Subaru WRX STI successor will likely be a hybrid
Comments made by Subaru’s European sales and marketing boss suggest there will be a new WRX STI and it sounds like it’s going to be a plug-in hybrid.
According to Subaru Europe sales and marketing head, David Dello Stritto, the WRX STI is nearing the end of its life in Europe and right now, there’s no immediate replacement. Grim news.
Fortunately, the outlook for Subaru fans in the US is much better, with a spokesperson confirming that the current WRX STI won’t be removed from the market anytime soon and that there’s a direct replacement already in the works for when it eventually is.
The reason the STI will soon be pulled across Europe is because of increasingly stringent emissions standards.
While the regular WRX uses a newer 2.0-litre flat-four engine, the current STI is powered by the same 2.5-litre flat-four that debuted in the 2004 model. Even though the STI’s engine, the EJ25, is still emissions-compliant in the US, it probably won’t be in Europe for much longer.
In fact, according to Dello Stritto, the turbocharged boxer four “can simply not exist in the future” because of emissions laws. He went on to say that the Subaru Viziv Performance concept (pictured below) is likely to be the future of the WRX.
That means we’ll be looking at a WRX STI successor that boasts a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
But such a radical change in the STI lineage won’t happen overnight. “There will really be a new WRX STI in the future, but it takes time,” said Dello Stritto.
Dello Stritto was also quick to allay any fears about the STI’s fun factor being removed: “We’re not giving up on ‘fun to drive’. The new Impreza delivers this fun in a different, more sensible, CO2 emissions-compliant way.”