Subaru WRX STI is dead

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Subaru has announced that it won’t produce an STI variant of its new WRX as the car maker turns to electrification.

With combustion ban deadlines looming and fuel prices higher than ever, the push for electrification is strong. As a result, every manufacturer is devising plans to cut the emissions of their offerings, and Subaru is no exception. Despite the rumours of a next-generation WRX STI, the Subaru has announced that the icon’s combustion days are over.

Back in 2020 there were rumours of a new hybrid-assisted WRX STI with power figures expected to match those of models such as Mercedes-AMG’s 295kW A45 S, but if such a model had been in development, this is no longer the case.

In an official statement, Subaru revealed that as it works to ensure that any future performance models meet stringent new regulations and emissions requirements, a hot STI based on its new combustion-powered WRX is now off the cards.

Although it hasn’t axed the WRX STI name just yet, the marque said ‘…a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new Subaru WRX platform.’ Subaru confirmed it is ‘exploring opportunities’ for next generation models including electrification, with the recent STI E-RA Challenge Project concept offering some indication as to its direction.

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Unlike some brands in recent years, it’s clear that Subaru understands the iconic status the nameplate has garnered over its two-decade lifetime. Subaru added: ‘The Subaru WRX STI and the STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru’s performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru’s unique DNA and rally heritage. As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles.’

Sam Jenkins

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