Rally prowess in a road car. Sounds complex and undesirable, right? Well, it was the gold standard of hooligan performance from the 90s through the 2000s. And that standard was held high and wide by two very special cars – the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru WRX STi. But time has not been kind to these rally machines.
It was the Lancer EVO that fell first, and now its counterpart is following. Yeah. Subaru has officially confirmed that there won’t be another gas-powered WRX STi. So, all of you who have been looking forward to the 2022 WRX STi, better find a corner and cry out your pain! Subaru didn’t give a clear reason as to why they removed this gem. But that has a lot to do with electrification and the inefficient nature of the boxer engine used in this SUB.
Say goodbye to the eargasmic “Bwahh Stutututu” because the Subaru WRX STi is no more.
No rally Subaru WRX STi for 2022
The first WRX STi was a patch-up job on a standard Impreza. But it was with the iconic 22B STi that people were impressed with what a blue SUB with gold fenders and wheels could do! Then came the Bug Eye, the Blob Eye and the Hawk-Eye; all of which have perfected the STi formula over the years. The last STi we got was with the 2020 Subaru WRX, based on the fourth generation model.
It contained the iconic boxer-4 which developed 310 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. And while everything seemed smooth and normal, Subaru dropped a bombshell announcing that there were no more gas-powered STs. The fifth-generation 2022 Subaru Impreza looks good but would have looked even better with STi badging. But sadly, there won’t be any rally-fueled Imprezas here.
STi was getting too reckless for the conservative world
Between the aggressive push toward electrification and tougher environmental laws, automakers are finding it much easier and more sustainable to jump on the EV bandwagon. Subaru’s puffy boxer in the STi doesn’t pack the punch like it did back then. The competition has caught up with equally fun yet highly efficient engines that offer better fuel economy and are cleaner for the environment.
Although all of these issues are reported, Subaru’s flat-four has had many trust issues. Engines used up to MY 2018 were plagued with turbo failures. And a recent lawsuit says Subaru knew about its engine shortcomings since 2008. Those cases don’t sit well with trust. And the final nails in that coffin are rising fuel prices and the rapid evolution of electric vehicles.
A shimmer of “STi” hope remains
But all hope is not lost (if you’re willing to adapt). Although Subaru hasn’t made a concrete statement about the future of the WRX STi, they are giving it a shot. It’s surely not for the immediate future and would most likely be a hybrid or all-electric reincarnation of the STi nameplate.
As barbaric as it sounds, this is the inevitable future, and we must embrace it. But for now, it’s wise to lean into the latest-generation WRX STi if you want to take advantage of the amalgamation of Subaru’s rallying pedigree. And if you’re thinking of buying one, now would be a good time, because the prices are sure to soar!
Sources: Media.subaru.com, Edmunds.com, Autoguide.com
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