extended advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) called Eyesight X Technology.

Powering both variants of Subaru WRX is a newly developed 2.4-litre turbocharged boxer engine with outputs of 275 hp at 5,600 rpm and 375 Nm of torque, higher values than the US model. Only the CVT automatic is available for the Japanese market, called Subaru Performance Transmission that offers eight virtual ratios and clever, intuitive stepped shift logic.

Drive is sent to all four corners equally via the brand’s signature Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system

Apart from the pink STI emblems, the WRX STI Sport R also gets two-tone wheels and a more electronically-controlled chassis via four drive modes plus individual mode profiles with ZF electronic adaptive dampers.

Inside, STI emblems can be found on the front headrest, the steering wheel and also the instrument panel. Similar to the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ, the new Subaru WRX comes standard with six speakers but without an audio head unit system, as consumers have their own preference for units with navigation system.

The large 11.6-inch touchscreen central infotainment display paired with other convenience features is a JPY275,000 option. The gorgeous Black-and-Bordeaux Recaro seats meanwhile are only available as an option in the STI Sport R variant.

For the ADAS, all variants are fitted with EyeSight Core Technology, which includes Pre-Crash Brake, adaptive cruise control, preceding vehicle start notification and the usual lane and blind spot assist assistance.  

The EyeSight X Technology adds features such as Hands-off and Start Assist during traffic jams, Active lane change assist, Speed control at the tollbooth as well as curves plus Driver Error Response System and Driver Monitoring System.

The instrument cluster also gets upgraded to a full-sized 12.3-inch high-resolution unit to display more content related to the higher levels of advanced driver assistance.

It is indeed a good sign that the new WRX is also available in right-hand drive orientation, a possibility the vehicle could be offered by Motor Image Malaysia. However, with an engine now displacing over two litres that draw 10% higher excise duties (90%), expect the automatic-only WRX to be priced much higher than the outgoing model’s price of RM240k.


GALLERY

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