Is next Subaru WRX STI set to be a hybrid?

Subaru’s next WRX STI could be a hybrid, offering more performance, greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions, if insider rumours are true.

The next-generation Subaru WRX STI could be electrified, if reports from Australia’s Motoring are correct. Citing an unnamed Subaru insider, the publication reports that the Japanese firm has two hybrid engines currently under development; either of which could be featured in the next model.

It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise as a hybrid powertrain would allow the car to benefit from increased power output, better fuel economy and lower emissions; the latter of the three being particularly important for the US market.

If Motoring‘s scoop is accurate, the next WRX STI could boast an electric motor at the back to power the rear wheels and utilise an upgraded version of the FA20 turbocharged 2.0-litre boxer engine at the front. It would also feature a dual-clutch six-speed gearbox. The total horsepower of such a WRX could be around 322, which is a modest improvement over the current US vehicle’s 305.

Moreover, the next-generation STI would keep the current car’s sporty sedan body style, but incorporate a plethora of bold visual additions, including heavily flared fenders, carbon-fibre air ducts, a rear diffuser and enormous rear spoiler. All of which keep with the model’s image of not being a shy and subtle vehicle.

Motoring‘s source also intimated that Subaru is testing a plug-in hybrid version of the radical new Impreza-based STI hybrid, which could be unveiled at 2018’s Tokyo Motor Show.

With Subaru sales in Australia up eight percent this year alone, the firm is looking to further capitalise on the Australian market. Will a hybrid WRX STI be the car to help them do that? We’ll have to wait and see…

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