Bat­tle of the bulges

The Rex is now an even meaner ma­chine, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

THE Rex is back with a body to match its bite. Subaru has given fans of the cult bud­get blaster a huge boost by fill­ing out the WRX with the same bulging body as the even faster STI.

The Rex now looks like a mean ma­chine with a pumped-out front and rear wheel arches and has the added ben­e­fit of a larger foot­print and ex­tra sta­bil­ity be­cause the wheels sit out fur­ther.

Value

EVEN bet­ter is the fact that Subaru has man­aged to keep the en­try price for the all-wheel-drive sling­shot pegged at $39,990, the same amount the first WRX cost in 1994.

Subaru has also worked some magic on the STI range-top­per by bring­ing back a sedan ver­sion and fit­ting it with a great big wing, a move that should please the young at heart.

It has also in­tro­duced an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, the first time a self­shifter has been of­fered with an STI.

Subaru’s boffins have also fid­dled with the STI’s sus­pen­sion to sharpen its han­dling.

No change has been made to the en­gines, though the au­to­matic STI has a dif­fer­ent tune.

A handy $2000 has been chopped off the en­try price of the man­ual ver­sion, which drops to $59,990.

Technology

THE stan­dard WRX runs a 2.5-litre four-cylin­der boxer with a turbo on top that helps make 195kW and 343Nm of torque.

It has vari­able valve tim­ing, but only for the in­take camshafts.

It’s avail­able only with a five-speed man­ual, which is linked to a per­ma­nent all-wheel-drive sys­tem with an open-front dif­fer­en­tial and a rear limited slip diff.

The gap be­tween the wheels (the track) is now 35mm wider at the front and 40mm wider at the rear, which helps with sta­bil­ity, and each tyre is 10mm wider. Subaru has also fid­dled with the rear sus­pen­sion to im­prove agility.

It sits on stylish new 17-inch al­loy wheels, which are lighter than those they re­place.

The STI runs a 2.5-litre boxer four

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