Subaru has officially unveiled the highly anticipated 2022 Subaru WRX, marking a significant milestone in the model’s nearly two-decade history. Boasting cutting-edge features, a revamped design, and unparalleled performance, this fifth-generation rally icon raises the bar and builds on the achievements of its predecessors.
Under the hood, the 2022 Subaru WRX is propelled by a newly introduced 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru BOXER® engine, generating an impressive 271 horsepower. Drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual transmission for a hands-on driving experience or opt for the new automatic transmission. The latter option promises a seamless and responsive ride.
The technological enhancements in the 2022 WRX are truly noteworthy. An available 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia system, resembling a high-definition tablet, takes center stage. This multimedia system, coupled with the latest iteration of EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, catapults the 2022 WRX into a realm of superior performance, cutting-edge technology, and enhanced safety.
In a groundbreaking move for the 2022 model year, Subaru introduces the WRX GT trim, positioned as the top-of-the-line variant. The WRX GT comes standard with the new Subaru Performance Transmission, an automatic transmission that promises a refined driving experience. What sets the WRX GT apart is the incorporation of electronically controlled dampers, a first for the WRX series. These dampers allow drivers to personalize the dynamic performance, offering Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings. Further customization is possible through the Drive Mode Select, which provides a plethora of options for configuring steering feel, damper settings, SI-Drive settings, and more. There are up to 430 different customization options, ensuring that the WRX GT caters to the individual preferences of drivers.
For the first time in its history, the WRX is constructed on the Subaru Global Platform, representing a significant shift in its foundation. This platform brings with it increased safety measures, improved dynamics, and a noticeable reduction in noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). The 2022 WRX is poised to make its debut at Subaru retailers early in the upcoming year, promising enthusiasts a driving experience that transcends expectations.
For the 2022 model year, the WRX lineup introduces a revolutionary 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru BOXER® engine, showcasing an impressive 271 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. This powerhouse boasts a broader torque curve, delivering 258 lb-ft of torque within the range of 2,000-5,200 rpm. The enlarged displacement, in tandem with a turbocharger featuring electronically controlled wastegate and air bypass valves, elevates responsiveness and acceleration to new heights.
Every WRX comes equipped with the renowned Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, ensuring optimal traction and control. Paired with the Subaru BOXER engine is a choice between the 6-speed manual transmission, fine-tuned for improved shift quality with optimized gear ratios, or the innovative Subaru Performance Transmission (automatic). The automatic transmission showcases remarkable speed with up to 30 percent faster upshifts (2nd to 3rd) and 50 percent faster downshifts (3rd to 2nd). It incorporates adaptive shift control for quick responses, performing rev-matching downshifts under braking, maintaining ideal ratios through corners, and reacting swiftly on corner exits. The total ratio coverage range has been expanded, and lower ‘fixed’ gear ratios have been adjusted to enhance acceleration and response.
Personalization takes center stage with three driver-selectable settings for the SI-Drive Performance Management System, allowing customization of engine and automatic transmission operation. For an added layer of driver engagement, an 8-speed manual mode can be accessed through steering wheel paddle shifters. An available external transmission fluid cooler enhances durability and performance in demanding conditions.
The adoption of the Subaru Global Platform marks a significant leap forward in ride and handling performance. Increased chassis stiffness and a lower center of gravity height result in a 28 percent increase in overall torsional rigidity and a 75 percent boost in suspension mounting point rigidity. A longer suspension stroke enhances stability and lateral grip on uneven surfaces. The rear stabilizer bar, now directly mounted to the body, operates more efficiently, contributing to a reduction in roll rate during cornering.
The track-tuned suspension ensures an exhilarating driving experience. Optimized front suspension geometry reduces mass offset, and a new dual-pinion electric power steering system separates the driver’s input shaft from the motor assist shaft, delivering quicker responses, improved accuracy, and a more natural steering feel.
Outfitted with summer performance tires on 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, the 2022 WRX achieves unprecedented levels of dynamic performance and ride comfort in its storied history.
BOLD EXTERIOR DESIGN
The 2022 WRX showcases a striking wide-body design that not only exudes an aggressive stance but also introduces a bold and refreshed aesthetic. The front fascia is dominated by Subaru’s signature hexagonal grille, complemented by compact LED headlights and a commanding front hood scoop, accentuating the car’s wide and low profile. Prominent character lines traverse the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle, underscoring the sports sedan’s inherent strength and high-performance capabilities. Notably, the front fenders now boast aluminum construction, shedding 5.0 pounds off the overall vehicle weight. The rear deck lid integrates a low-profile spoiler in a matching body color, adding a touch of aerodynamic finesse. The rear taillights are designed to emit a glow reminiscent of volcanic magma, enhancing the WRX’s visual allure.
Functionality meets style with a range of aerodynamic enhancements that not only contribute to the WRX’s performance and stability but also enhance its exterior design. An air outlet strategically positioned at the trailing edge of the front wheel opening facilitates the free exit of air from the wheel well. This design reduces lift on the front tires, thereby improving driving stability. Additional air outlets flanking each side of the rear bumper minimize body sway caused by trapped air behind the bumper. Molded wheel arches and lower trim feature an aerodynamic texture that mitigates air resistance. Underneath the front of the vehicle, the engine undercover incorporates the same aerodynamic texture, further enhancing its design with a geometry that channels airflow to boost downforce at the front of the car. These thoughtful aerodynamic elements not only contribute to the WRX’s performance but also elevate its exterior aesthetics, making it a visually captivating and dynamically efficient sports sedan.
Step inside the 2022 WRX, and you’re greeted by a sleek black interior accentuated by striking contrast red stitching and carbon fiber pattern accents, underscoring the vehicle’s performance capabilities. The high-performance atmosphere intensifies as the driver takes hold of the flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel, featuring integrated switches for audio, voice recognition, and EyeSight control. Standard features include power windows with auto up/down on both the driver and passenger sides, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, power door locks, and side mirrors.
The SUBARU STARLINK® In-Vehicle Technology transforms the driving experience into an integrated cockpit, providing control over entertainment and vehicle settings through a large touchscreen display. All STARLINK multimedia systems for the 2022 WRX boast a high-resolution touchscreen with on-screen controls for audio, HVAC, and vehicle features. Smartphone integration is seamless, with compatibility for Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Bluetooth® for hands-free phone calls and audio streaming. The system also includes AM/FM stereo, Rear Vision Camera, SiriusXM® Platinum Plan (with a 4-month free subscription), SiriusXM Travel Link® (with a 4-month free subscription), and HD Radio® as standard.
Taking center stage in the cabin is the all-new tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD center information display, emphasizing the driver-focused interior. The 11.6-inch STARLINK Multimedia Plus provides direct touch controls for multimedia, HVAC, and vehicle settings, allowing users to customize app icons based on personal preference. The top-tier 11.6-inch Multimedia with Navigation option adds voice-activated navigation powered by TomTom® (with a 3-year free map update).
Both the Multimedia Plus and Multimedia Plus with Navigation feature a groundbreaking split-screen display, enabling the simultaneous presentation of two types of information, such as navigation and audio, for enhanced user interaction. The 11.6-inch multimedia systems retain physical buttons and knobs for frequently used functions like volume and temperature.
The 2022 Subaru WRX offers an optional 11-Speaker Harman Kardon® (HK) sound system paired with a HK 504-watt equivalent amplifier. Specifically tuned for the WRX, this HK sound system incorporates premium technologies, including GreenEdge™ for superior sound quality with minimal energy consumption and Clari-Fi™ for real-time analysis and restoration of lost audio signals. Together, these technologies deliver a rich, uncompressed listening experience for every passenger.
NEW GT TRIM LEVEL
In the 2022 lineup, the WRX introduces a prestigious GT trim, positioned as the new top-of-the-line model. Elevating the driving experience to new heights, the GT features electronically controlled dampers that enable drivers to customize dynamic performance according to their preferences, offering Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings. The addition of the innovative Drive Mode Select further enhances personalization, providing drivers with the flexibility to configure steering feel, damper settings, SI-Drive settings, and more. With an extensive array of up to 430 different customization options, the GT trim allows enthusiasts to tailor their driving experience with precision.
Exclusive to the GT, brand-new Recaro® seats take center stage, providing enhanced support for performance driving. The Y-shaped design at the center of the seat backrest is a testament to a design concept that prioritizes securing the sides and shoulder blades of the occupant to maintain an optimal driving posture. Wrapped in black Ultrasuede® with contrasting red stitching and adorned with an embossed “Recaro” logo on the seatbacks, these seats not only deliver on performance but also exude a sense of exclusivity. The driver’s seat takes comfort to the next level with 8-way power adjustments.
Adding to the GT’s distinctive appeal are exclusive 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels in a matte gray finish, paired with 245/40 R18 summer performance tires. This wheel-tire combination not only enhances the visual aesthetics but also contributes to the GT’s high-performance capabilities.
The GT trim goes above and beyond by incorporating standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control and introduces the new Automatic Emergency Steering feature. These advanced safety technologies underscore the GT’s commitment to not only delivering unparalleled performance but also prioritizing driver and passenger safety. The 2022 WRX GT emerges as a beacon of sophistication, combining performance, customization, and safety in a package that is sure to delight driving enthusiasts.
ADVANCED SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
The 2022 WRX benefits significantly from its reinforced platform, yielding multiple advantages in real-world performance. The stiffened platform results in strengthened suspension mounting points and a lowered center of gravity, leading to a host of benefits. The improved body rigidity translates into more responsive steering and handling, a smoother and quieter ride, and heightened hazard avoidance capabilities in emergency situations. The enhanced crash protection is evident as the new body absorbs more energy in both front and side crashes compared to its predecessor. In instances where a collision is unavoidable, the WRX ensures occupant safety with seven standard airbags, including a driver knee airbag.
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, standard on all trims equipped with an automatic transmission, undergoes notable enhancements for the 2022 model. The system boasts an expanded angle of view and software performance improvements, resulting in a broader range of operation. An electric brake booster has been incorporated to elevate braking responsiveness and performance during panic stops. The Lane Departure Prevention function has been refined, providing smoother and more natural assistance to the driver. Breaking new ground for the WRX, the EyeSight system now includes Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering among its suite of features. Additionally, the introduction of the newly available Automatic Emergency Steering collaborates with the Pre-Collision Braking System, aiding steering control to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.
In essence, the 2022 WRX not only delivers exhilarating performance but also prioritizes safety through its advanced technologies and structural enhancements, making it a well-rounded and secure choice for driving enthusiasts.