Powered by a new 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine, power increased slightly to 271 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, compared with 268 hp and 258 pound-feet in the outgoing model. The new automatic transmission in the 2022 WRX, dubbed the Subaru Performance Transmission, has up to a 30 percent quicker upshift and up to a 50 percent quicker downshift than the automatic in the outgoing WRX.
In addition to the carryover Base, Premium and Limited trims, Subaru now offers a new higher-performance WRX GT, which features electronically controlled dampers that allow the driver to tailor the performance to Comfort, Normal or Sport settings.
The new WRX also is one of a dwindling number of new car models offered with a manual transmission, which accounted for about 85 percent of all sales of the outgoing WRX, according to Subaru.
Interior space has been increased by more than 4 cubic feet. New interior technology features include a tablet-style 11.6-inch Starlink Multimedia Plus system that has direct touch controls for multimedia, HVAC and vehicle settings.
The new WRX arrives in the spring, starting with models equipped with the manual transmission. Models with the new automatic transmission will follow about one month later. Pricing will be announced early in 2022.
The WRX's U.S. launch comes on the heels of the Los Angeles Auto Show debut of the all-electric Solterra crossover, which Subaru is positioning as the future of the brand.
Still, Redic insists that the company will remain committed to the core performance attributes of the WRX and the car's loyal fan base for as long as it can as the industry shifts toward the wider adoption of electric vehicles.
"It would be ignorant to not realize that that's going to have some impact on our future products," said Redic. "Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Stellantis — everybody is going to be impacted to some degree, but in the meantime, we're going to deliver a new pocket rocket to the market."