Tag: WRX

By on December 21, 2018

Yesterday, Subaru released a teaser video for a rip-roaring special edition of the WRX STI. Hours earlier, AutoGuide reported the brand filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reserve the “S209” moniker, which we (and every other automotive outlet) now believe is the car in the video.

Those in the know will recognize that the designation is one number higher than the Japan-only S208, which exists as the Christmas ham on Subaru Tecnica International’s table. The S208’s 2.0-liter turbo flat-four generates 329 horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque. It also boasts shorter ratio steering, upgraded suspension with Bilstein dampers, BBS wheels, upsized Brembo brakes, a sizable rear spoiler, carbon-fiber roof, and a unique aero kit.

STI has been building special edition S models since 2000, when it debuted the S201. Thus far, track-focused cars have emerged every year, just never in America. That doesn’t appear to be the case for the S209. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2018

Subaru VIZIV tourer concept

Subaru has been showcasing the Viziv Performance Concept in an effort to build hype for the next-generation WRX since last fall. The automaker even produced a hardcore STI variant to double down on the concept’s current role. However, a large subset of Subaru enthusiasts only care about one thing: finding out when the WRX wagon will return.

Officially, the WRX wagon died when Subaru made the switch to a stubbier hatchback in 2007. To the chagrin of the platform’s fans, the company eventually stopped offering the performance model as a hatchback, too. North America has been in a tizzy ever since, and enthusiasts seeking an AWD performance hatch have been forced to seek comfort elsewhere. Those days might be coming to a close.

Subaru just unveiled the Viziv Tourer Concept at the Geneva Motor Show, giving us a taste of what might be in 2020.  (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2017

2015-Subaru-WRX-Sti-01

Look, I’ll take this opportunity and cop to the fact I spent entirely too much money on aftermarket stereo systems when I was a kid. There is a very good chance, actually, that most of my systems were worth many multiples of the car in which they were installed.

This is why I applaud manufacturers who offer oontz-oontz-oontz levels of tunes as factory options. Subaru did just this on their 2015 WRX and WRX STI. However, it would seem that teenage Matthew was not the only one to haphazardly install speaker wiring, as the Exploding Galaxy has recalled 9,178 Rexys for a fire risk in the factory subwoofer.

(Read More…)

By on October 25, 2017

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

After some light teasing, Subaru unveiled the Viziv Performance Concept in its entirety at the Tokyo Motor Show — showing what is very likely to the next incarnation of the WRX. While that’s not a guarantee, the Viziv’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive, boxer engine, squared taillights, hood scoop, and overall shape appears to be an obvious evolution of the brand’s beloved performance model.

Enthusiasts are likely to be pleased, too. While it was never gorgeous, the WRX has enjoyed ho-hum styling since 2008. Things took a turn for the better after a mid-cycle facelift in late 2009, but even the current generation lacks some of the character of those earlier examples. On the upside, Subaru continued to refine what was essentially a budget automobile with highly desirable driving dynamics.

But if the next WRX can maintain the Viziv’s more extravagant styling cues while also holding onto improved interior quality and performance, well, then this is all very exciting.  (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI, Image: Subaru

When Subaru launched the fifth-generation Impreza with a CVT, a collective sigh of relief was heard after enthusiasts learned it would still provide a standard five-speed manual transmission. However, it didn’t guarantee that the next incarnation of the WRX wouldn’t abandon the clutch pedal to maximize sales and minimize zero to 60 times.

After all, most people don’t purchase manual transmission vehicles anymore and the WRX already comes with a CVT. It would be easy for the automaker adopt a dual-clutch as a pricier option on sporting Subarus and leave the variable tranny in the base trim. Nobody was so worried about it that they lost sleep on the matter, but there was just enough doubt to have us all occasionally wringing our hands. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI and WRX - Image: Subaru

Even thought Subaru’s new Impreza is already here and riding on the company’s new global platform, an updated WRX appears to be a long way off. In fact, it might be another three years until we see an updated performance sedan from the (mostly) all-wheel-drive automaker.

While the current incarnations of the WRX and its hotter STI variant still provide balanced dynamics and remain well liked by driving enthusiasts, seven years without a significant upgrade is a long time to wait. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2017

Subaru WRX STI TYPE RA NBR, Image: Subaru

As Subaru continues work on a performance-spec BRZ, there has been a cautious level of optimism surrounding its development. So when Subaru USA tweeted out a massive rear spoiler and urged us to “stay tuned” for June 8th, everyone naturally assumed this was the vehicle to be on the lookout for.

Another image was released today — this time of a carbon fiber roof — referencing the same date and stirring up some controversy. That’s because, just out of focus, you can make out the blurry front end of what is assuredly a WRX. Instead of treating the world to a tweaked version of its rear-wheel-drive coupe next week, Subaru is reviving the hardcore WRX Type RA for the company’s 50th anniversary. The only way this could be any better is if it came with a hatchback option.  (Read More…)

By on April 27, 2017

All four Lexus LS generations, Images: Toyota Canada

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everything, and I mean everything, is utterly and absolutely context-dependent. It’s literally true on the atomic level, where we cannot accurately measure both position and velocity at the same time. It’s true at the quantum level, where “quantum entanglement” governs behavior that is currently beyond our ability to understand. It’s even applicable in your dating life; the same size-six girl who feels insubstantial to you in the long evenings at home will acquire new heft after you spend a drunken weekend away with a size two.

Since this is an automotive website and not The Journal Of Theoretical Physics And Deniable Adultery, let’s focus on what context means in the automotive sense. The definitions of fast car, big car, economical car, reliable car, and even full-sized pickup have all changed several times since the end of the First World War. Imagine you fell into a coma in 1975 and woke up today; you’d probably ask how and why cars got so tiny and trucks got so big. The first 911 Turbo was a “widowmaker” with 260 horsepower; today’s model delivers twice that much power and still isn’t the fastest car (around a track, at least) in its price range.

More importantly, our own personal context for an automobile often determines how much we enjoy and appreciate it. Think of all the people who spend their weekends restoring, cleaning and driving “classic cars” that other people threw away decades ago. Think of the over one million people who couldn’t wait to trade their Tri-Five Chevys in on something new, and of all the people who’ve spent major portions of their lives making those same cars better than they were when they left the assembly line. That’s the power of context.

Which brings me to today’s question for Ask Jack. It’s all about one man’s very unusual, but entirely understandable, definitions of “daily driver” and “weekend special”.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

1998 Subaru Impreza WRC; Image: Prodrive

The name Prodrive isn’t one you’ll stumble across every day, and sounds a bit like a company that might offer teen driving courses. However, it’s one of the world’s most successful race car shops, and bests many individual manufacturer efforts.

How successful?

How does six World Rally Championships, four Le Mans wins, five World Endurance Championships, and four British Touring Car Championships victories sound for a start?

But while “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” is the parable that motivates many marques in motorsport, Prodrive sells no road cars.

How does a small, generally unheard of firm compete against the likes of Porsche, Honda, and Ford? Simple — those companies hire Prodrive to run their race programs. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2016

1992 Mazda Cosmo, Image: Mazda

Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.
(Read More…)

By on March 15, 2016

2013 Subaru BRZ. Photo courtesy Subaru.

Conner (Conner? Is that a real name?) writes:

Hey Bark,

Twenty-three-year-old car buying millennial here.

I recently got my first big boy job that pays big boy money. But because I’m definitely not a big boy yet and have nearly no responsibilities other than making rent, I’m going to spend it on silly things like cars and candy. (Effing bravo! –Bark). 

I bought my first car three years ago, and I’m possibly the only person to win German luxobarge reliability roulette with an ’03 Audi allroad 2.7TT. (Brown: Check. Wagon: Check. Sorry B&B, not a manual diesel.) It has yet to lunch a turbo, and I’ve learned a lot by fixing the little things that have come up. I love this machine and will be keeping it as my dedicated AWD winter wagon/shit hauler/adventuremobile in addition to whatever I get next.

However, the winter-limo is neither the most fun nor most practical thing to scoot around my central Idaho ski town during the non-winter months. So, I’m looking for something much more fun and slightly more economical to become its stablemate.

(Read More…)

By on January 28, 2016

mustanggt06_031600.jpg

Ask Bark? is picking up steam like a train on the island of Sodor, man! Thanks for all of your questions after last week’s installment, as well as the great advice you gave our friend, Josh.

However, be warned — Bark will not be punked like the author of “Ask Amy” was this week. Don’t write in with any questions about buying a Saab convertible, okay? I’m not gonna fall for it.

Now, on to this week’s question from youthful reader Greg:

Hi Bark,

I’m about to turn 16 and will be looking for a car soon. Being a car guy, I’ve been looking at sportier cars that won’t break the bank. My total spending budget is about $11,000.

(Read More…)

By on January 19, 2016

2015-subaru-wrx-002

In the latest installment of the worldwide internet sensation, Ask Bark?, we hear from Josh, who’s struggling with deciding what to buy for his family of four.

Josh writes:

I need advice. I’m looking for a new car. I’m 40 and married. I have a good job and two kids. I’ve owned old Volvos, Saabs, VWs (and paid those bills) and even a black 1969 Lincoln. (I’m sure this will be relevant at some point —B.)

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2015

James writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve got a 2003 Impreza WRX (blob-eye) that’s covered 96,000 km now. I bought it two years ago from the original owner, who seemed to take very good care of the car (every receipt since new). The car has been almost faultless.

About 4,000 km ago, at 92,000 km, the original clutch was clearly on its last legs. Under wide open throttle in 3rd gear, the clutch would slip and struggle to get power down. So off it went to a local WRX specialist to have the clutch replaced with a new kit: new pressure plate, machined flywheel and new Exedy OEM (standard, not heavy duty) replacement clutch.

However, when I got the car back, it felt completely wrong.

(Read More…)

By on December 15, 2015

WRX

Subaru and Lexus brands topped Kelley Blue Book’s annual resale list for the second year in a row, the auto industry group announced Tuesday.

Subaru claimed four model winners for 2016 and Lexus nabbed six honors in the annual survey that measures projected retained value for five years of ownership. Toyota and General Motors each earned five segment winners this year and Tesla earned its first award for its Model S.

According to KBB, the top 10 cars with the best resale value were: Chevrolet Camaro and Colorado; GMC Canyon and Sierra; Jeep Wrangler; Subaru Forester and WRX; Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra. (Read More…)

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