WRX. Those three letters tell automotive enthusiasts the world over that they are not dealing with an ordinary Impreza, and it all began in rally racing with a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine. Though some models – including the current WRX and STI in the United States – had engines displacing as much as 2.5 liters, the WRX earned its reputation with 2.0 liters, and that's the displacement specified for competition use.

According to Motor Trend, the 2013 WRX, which will likely debut sometime in 2012, will go back to its original engine size. The new powerplant will reportedly be based on the engine found in the 2013 Subaru BRZ, a clean-sheet design for Subaru, with the addition of the expected turbocharger. That ought to bring power up from 200 horsepower to about 270.

Now we come to the question of what platform in which the engine will reside. While common sense would dictate that the latest version of the Impreza, which was recently released as a 2012 model, would get the WRX treatment, we've heard rumblings that Subaru would keep its current WRX shell around for a few more years while it continues development of the next chassis. Only time will tell.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      All thecpecs that we know so far look good. Apparently it will split off from the Impreza line and become its own model. It will also be lighter, smaller, and have a better interior. I'd like to see the next WRX go on the BRZ's platform. The BRZ is light enough so that adding AWD wouldn't make it too heavy. The current WRX is fantastic, but it has gained weight. 3400 lbs is not good for a compact. I would expect that the BRZ platformed WRX which I propose will be under 3k lbs. I really can't wait for the comparos once this thing comes out. WRX vs Speed3 vs Golf R vs Dodge Dart SRT4 vs Buick Astra CTC vs next gen BMW 128i vs proposed Acura Integra vs Ford Focus ST
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        You forgot the Lancer Ralliart which is in this category, it's the Evo's little brother with the same strong Evo motor and a smaller turbo with the Evo 9's AWD system. No manual trans though because their head is in their asses. If you want the manual you have to step up to the Evo.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        *GTC*
      AM2
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess this means the JDM model and the export market models will all share the same basic 2.0 turbo boxers. PS: JDM Imprezas retained the 2.0 liter displacemnt for their turbocharged models through the different generations.
        p4R4d0x
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AM2
        And were much more refined and better regarded than the USDM 2.5's from what I've read/seen/heard, though I've unfortunately never driven one.
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't want a WRX that's any smaller than the current one. It's alright a tight fit for friends/gear. + I'm happy to have one of the only sporty cars w/ 4 doors that you can actually take friends + snow gear to the mountains in.
        hector
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chris
        I agree 100% Chris. Subaru would be crazy to "reinvent the wheel" here. Of course the car needs updates, but the new Impreza would be a fine place to start! Personally I think WRX actually will be based on the Impreza. Fact is, car companies lie all the time about splitting models. They do it for marketing purposes because they want to take one of the models up market. Good example: Mini Countryman and BMW X1...both built on the same platform and at the same factory in Austria, but good luck getting BMW to admit they're in any way related!
        Brian_E
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Agreed! Although I still get pissed at times knowing my 05 wrx rear seats won't fold down. Sometimes I wish I had bought the 5 door instead. But that was pre-wife/kid/house and priorities were different back then :)
      TwoBits
      • 3 Years Ago
      And here I was hoping for a next gen body to go with the 2013. Unless they decide to nix two doors...
      Tripointkid
      • 3 Years Ago
      The bigger question in my mind is if this motor will make it into the BRZ...
        Greg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tripointkid
        There doesn't seem to be room for it. Subaru said no turbo. Maybe the aftermarket will be able to manage it.
          BipDBo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Greg
          It seems that the aftermarket can boost anything.
          Redline
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Greg
          Toyota did say something about supercharging the 86 though...
          suseboxcardude
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Greg
          No room = "We don't want it cutting into WRX sales"
      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm really tired of the tack a turbo on mentality. I'm also tired if the make it AWD mentality too. Turbos add lag and the potential for unreliability. AWD adds an easy 200lbs and pushes the engine to nearly the radiator (a center differential has to go SOMEWHERE). With that in mind, the WRX and STI will continue to be successful in the U.S., while the FRS/BRZ aren't given a chance only because you can't brag to your friends about the spec sheet. Sad. I thought there were car enthusiasts on this site?
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason
        I'm self-absorbed because Autoblog is linked to my Facebook? Get real. Serious AWD is a GT-R, but it's serious because computers make it so. I just don't like how AWD handles. It's a preference. We all have them. See, that's the thing about turbo guys - it's all about power. Of course forced induction increases power more readily than N/A. The air is compressed, so just compress it more. Anything can be fast in a straight line.
          WindsWilling
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Yet here you still don't think that these AWD/Turbo machines can't handle? Sorry, but a GT-R or Evo will hang with or stomp your elitist attitude and car with the layout of your choice in the turns or straights, and can be used in any climate. You're self-absorbed by your original post, and this one, and the "myspace era take a pic with your phone in a mirror" avatar.
          Jason
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Look how easy it is to rile you AWD/Subaru purists up. I never said AWD CAN'T handle. I said I don't prefer the understeering nature of AWD, esp. near the limit. IMO, understeer neuters a car. If all you can do is rag on an avatar that's taken from my Facebook, more power to you, I could care less. Go back to your spec sheets and continuing to believe that AWD trumps all. Yes, AWD has its merits, esp. now that winter is fast approaching, but usually people drive beater cars in the winter. I, for one, wouldn't want the cinder blocks they throw down on the ground to chip my paint. Salt on the East eats up cars left and right. My original comment was for the people who want the BRZ to be something it's not. Mainly AWD and turbocharged. That's WRX/STI territory. Why would they overlap them? Because it's a coupe?
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason
        You must have never driven a *serious* AWD car like the Evo. Regardless of the available traction, it just rips. 0-60 in sub 4 seconds with some mods. You can let loose in the pouring rain and literally have a hard time noticing it's wet. Night and day from driving a RWD Cobra that required careful throttle. Turbo lag is a joke with proper variable cam timing and twin-scroll turbo's today. What part about 300ft/lbs at 3200rpm don't you like? You want to rev it out with peak torque hitting above 4000? It's only "lag" because you can feel the motor coming into power. It's power you normally wouldn't have anyway. It's perception these days more than reality. Sure big turbo static-cam-timing motors are laggy as hell. That's last years technology. By as early as 2900rpm, my 2.0 turbo in my Evo is making more torque than my Cobra's 32 valve V8. By as little as 3200rpm it's now making more horsepower too. It gets better fuel economy and can be driving year round in Michigan winters. I understand RWD when you live in Cali or Florida, but here in Michigan I have year round fun. It's also cheaper to add horsepower by a long shot than any naturally aspirated motor. AWD *is* all that and until you've experienced it you probably have an inaccurate view of what it really feels like. I'm seriously trying not to hate on you but provide my personal viewpoint. Please don't flame me for having an opinion. I'm not hating and not trash talking.
        WindsWilling
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason
        Just because a car is a little heavier due to AWD and it's Turbo it means that it's not made for enthusiasts? You sound like those Miata guys that would tell Evo owners "you'll get me in a straight line, but wait til we get to the turns", even though the Evo would go into and out of those turn just as if not faster. You have your RWD fun car for the nice seasons, myself I need a fun car that I can use in the North-Eastern States year round. Some fanboy bought that Toyota "awd turbo /= fun" bs here.
          Jason
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WindsWilling
          Hell, even a Lotus Elise.
          Jason
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WindsWilling
          Then, I encourage you to drive a Cayman or even the base 911.
        hector
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason
        And I'm tired of people thinking that only their opinion counts. I disagree with everything you said, so which one of us is 'right'? The answer: both of us, or neither of us....depends on how you look at it. These comments are just preferences....nothing more. Car companies try their best to build what they believe consumer will buy...and Subaru (correctly, in my opinion) believes that AWD turbos make sense. AWD dramatically improves handling and turbo charging creates a nice balance between performance and economy. BTW, if you think modern turbos still have lag, you have no idea how far they've come. Twin-scroll and other technologies have eliminated lag altogether.
        oRenj9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason
        The 2009+ WRX engine is extremely responsive; down low the throttle response is extremely good and above 3,000RPMs is it instantaneous. The only reason the WRX has any noticeable turbo lag at all is because of the poorly placed turbo. The newer Legacys have a front mounted turbo that spools below 2,000 RPMs. In fact, most turbocharged car sold today have 90% of peak torque available below 2,000 RPMs. The BMW N55 has 300ft.lbs at 1,200 RPMs. Turbo lag is an antiquated concept for stock cars, that's why everybody has the, "tack on a turbo mentality." There is no downside to having one. Having gone from boosted to N/A, I can't wait to get back in a turbo.
        Marvin Asuncion II
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jason
        "Turbos add lag". That's only semi-true. Sure, a massive turbo will lag, but with the smaller turbo that comes standard on the WRX and STI, lag, if any, is negligible. Not to mention with all models of the WRX, the intercooler is top-mounted, providing shortest distance to the throttle bottle and eliminating a lot of the intake air's travel path from the air intake through the turbo/intercooler chain and into the throttle body and intake manifold. As for the AWD systems, for street & track vehicles the added weight and raised center of gravity would create a much larger issue, but keep in mind that the WRX was derived as a rally car by nature. The extra couple hundred pounds is a welcome tradeoff for the traction gains much needed for that type of driving. Even with the added weight, the WRX still weighs less than coupes in relative classes (i.e. Nissan 370z, Mitsubishi Eclipse), so the added weight argument against AWD is essentially moot. That's fine to have a personal disdain for turbocharging and AWD, but don't base it on generalizations, and it's in especially poor taste to use your generalizations to call your fellow car enthusiasts into question.
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      They could easily get 25% more power if they just made a new 2.5l engine. 270 -> 337 hp
        You guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        STI?
        Chris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Why am I being hated for wanting a new 2.5l engine instead of a 2.0l engine. All technology being equal, one can always get more power from a larger engine.
          JF1GE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris
          @nontoxic85: "The WRX is already on the heavy side as is.." It weighs less than a 350Z, G35(2wd), Mazdaspeed3, IS350(2wd), Camaro RS, Mustang GT, Dodge Challenger see actually it's on the light side and it's the one with AWD
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris
          A WRX doesnt need 337hp straight from the factory so long as there is always an STI.
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Actually that makes sense in non turbo motors..... Not so much when it comes to very small motors. You actually can make more power in a 2.0 than a 2.3 due to the redline on many setups. You see the small motor has to breathe to make power. Higher RPM means more breathing. Bigger motors rev less while making more power down low in most situations. Although that power down low is nice, it quickly runs out of steam compared to a high revving 2.0 motor which can breathe up top better by revving higher. When a turbo is producing over 50% of the engines output (120hp 4 banger boosted to 300+), you actually run into a problem where a bigger motor isn't always better. The 2.0 WRX in Japan has a better torque curve believe it or not. They also neutered the 2.5 they released in the US. The 2.0 in Japan has a forged rotating assembly good for much more power before breaking. They used weak cast parts in the 2.5 engine America got. Only the Evo has such a strong motor from the factory being capable of 500hp at the wheels and 400ft/lbs at the wheels as long as the torque curve is smooth and the tune is good. The STI's 2.5 is only good to around 350hp at the wheels and 350ft/lbs before potentially blowing ringlands which is a common issue. Basically the 2.5 was setup for more motor less boost. The 2.0 is setup for more boost less motor. Same for the Evo's 2.0 When you have a tiny turbo using the motor for most of the power, you can't really get much more out of it since the turbo is already maxed out. The 2.0 motors have bigger turbos and you can raise the boost more before maxing it out which means you can make more power without swapping parts.
          nontoxic85
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris
          It's not in spirit of the WRX. Perhaps the STi, but not a lighter-weight, relatively modest-costing WRX. The WRX is already on the heavy side as is.. and it's more about handling than power. (Did not thumb down you, just pointing out)
          Jason
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Any engine can rev high as long as it is designed to do so, but long stroke 4-cylinders have higher piston speeds, therefore rev lower. 2.0L are usually perfect squares, 86x86. Though, if you design a block that allows for a bigger bore, you could make an oversquare 2.5L. The WRX/STI uses an oversquare design, which makes sense as it relieves the crank of stress, lowers overall piston speeds (heat/friction), and allows thicker bore linings for turbo use. The engine runs out if steam mostly because of cam duration, intended induction type, and subsequent emissions targets. AWD also negatively affects top-end power. The use of cast parts in a turbo engine is never a good idea. Not sure what Subaru was thinking.
        Nathan Loiselle
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Provided the same size impellers and turbines are used. Which is something that Subaru is experienced in not doing.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      But, but, but there's no replacement for displacement.... Oh wait. Yeah there is. Its called technology and good engineering.
      ack154
      • 3 Years Ago
      If there were one thing for me to be unhappy about with my 2011 WRX, it's gas mileage. I'm the first to admit that I didn't buy a Prius (and never intended to) but a few more miles per gallon wouldn't hurt. So I'd really like to see what kind of mileage this would put out if it's the BRZ engine with some boost...
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        The stock tune runs super rich. You can safely lean it out more with a tune and easily gain another mpg or two.
        nontoxic85
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        The hit would mostly be from the AWD and the weight. If you're not running the boost and just cruising, the turbo's effects on mpg are small. I agree WRX mileage needs to improve 10%+.
        Redline
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        AWD also adds to higher fuel consumption.
        oRenj9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        What kind of mileage are you seeing? I got 21-23 pretty consistently (measured by {gallons to fill up} / {miles on tripometer} ). In my mind, that isn't bad at all for a 300 HP, mid-13 second, four door sedan. I do agree though, better fuel economy certainly wouldn't hurt.
      iKingston
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do people keep saying that the BRZ is not coming stateside? Subaru's NA site even says that they will debuting the NA version at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Sheesh, people, get your facts straight! http://www.subaru.com/brz/2013/index.html
        Matt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @iKingston
        Um... who's saying that, bro?
          Ralph Harary
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Matt
          @iKingston He was referring to the engine being turbocharged and not NA or Naturally Aspirated.
          iKingston
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Matt
          Jon. Below. about 20 minutes prior to my post. Along with many others on other AB posts.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      270hp from 122 cubic inches is pretty darn spectacular.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Ralph Harary
        • 3 Years Ago
        Subaru dealers in the NY area don't allow test drives on WRX or STI. Ridiculous considering I own a WRX that is unmolested.
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