Battle of the bulges
The Rex is now an even meaner machine, writes James Stanford
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.
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.
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