Next-Gen Subaru WRX STI Likely To Be Plug-In Hybrid


The change wouldn’t require Subaru to abandon its venerable all-wheel-drive layout.

The next-generation Subaru WRX STI will lose its 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine in favor of a more efficient powertrain, which will likely force a switch to a plug-in hybrid setup. David Dello Stritto, the company’s sales and marketing manager in Europe, told Autocar the existing mill “can simply not exist in the future.”

Dello Stritto only offered vague details about the STI’s future powertrain.

“Subaru is looking carefully at market developments and makes its future plan with this information in mind,” he told Autocar.

The next-generation Subaru WRX STI will lose its 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine in favor of a more efficient powertrain, which will likely force a switch to a plug-in hybrid setup.

However, rumors have heavily hinted at Subaru electrifying the future STI. The drivetrain would allegedly comprise a motor-driven rear axle, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine turning the front wheels. This solution allows the company to maintain its famous all-wheel-drive setup while adapting to future efficiency regulations. And since this will be a performance-oriented vehicle, naturally the setup will be of the plug-in hybrid variety and not the more laid back hybrid (no plug) setup.

The new WRX and STI won’t arrive until 2020 and will switch to the Subaru Global Platform. With the current Impreza as a guide, the change will likely result in better rigidity and lower weight for the high-performance models.

The new design will likely takes cues from the smoother shape of the recent Viziv Performance Concept. The concept’s extensive use of carbon fiber likely won’t make it to the road, though.

Updated information here

Source: Autocar

Categories: Subaru


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17 Comments on "Next-Gen Subaru WRX STI Likely To Be Plug-In Hybrid"

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Just make it an EV already!!


Subaru – a performance sedan PHEV? wrong vehicle. An Outback or Crosstrek AWD PHEV or BEV would be a west-coast home-run. Everyone green and outdoorsy in California, Oregon and Washington who isn’t driving an EV or a Prius is driving an Outback or Crosstrek.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


PHEV is so 2016….. 😛


And Colorado


A PHEV Crosstrek or Outback would be high on desired list.


I agree but am not sure the PHEV is correct…


Subaru is great for:
1. Winter driving
2. Towing
3. Mountain climbing
4. Road trips to remote places
5. Cold weather
All bad for BEV. Put a 17kWh battery on PHEV and call it a day.


This has been and continues to be typical strategy for automakers. Release a low sales volume electrified vehicle that won’t compete against their gas guzzling high profit margin vehicles. No surprise here.


Subaru is so 2016 ‼️


… and selling more in 2017 even as the overall market is shrinking. This year they’ll almost certainly overtake Kia to move to 8th in US sales and will be close to Hyundai for 7th.

AWD PHEV will sell well. We’ll see that when the Outlander finally arrives.


Ah…a rumor of a rumor of a plan.

The WRX’s have bad fuel efficiency for a small car (23 mpg) which is fair as they are a performance car that no one is buying for fuel efficiency.

Making the WRX (or any performance car) electric makes little sense as the people buying EV’s want low/zero emissions.

Better to take Subaru’s most fuel efficient care, the 30 mpg Impreza and add plug-in hybrid capability for an AWD car that was marketed to those looking to lower emissions.

What would be interesting would be an AWD snow test of Tesla Model 3 vs. Subaru Legacy. Subaru has the best AWD system on any ICE vehicle and see how it compares against the best EV system. Unless Subaru’s AWD system is superior to the EV system in snow performance, Subaru’s overall marketing position is in danger because it is built on AWD.


There is many excellent AWD systems on the market but I hardly think Subaru’s ithe best.

Where did you come up with that?


In snow test Subaru crushed Honda, Audi, Toyota and Jeep.


Electric drive trains make perfect sense for a performance oriented car (see Tesla Roadster 2.0). It also makes sense for Subaru to go after their vehicles that have the lowest mpg, because it helps them meet their fleet level efficiency requirements easier than adding a few mpg to their already efficient cars like the Impreza.

Chester Koenig

You win with this comment.

I’m not sure if anyone else commenting actually read this part of the article: “David Dello Stritto, the company’s sales and marketing manager in Europe, told Autocar the existing mill “can simply not exist in the future.”


Nah, they just reclassify some of the cars as trucks… Legacy and Outback were (maybe still are) the exact same parts (all the way down to body panels) with different suspension bits.


Just the opposite actually. They get credit for average FLEET mileage so a 10 mpg saving in a larger volume sales Impreza gets Subaru a lot more fleet miles.

On top of that, the WRX is inherently energy inefficient so the same tech applied to the WRX vs. the Impresa will get a much higher return, again more fleet miles.

It might be the heavier framed Outback would Subaru’s best PHEV bet. The heavier suspension could absorb the most battery weight and the Outback is not too bad at 27 mpg base. Hybrid driving would get to 35 mpg and an all EV range of 25 so the morning commute of 30 miles would be at 100+ mpg.

The 25 miles EV takes a bite out of even a 135 mile ski trip and then hybrid the rest of the way. It would be a nice car that would cut an Outback’s emissions by 50-75% depending on the person’s driving pattern.