2018 Subaru WRX Appears With More Gear, Less Moonroof, and No Extra Power

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Break out the vapes. Subaru has released details on the upgraded 2018 WRX and WRX STI, both of which gain new hardware, but not the new global platform found under the 2017 Impreza.

In a bid to keep the models fresh until a fully revamped version arrives, Subaru has tweaked the WRX’s styling, upgraded its drivetrain and braking components, and eliminated a mandatory “option” many Performance Package customers didn’t enjoy paying for.

For those expecting more power: sorry, not this time.

Yes, the same turbocharged 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter Boxer engines carry over into 2018, making 268 and 305 horsepower in the WRX and WRX STI, respectively.

Up front, Subaru facelifted the fascia for a meaner look, adding steering-responsive LED headlights in the process. Base WRX customers will have to find their way through the dark with fixed units, however. Mind those curves. Underneath the new face lies a strengthened structure for better collision performance.

An extra heaping of sound insulation, coupled with thicker window glass, should provide something close to the library-like environment that owners of all-wheel-drive sports cars crave. Like audience members on Oprah, everyone gets a larger multi-function display! 5.9-inch screens now come standard across the board, while Premium customers will see their Starlink infotainment unit grow from 6.2 to 7.0 inches.

Both models see new front and rear suspension tuning for 2018, with attention paid to steering stability and overall comfort. The six-speed manual transmission now sports a slipperier synchro design for improved shifter feel and smoother clutch take-up, much to the delight of TTAC’s resident WRX owner Bozi.

By integrating the steering motor and electronic control unit, Subaru claims a slight improvement in steering feel, plus weight savings. New 18- and 19-inch wheel designs are on tap, as are grippier brakes. The WRX Premium’s new Performance Package brings JURID pads to the table, while the WRX STI sees larger rotors with Brembo monoblock six-piston calipers up front. Two-piston calipers find their way to the rear.

Premium Package customers no longer have to shell out for a moonroof. That feature is now gone from the goody bag.

On the safety front, Subaru’s Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist features have been dumped in the trash, replaced by a Vehicle Hold (AVH) system that restrains the vehicle in all situations — even on level ground. In Limited models, the EyeSight driver assist system now projects information onto the windshield.

Subaru expects 2018 WRX and WRX STI models to roll into dealerships this spring.

[Images: Subaru]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 35 comments
  • Quentin Quentin on Jan 05, 2017

    I'm curious to see how they did the integrated roof rack mounts. More cars should come with an option like that. The roof rails on my wife's Clubman that allow quick and easy crossbar attachment are super nice.

  • EAF EAF on Jan 05, 2017

    I had read that the 27 year old EJ will be scrapped for 2018, a more powerful FB 2.0 would be used in its place.

  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.