2022 Subaru WRX prototype spotted, wears production body?

Brett Davis

The all-new, 2022 Subaru WRX has been spotted in prototype form, testing on the roads in Japan. This is the first time we’ve been able to see what looks to be a full-bodied test mule of the next-gen sports sedan.

Subaru’s current WRX is getting a bit long in the tooth now, having debuted in its fifth-generation form back in 2014. It is now the last model in the company’s showroom to be built on an old platform. All models, including the recently-revealed second-gen Levorg, have since switched to the modern ‘Subaru Global Platform’. And that includes the latest Impreza.

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As previewed by these spy shots, first published by creative311, the new model looks like it will take some design inspiration from the latest Impreza and the new Levorg. However, some cues also seem to be borrowed from the VIZIV Performance concept that debuted in 2017, particularly towards the rear and the defined wheel arch contour.

The 2022 WRX is expected to grow in size from the outgoing model, similar to how the new platform brought increased dimensions for the Impreza. This should translate to more passenger space and cargo volume. The new platform is also set to bring improvements to chassis rigidity and driving dynamics, and a decent step up in advanced safety tech.

Under the bonnet, the new model is likely to be powered by the company’s new 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine. This unit, codenamed the FA24F, is an evolution of the current FA20 2.0-litre turbo that produces 197kW and 350Nm in the WRX. In the new Liberty, the FA24F develops 194kW and 376Nm – the Australian arm recently confirmed it is axing the Liberty from the local lineup.

It’s unknown if these outputs will carry straight over from the Liberty/Legacy, or if Subaru will tweak the engine slightly for a bespoke tune for the next WRX. Even if not, the increased torque should provide a healthy improvement in low-end response and cross country performance.

As far as we know Subaru will begin producing the new WRX during the third quarter of 2021, with the next-gen WRX STI set to roll out from the factory a year later.

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