In 2007, Subaru filed a patent application for an electrically-powered turbocharger unit. Subaru’s parent, Fuji Heavy Industries, is reportedly working on a way to generate electricity from the heat energy of exhaust gasses, which could revolutionize forced induction if perfected.

As Australia’s Drive points out, such a system would eliminate complicated turbocharger plumbing and would yield a more linear power delivery by eliminating turbo lag. For now, at least, Subaru isn’t saying much, calling it the latest of many rumors surrounding the next WRX and WRX STI.

Don’t look for confirmation of any details until Subaru is ready to show concept versions of the cars, whenever that may be. The Current WRX and WRX STI models sat out the recent redesign of the Impreza, further proof that Subaru is distancing future WRX models from the Impreza family tree.

It’s reasonable to expect, then, that the next generation of WRX and WRX STI models will carry significantly different styling than the new Impreza models. Like the new Impreza, however, future WRX models may carry smaller engines (with comparable or better output than current models) in the interest of fuel economy.

There’s speculation that the next-gen WRX series could be offered with both a six-speed manual and a CVT, but we’ll file that in the “we certainly hope not” category. It’s bad enough that CVTs are replacing automatic transmissions in commuter cars, but we’re simply incapable of using “CVT” and “sports car” in the same sentence.