There are few vehicles that turn heads on the road like the 2018 Subaru WRX, and the company has made sure to meet the high bar they have set over the years with the World Rally Experiment performance vehicle.
Subaru’s turbocharged Boxer engine and legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive need no explaining, as they’ve already cemented their status as some of the industry’s most technologically advanced and high performing features.
But since its cult classic status is already well established, you’re probably wondering what’s new in the 2018 Subaru WRX. To be fair, it’s mostly an update, but you can be confident this iconic car still delivers. The 2018 WRX Premium offers 197kW of power and 350Nm of torque from its revered turbocharged 2.0 litre flat-four Boxer engine, for a claimed 0-100 km/h acceleration in 6.0 seconds and a 240 km/h v-max. The intercooled twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection made for smooth torque delivery, although you won’t get the full enjoyment of this vehicle until you hit the 5000 rpm range.
The biggest changes in the 2018 WRX are mostly aesthetic, sporting a new front and rear end with some flashy black trim. The menacing from bumper is fairly high off the ground compared to previous models, which certainly helps when cautiously approaching speed bumps. Fearsome red brake calipers complete the look of this aggressive-looking sports car.
The premium trim includes redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, a 440-watt Harmon Kardon premium audio system, sunroof and a reversing camera. But because the manual transmission vehicle only comes in a six-speed manual transmission, it lacks Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology, which only comes in vehicles with Subaru’s Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). That means no adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning or autonomous emergency braking.
The 2018 WRX is not based on Subaru’s new global platform, which is still several years away. But it still sits on the same chassis that has made it the World Rally Experiment racecar known around the world. The 2.0-litre turbo petrol 4-cylinder in the engine in the WRX still puts its competitors to shame, consuming about 8.6 litres/100 km. The Subaru Boxer engine offers quick acceleration and superior performance to smaller turbo engines in most cars. It is truly an example of engineering at its finest.
One of the unique features that set the Subaru Boxer engine from its competitors is it lies flat across the engine bay rather than standing up vertically. As a result, it has a lower centre of gravity, which helps with steering, responsiveness and suspension. It’s also safer in the event of a collision.
The easiest way to describe the Subaru WRX is that it's aimed at a vehicle enthusiast who wants race car experience while still owning a practical, stylish car with broad appeal. It offers an impressive blend of speed, handling, and rapid acceleration, while still being able to meet the day-to-day needs of driving along Australia’s windy roads and busy city streets. But make no mistake - the WRX is a vehicle defined by its engine, which could come across as overwhelming to motorists used to a smaller sedan. But the way the Asymmetrical All-Wheel Drive and finely-tuned suspension respond to the steering wheel show this is still a car that stands in a class of its own. The best part of it all is the WRX turbo engine offers tremendous power and acceleration even at low speeds - meaning you won’t have to rack up speeding tickets to enjoy this premium sports vehicle.