Few mainstream hot hatches have tugged as many heartstrings in the last decade or so than the Subaru WRX. From its turbocharged four-cylinder heart to the traction of its all-wheel-drive footprint, Rex has been the benchmark by which others are judged since its debut in the States as a 2002 model. Suffice it to say that the next WRX, due in 2014, has mighty big shoes to fill.

Judging by the spy photos you see above, those shoes will be planted under bodywork that's not particularly different from that of the standard Impreza. We'd be lying if we said we weren't hoping for a bit more pizazz from this fourth-gen WRX, but most of its tepid styling – assuming these images are indeed indicative of the 2014 WRX – would be forgiven if the machine boasts more turbocharged performance than ever before.

As you can see, Subaru's engineering team brought along a current third-gen WRX hatchback for testing alongside the new model, and a brief comparison shows how much more restrained the styling of the latest Impreza is when compared to its forebear. We also note what appears to be an intercooler sticking further up into the hood scoop than the third-gen model, which could mean a turbocharged version of Subie's new FA engine is underhood. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, peruse the images above and carry on speculating.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I spy a 6-speed. Curious.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm guessing this impreza is just a mule test-bed for the 2.0 electric turbo engine. Note that the scoop is basically duct-taped to the hood. The exhaust has been retrofitted and the rear bumper openings were created with a saber saw. Given it was at a hot weather testing area, Subaru is likely testing the intercooler and radiator needs for the new electric turbo they have been working toward. Other than the intercooler looking like it's much further forward than on the current 2.5 L WRX; likely meaning a hood with a more forward scoop design than that pictured, I don't think we can take much away from the shots of this test car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm hoping they're using the standard impreza as a test mule. I see the exhaust bumper surroundings look manually cut, and it looks like they cut the impreza hood and "fitted" a WRX hood scoop. If this is the final body of the 2014 WRX, looks like I'll be taking my chances with the ringlands of the '11-'13...dammit. Been waiting 10 years go get one
      Bryant Keith
      • 2 Years Ago
      Waiting another year for this car is gonna be painful. I want to order one now!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is that a 6-speed I see in there? I sure do hope so!
      • 2 Years Ago
      As long as it has a real manual transmission with three pedals on the floor I'll be happy. None of this Fisher Price "My first manual" paddle-shifter junk. The EVO got saddled with that, and I haven't even seen it in the news since. Do they still even make it? Just so people can go "look at me, I'm shifting!!" and they don't even know how to work a clutch. Pitiful...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Granted this thing looks like it is being held together with rubber bands and silicone...the current impreza sport looks good to me...give it some guts, and I'll be stoked...the pipedream of the 2.0 diesel is probably too much to ask. Id rock an impreza gt as long as it didn't automatically mean and automatic or cvt...wrx dropped on a stretched brz platform would be nice too...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Brent Worrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw a odd looking 5-door impreza (actually looks like the body style in the pics above) About 2 days ago on my way in to work. Had Manufacturer tags on it as well. I live in Philly and work in jersey and I know Subaru's Headquarters is 10 minutes from where i work. Wish i had gotten a picture but That caught me off guard.
      War Llama
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully this will be the last year the hatch is saddled with those atrocious tail lights.
      Jason Ross
      • 2 Years Ago
      I spy a 6-speed in the last photo. Perhaps the "it's like a knife in a jar of cold peanut butter" 5-speed has been replaced with the STI's 6-speed? We can only hope. The bugeye wagon that's currently paid for and my daily driver isn't going to hold together forever!
      Andrew Ramos
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, Subaru has redefined ugly yet again.
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