The 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI are making their debut with upgraded performance, comfort, design, and safety features, promising an even more gratifying driving experience. These enhanced models will be available at Subaru retailers in the spring.
Sporting a revamped front fascia, the WRX and WRX STI exude a more athletic demeanor. This is accentuated by a strikingly redesigned grille and a larger lower grille opening. The WRX Limited and all STI variants boast newly crafted LED Steering Responsive Headlights, enhancing visibility on nighttime drives, especially around curves. To boost versatility, all WRX and STI models now come equipped with new roof rack mounting brackets.
WRX FOR 2018
Empowered by its 268-hp, 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine, coupled with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, the rally-inspired WRX stands as a performance and value benchmark within the high-performance AWD sport-compact segment. Standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, the WRX also provides the option of a performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode.
Undergoing refinements, the WRX showcases updated front and rear suspension tuning to enhance steering stability and ride comfort, while preserving its remarkable cornering performance. Noteworthy improvements include a revamped 6-speed manual transmission with enhanced shifter feel through a new synchro design and reduced friction, coupled with a smoother clutch take-up. The WRX’s electric power steering (EPS) has been fine-tuned to deliver an even smoother, more natural feel, and the integration of the steering motor and electronic control unit contributes to a reduction in weight.
For enthusiasts seeking an extra edge, a new optional Performance Package is available for the WRX Premium. This package features Recaro 8-way power seats, striking red-painted brake calipers, upgraded JURID brake pads, and omits the moonroof to reduce overall weight. The standard 18-inch wheels showcase a bold new double-spoke design, further complementing the WRX’s dynamic performance and aesthetic appeal.
WRX STI FOR 2018
The 2018 STI undergoes a comprehensive handling transformation, building on the WRX’s revised suspension tuning. This upgrade is accompanied by a revamped Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) AWD system, significantly enhanced brakes, and the introduction of 19-inch wheels, a first for this model. The DCCD system now relies on electronic control, ensuring quicker and smoother responses compared to the previous combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control. The bold 19-inch alloy wheels showcase a striking Y-shaped spoke design and are paired with 245/35R19 tires, elevating cornering performance and enhancing the STI’s aggressive stance.
Highlighted by yellow-painted brake calipers, the STI boasts a substantially improved Brembo Performance Brake System. This system incorporates stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in the front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear, and larger drilled rotors all around for superior heat dissipation. With new brake pads offering a significantly larger surface area, the STI achieves improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also provides the option of Recaro seats, standard on the STI Limited and available as an option for the base trim.
Under the hood, the WRX STI is powered by a robust 305-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, delivering rally-inspired performance technology to the streets. The Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, along with standard handling technologies like Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, further solidify the WRX STI’s position as a high-performance icon.
IMPROVED USABILITY WITH A SPORTING EDGE
The 2018 WRX and STI continue to enhance their everyday usability, a key factor in their widespread popularity. Across all models, there are improvements in interior materials, including a rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips, and a quicker remote trunk opening.
Efforts to minimize unwanted noise include the introduction of thicker door glass, revised door sealing, and a foam-filled windshield header beam. The cabin experience is further improved with the incorporation of a larger high-definition multi-function display, now measuring 5.9 inches compared to the previous 4.3-inch display, making it easier to access vehicle functions at a glance. The WRX Limited models now offer a power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment for added comfort.
Additional comfort features include heated exterior mirrors as standard on the base WRX model (already standard on others), while the WRX Premium sees an upgrade to a SUBARU STARLINK™ 7.0” multimedia unit, replacing the previous STARLINK 6.2” unit. These enhancements collectively contribute to an elevated driving experience, combining practicality with comfort and technology.
Subaru has implemented revisions to the front structure of both the WRX and WRX STI to enhance their frontal collision performance. In particular, the WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, now introduces two notable features: Vehicle Hold (AVH) and the new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM). The EyeSight Assist Monitor employs LED indicators to project EyeSight status and alerts directly onto the windshield, providing crucial information without requiring the driver to divert their attention from the road ahead.
The AVH feature, a noteworthy addition, supersedes the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions. It goes beyond assisting on inclines and is designed to function on all road grades. For instance, AVH proves beneficial in scenarios such as holding the vehicle at traffic lights, contributing to a reduction in driver fatigue. This versatile feature seamlessly transitions to acceleration when needed, showcasing its adaptability in various driving conditions. Overall, these advancements in safety technology reflect Subaru’s commitment to continually improving both collision performance and driver assistance features in their vehicles.
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