The next-generation Subaru WRX debuted last week, and frankly, it left many people wondering exactly what next-generation means. Nosing around the internet we've encountered all kinds of criticism for the new saloon, mostly centred around its styling. From bland looks to the plastic cladding and smallish wheels, it seems Subie's newest rally machine is more miss than hit. Could some simple changes fix that?
Rendering artists of the internet waste no time in answering such questions, and The Sketch Monkey is once again on the ball with a possible solution. Curiously, his take on the WRX doesn't involve nixing the plastic cladding over the wheel wells or altering body lines along the sides. Such things might come in a future makeover, but for now, attention is given to the rear clip where poor proportions are identified as a major problem. The taillights are too big, there's too much dark plastic between the diffuser and the white portion of the fascia, and the small lip spoiler looks like an afterthought.
Gallery: Subaru WRX (2022)
The solution? Cut out a portion of the lower fascia, literally creating more white space that makes the diffuser appear higher up even though it's unchanged. The exhaust finishers are also moved up, and the taillights are scrunched up for a cleaner look. The black trim connecting the taillights is given the light-up treatment, and the awkward lip spoiler is replaced with a simple ducktail shape not unlike what you find on the BRZ. And while the wheel arches aren't addressed, the wheels are plus-sized to fill in the gap a bit better. Does it make a difference?
Styling isn't the only point of contention regarding the new WRX. Its turbocharged 2.4-litre engine is borrowed from other models in Subaru's lineup, but at 271 bhp (202 kilowatts) it boasts just a 3-bhp (2-kW) increase from the previous year. Subaru also rebranded its continuously variable transmission as a Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) with quicker upshifts and downshifts, though being a CVT it technically has no gears at all to shift.
At least it's still available with a six-speed manual, and though styling is conservative, the 2022 WRX does ride on a new platform that's stiffer. In short, ingredients are there to make the next STI something extraordinary. Until that debut happens, we suspect we haven't seen the last of unofficial WRX renderings seeking to create a more exciting version of the rally racer.