Car News

Subaru Updates WRX and STI for 2018

The Subaru WRX and WRX STI aren't yet moving to the new platform that debuted under the lesser 2017 Impreza models, but that doesn't mean that Subaru is letting the high-performance models grow stale. For 2018, Subaru USA has announced that the turbocharged pair gets a new nose, new suspension, improvements to the EyeSight driver assistance package and an upgraded interior.

Subaru Canada meanwhile says that "at this time Canadian specs have not yet been released so (we) would not be able to confirm." That said, the changes will most likely be identical for Canada when they do become available.

The new nose has a larger lower grille opening and a more pronounced upper grille. Alongside the grille, the LED headlights have been redesigned and can turn into corners, following the steering wheel to help light the night.

The engine and transmission for both are unchanged, with the WRX sporting a 2.0L turbocharged boxer four delivering 268 hp and the STI having a 2.5L version of the same with 305 hp. The STI gets changes to the driver controlled center differential that adds electronic control for what Subaru claims is "quicker and smoother response." The STI also gets a new design of 19-inch wheel, but what's behind that wheel is what's more impressive.

Behind the new wheels, the STI gets upgraded Brembo brakes that now have six-piston monoblock calipers in the front and two-piston in the rear. The rotors are larger, and drilled for heat dissipation. New brake pads are said to deliver improved feel and fade resistance. Most importantly, the new calipers are painted bright yellow.

Both models get revised suspension tuning front and rear that Subaru says improves stability and ride comfort. The six-speed manual has a revised shifter for enhanced feel, and a new synchro design.

A new Performance Package is available for WRX Limited (the US equivalent of our Sport-Tech trim) that comes with eight-way power adjustable Recaro sport seats, red painted brake calipers with upgraded pads, and drops the sunroof to save weight.

The new interior has a rear seat armrest, redesigned door grips, and upgraded materials for a more premium feel. Noise insulation comes from thicker door glass, new door seals, and foam in the windshield header. The multi-function dash display also grows from 4.3 to 5.9-inches.

Models equipped with Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance now get vehicle hold (replacing hill hold and hill start assist) and an LED display to show the driver EyeSight status and alerts. Topping off the changes are new roof rack brackets.

Expect the 2018 Subaru WRX and STI in showrooms this spring, with pricing closer to then.