Subaru Ditches the WRX STI… For Now, at Least

A new version of this beloved performance car, one based on the redesigned WRX, will not be offered. A next-gen model could be electrified, though.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Electrification is kind of a big deal in the automotive business right now, in case you haven't noticed. Practically every car company from Acura to Volvo is hard at work developing new battery-powered models, and this includes Subaru, that curiously contrarian Japanese brand.

Known for its love of all-wheel drive and boxer-style engines, the company released a distressing statement on Friday about the future of its beloved WRX STI performance car. Basically, Subaru isn't going to offer a new version of this nameplate, though it hints that it may offer an electrified model in the future.

"Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification," the company said. "In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform." Welp, thanks for being a Debbie Downer, Subaru.

Electric cars aren't perfect and they certainly aren't for everyone, at least right now, but they do offer real benefits, including ground-pounding performance. A battery-powered WRX STI is an intriguing idea, but the death of the internal combustion-powered variant is still incredibly sad news.

For reference, the 2021 model features a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that cranks out a healthy 310 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. All that twisty goodness gets routed to the pavement through a six-speed manual transmission and an advanced all-wheel-drive system. The car offers strong performance and enough grip to manage that stable of ponies.

Subaru is pumping the brakes on its next-generation WRX STI for obvious reasons. The company is working to meet regulatory requirements for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy, among other things. Even though this exciting nameplate is sidelined (for the time being, at least), Subaru recognizes its importance. "As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles."

As for a fully electric WRX STI, if and when it's ever introduced, let's hope it'll be worth the wait.

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