Subaru WRX STI Spec R

Subaru WRX STI Spec R

Subaru WRX and WRX STI have both been upgraded for the 2018 season. Most changes are visual and some additional spec has been added to the lower cost models.

Biggest news is the introduction of a new range topping model – the WRX STI spec.R, featuring Recaro seats amongst other items.

There have been no mechanical changes as the already full-on engines and transmissions have proven more than adequate in the opinion of many owners. However, there’s an old saying that, “you can never have too much power” so perhaps wait for even more grunt later this year, though we may have to wait for the 2019 update.

The front retains the Subaru hexagonal grille and C-shaped design elements for headlights, but has been changed to give it a sharper appearance. The indicator lights have been moved inside the headlights and the style of the front bumper and foglight bezels have been redone. The blacked out opening in the lower grille is larger and Subaru tells us the shape also helps promote cooling capability.

Revised suspension provides optimised roll rigidity, there are rerated suspension coils and dampers, for excellent control, stability, and flatter ride comfort.

Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX

Steering responsive LED headlights make nighttime driving even safer.

Upgraded interiors on both WRX and WRX STI that feature a rigid, shiny black finish produce an even sportier feel.

Recaro seats in the WRX STI spec.R and the standard STI provide support for hard driving and are visually set off by red seatbelts.

A 5.9-inch Multi-Function Display replaces the somewhat small 4.3-inch and also has higher definition. Also new in entry-level WRX are automatic headlights and wipers.

All WRX models gain Jurid performance brake pads to provide even more fade resistance; red painted brake callipers (front-only in automatics); new design 18-inch alloy wheels; heated door mirrors; and LED foglights.

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI

WRX Premium now has an 8-way power seat with dual memory and electric lumbar support for the driver. There are heated driver and front passenger seats.

The cabin areas have been updated to colour-coded black (WRX STI: high gloss black, WRX: black moulding) and include door switch panel, instrument panel centre, gear shift surround panel and steering centre bezel.

Subaru WRX Premium with Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission gains the clever Subaru EyeSight Assist Monitor, which displays warnings and status on the lower windscreen.

The WRX STI adds Yellow Brembo six-pot front and two-pot rear brake callipers; cross-drilled brake rotors,19-inch alloy wheels. It has new front bumper and grille design; red seatbelts

New on entry-level WRX STI are heated door mirrors, while WRX STI Premium and WRX STI spec.R also add a Front View Camera.

Subaru WRX STI Spec R

Subaru WRX STI Spec R

Subaru WRX STI Premium gets a 8-way power and electric lumbar support driver’s seat. While the Spec.R adds eight-way adjustable Recaro driver’s seat.

As with the entire Subaru new car range, every WRX and WRX STI has an independent five-star rating for occupant safety.

Subaru Australia Managing Director, Colin Christie, said: “Current generation WRX and WRX STI have truly taken on a life of their own in sales terms … more than 23 years after they launched in Australia, to create a cult following that is now well and truly mainstream.

Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX

“These comprehensive changes right across the range underline that fun, value, performance and safety can go hand-in-hand.”

As mentioned, there are no changes to the engine or transmissions, nevertheless we will see if we can borrow a couple of WRXs from Subaru to carry our road tests – just for the sheer fun of it. Stay tuned.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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