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Next-generation Subaru WRX STI may put out 400 HP, report says

While this means saying goodbye to the tried-and-true EJ20 engine, we have an idea of where that power may come from.

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Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

The next WRX STI should look something like this.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

In a world increasingly devoid of affordable performance cars, we salute the Subaru WRX STI. For under $40,000, no, buyers aren't getting the flashiest interior, but they are getting one hell of a sport sedan.

Yet, it's about time for the WRX STI's overhaul, and Forbes reported this past Saturday that the long wait for the car's next generation may be over soon. Citing sources close to the project, Forbes said the new model will be a 400-horsepower WRX STI -- a huge jump in power compared with the current Japanese-spec car, which makes 304 hp.

To be clear, those of us in North America aren't treated to the EJ20, but instead, receive a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four, called the EJ25. Our power plant makes 310 hp.

This reported power increase doesn't come from any voodoo surrounding the beloved turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer-four EJ20 engine, though. Instead, there's something new entirely under the hood. It's none other than the 2.4-liter boxer-four engine complete with a turbocharger, titled the FA24, found in the Ascent family hauler. There, it makes just 260 hp.

The sources said Subaru engineers have overhauled this engine for WRX STI duties, though. A reinforced crankshaft and pistons and more boost pressure are reportedly part of the package that will send the power figure to at least 400 hp. It all sounds delightful to me.

Meanwhile, the standard WRX will, according to the report, stay the course with the 2.5-liter turbo-four until a new car is ready for some time after 2021. No word on what may power the WRX STI's milder sibling, though it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to imagine a detuned version of this 2.4-liter engine as a final choice.

We could see the new car finally make its debut late this year as a 2021 model, but we'll have to wait for Subaru to make things official. The automaker did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment surrounding this news.

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Originally published Feb. 25.