Despite on-again, off-again rumors, this latest set of spy shots seems to indicate that yes, a five-door Subaru WRX is indeed in the works. Subtlety is key with this test mule, but there are clear bits of evidence that indicate a hotter hatchback is what's being developed here.

First, notice the WRX-spec front fascia grafted onto this ordinary-looking Impreza hatch. From there, we can clearly see the tiny bit of added width – most obvious on the roof and at the rear, near the fuel door and taillamps. And of course, let's not forget about that bulge in the hood, consisting of a metal panel that covers the hood scoop and can apparently be removed thanks to a series of screws, according to our spies. The WRX's more robust exhaust and larger wheel/tire package have not been added to this mule, though we're told that this is commonplace for Subaru prototypes – those bits should be added on as the car's development progresses.

We fully expect a WRX hatchback to be, well, just that – mechanically, it should be identical to the sedan brethren, though our spies indicate that Subaru could be testing an updated version of the WRX-spec boxer engine. Of course, there's always a chance that this could be something else entirely, given the on-and-off reports of the five-door 'Rex's existence in the first place...


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      bK
      • 3 Months Ago

      Cant we just get the Levorg? And no the Levorg is alot longer and looks sleeker than the bubbly WRX hatch.

      Joe Schmoe
      • 3 Months Ago

      There, Subaru.  Now was it THAT hard?!  


      The gas prices are probably in Death Valley.  That falls under the category of remote.  

        hokkaido76
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Joe Schmoe

        The last WRX STI featured a staggered arrival for the sedan, so I wouldn't count out the theory that Subaru planed this from the get go.

      ShiftItManual
      • 3 Months Ago

      Please be true.

      Lab Rat
      • 3 Months Ago

      I wouldn't be surprised if we got the Levorg with a WRX nose/suspension... Just sayin'.

      One more thing...
      I bet this is a suspension mule. They know the drivetrain works. They have to modify the suspension for the tail end of the hatch to help accommodate the extra weight.
      So, this makes sense for the standard Impreza everything else.

        hokkaido76
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Lab Rat

        Sounds about right. Like you said, the powertrain and exhaust have already been tested, so there is no real need to do it again. Ultimately, we will have to wait for the "wrapped" mule to get confirmation that this is in fact the WRX.

      Ken
      • 3 Months Ago

      Everyone knew their 'excuses' for not making a wagon were just BS.  I sure see a lot more WRX wagons than sedans (not sure of true US sales mix).

        JB
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Ken

        Hatches were 50% of us sales.  That said they're not wagons, I wish they were. A wrx hatch is tiny as far as useful space goes.

      rmt_1
      • 3 Months Ago

      If it is a 5-Door WRX mule, then is Subaru doing it because they were wrong and customer interest was so strong that they had to change course to make it or was it always a part of their plan, hoping customer interest and secrecy would cause more "buzz" than it would otherwise attract?

      rsholland
      • 3 Months Ago

      I say, not WRX, but rather an Impreza turbo using the same FB16 DIT as is found in the base JDM Levorg. That would mean roughly 170 hp but with a very good and flat torque band.

      So a fairly significant power boost over the 2.0 Impreza, but not enough of a power boost to step on the WRX's toes. Also, gas mileage should be very good, which is of foremost importance to SOA.

      If true, I sure hope there is a Crosstrek version as well.

        JBL
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rsholland

        That would be nice. The Impreza offers affordable awd with decent fuel economy but the 2.0 is weak, esp with the CVT. I'd take another look if they threw the turbo in and the fuel economy doesn't suffer much.

        masteR_Potter
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rsholland

        This is also my opinion it is NOT WRX it looks like a new Impreza sport too me.

      Superstevie
      • 3 Months Ago

      Why can't they ever make the hatch look as good as the saloon?

      masteR_Potter
      • 3 Months Ago


      This looks like the new sport package for the Impreza. It does not look like a WRX hatch to me. I expect us to see this in the United States by December.

      BipDBo
      • 3 Months Ago

      All indications are that despite what the fascia looks like, this mule has no intercooler, and therefore no turbo and not a WRX.  No scoop, so no top mount intercooler.  It would be really unlikely for Subaru to consider a front mount intercooler, and there's no appearance of aluminum through the front grill.   

      So I'd say that this is likely just an Impreza hatchback mule.  I'd guess that they are planning for the next Impreza hathback model to be a little bit wider and they made up a mule with a hodgepodge of existing and modified bodywork.

        pavsterrocks
        • 3 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        Forester XT has a Turbo with intercooler on top of engine and no scoop.  

          Henry Z. Floyd
          • 3 Months Ago
          @pavsterrocks

          Can you not clearly see the hold scoop bulge covered with a metal panel, AND skip that part of the article?

          BipDBo
          • 3 Months Ago
          @pavsterrocks

          I did not know that.  So I looked it up.
          http://wildsau.ca/2013/08/review-2014-subaru-forester-xt/

          The Forester XT intercooler air comes in through the front grill and is ducted under the hood.  I assume it then escapes between the hood and windshield, but perhaps just down through the engine compartment.   That certainly opens up the possibility for this being a mule for a future WRX model, this time with no scoop.  From what I've heard, the scoop has not worked very well because, at high speed, the pocket of air above the hood is at low pressure, and the air being force into the engine compartment through the front grill is at high pressure.  Often, air doesn't move through it or even goes backwards.  Also, the hood system, at idle works against gravity (hot air rises) which causes heat soak.  It would make sense that this ducted system would work better, in addition to being less unsightly.

        Michael
        • 3 Months Ago *Edited*
        @BipDBo

        Actually if you look at the photos closely there is a cover over what would be a hood scoop. I don't see why an impreza would need a wider front track unless it intends to be set up like the wrx.

          BipDBo
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Michael

          Which just means that they are using the hood and fenders from a WRX to fit the wider front track.  The cover indicates that there is no intercooler below the hood.

      MySTI
      • 3 Months Ago
      This is definitely the Subaru Impreza and not the WRX. Come on Autoblog
        gasaraki88
        • 3 Months Ago
        @MySTI

        That's a mule. You know what that is?

          MySTI
          • 3 Months Ago
          @gasaraki88

          So much for your analysis gasaraki88. Apart from the hood scoop it doesnt seem to share anything with the WRX, so you probably need to know what a mule is in the first place. Here to support my argument is BipDBo's comment.

          @BipDBo

          All indications are that despite what the fascia looks like, this mule has no intercooler, and therefore no turbo and not a WRX.  No scoop, so no top mount intercooler.  It would be really unlikely for Subaru to consider a front mount intercooler, and there's no appearance of aluminum through the front grill.   

          So I'd say that this is likely just an Impreza hatchback mule.  I'd guess that they are planning for the next Impreza hathback model to be a little bit wider and they made up a mule with a hodgepodge of existing and modified bodywork

      TwoBits
      • 3 Months Ago

      oh please oh please oh please

    • Load More Comments