After a minor delay caused by the cancellation of the 2021 New York Auto Show, we have a new official debut date for the next-generation Subaru WRX. Save the date for September 10, because team Subie has something special planned to usher in its latest road-going rally machine.
Along with the debut announcement came another WRX teaser photo, though it's one we've already seen. Combined with other teasers and spy photos, there isn't too much left to the imagination anyway – the saloon's shape won't be considerably different from the current model. We also know that a six-speed manual transmission awaits drivers, confirmed directly by Subaru in a previous teaser. Details of the engine aren't confirmed, but it's widely believed to pack the automaker's FA24 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four, possibly making up to 300 bhp (224 kilowatts).
The car was originally slated to debut on August 19, so Subaru basically gave itself another month to tease and fine-tune its strategy for bringing the enduring rally-themed saloon to market. That could be pivotal, as we've heard rumblings over Subaru's conservative styling approach and lack of character both for the current WRX as well as the forthcoming model.
Furthermore, the automaker obviously draws heavily on its roots with the World Rally Championship despite exiting the series over 10 years ago. That said, Subaru does have a strong presence in the US rally scene through the American Rally Association.
The new WRX also spurs talk of what the next STI version will offer enthusiastic buyers. If the WRX bumps up to 300 bhp, an STI model closer to the 400-bhp (298-kW) mark wouldn't be out of the question. We've heard early rumours of such a machine, but a more recent report suggests a modest 345 bhp (257 kW) from the same 2.4-litre engine. That is, the rumour says at least that much, but in something as small as the WRX, that would be more than enough for gratuitous powerslides in the gravel.
Look for the 2022 WRX debut on September 10 here at Motor1.com.