2011 Subaru WRX STI

2011 Subaru WRX STI

We saw the redesigned 2012 Subaru Impreza make its world debut last April at the 2011 New York Auto Show but the model we’re most interested in, the Impreza WRX, was nowhere to be seen. That’s because Subaru has major plans for the next iteration of its cult classic WRX and this time the car won’t be derived from any econo compact car.

The biggest change, according to an inside source who spoke to Motor Trend, is that Subaru will be dropping the Impreza tag from the name of its new WRX to convey that the car will be its own model, distinct enough to stand alone. There’s even a chance that it won’t even be called a WRX.

“Apart from a few nuts and bolts, every part on the WRX will be unique--even the engine and body. Obviously the WRX’s platform will be inherited from the new Impreza, but it will be radically modified and significantly shortened,” the source revealed.

The car is being designed from the ground up to be unique, getting its own bodywork, interior and drivetrain. The key reason is that previous Imprezas were over-engineered to be suitable for the WRX model. This drove up costs and wasn’t appreciated by the mainstream customers looking at buying the entry-level Impreza.

A symmetrical all-wheel drive system and turbocharged boxer engine will remain, however.

The bad news is that this has pushed the release date of the next-generation WRX until 2014. However, next year Subaru is set to launch its version of the new rear-wheel drive sports car it is jointly developing with Toyota. For more information on this model, click here.

[Motor Trend]