Subaru of America Inc. has just unleashed the 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI. The outgoing model was originally introduced back in 2014.
Changes are mostly cosmetic, though Subaru is keen to point out that improvements are extensive. Under the hood is the identical 2.0-litre flat-four that pumps out 268 hp for the WRX and 2.5-litre flat-four that does 305-hp for the hotter WRX STI.
For the 2018 model year, the Subaru WRX receives revised front and rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort without sacrificing cornering capabilities. WRX models equipped with the six-speed manual gets a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. On top of that, Subaru says that the Electric Power Steering (EPS) has been revised to deliver smoother turns and more natural feel.
The hotter Subaru WRX STI on the other hand, carries over the same suspension tuning as the WRX. Subaru’s DCCD AWD system now uses electronic control for quicker response, replacing the older combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control. The 2018 Subaru WRX STI also receives the model’s first-ever 19-inch wheels with 245/35R19 rubbers all round.
Elsewhere, the MY18 WRX STI also stops better courtesy of significantly upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System that utilizes monoblock 6-piston calipers in front and monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear. Additionally, the drilled rotors are now larger than the outgoing model, coupled with improved brake pads, drastically improves braking feel and fade resistance. The STI variant also comes with Recaro seats.
The company is also offering a new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium, adding Recaro 8-way power seats, red brake calipers and JURID brake pads. The Performance package also removes the moonroof to further save weight.
Moving inside, all MY18 WRX and WRX STI models receive upgraded interior materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, revised interior door handles and faster remote boot opening. In an effort to improve NVH, Subaru has engineered thicker door glass, revised door sealing and included a foam-filled windshield header beam.
The multi-function display is also larger than before, measuring in at 5.9-inch versus 4.3-inch of the predecessor. The WRX Limited gets power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment as well. As for the base WRX, this model now receives heated exterior mirrors, which was already standard on other models. The WRX Premium now gets a Subaru Starlink 7.0-inch infotainment system.
Safety wise, the Subaru WRX and WRX STI now boasts a revised front structure that improves frontal collision performance. When equipped with the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, the Subaru WRX Limited gets Vehicle Hold (AVH) and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM).