Advanced Tourer Concept has a secret — it’s the next WRX
prototype of the highly anticipated next-generation WRX.
This artist’s impression from our mates at Holiday Auto magazine accompanies what we have been able to glean from a Subaru insider about the company’s all-new flagship sports car.
Firstly, the car will get similar headlights, airdam, grille and front brake ducts that we see on the Advanced Tourer Concept.
Its side profile also resembles the Tourer, while the new WRX incorporates far more aggressive front and rear-wheel arches and fenders. We can expect a five-door wagon and sedan.
When Subaru tried to appeal to a wider audience by softening up its 2008 WRX, it was universally panned. This planted the seed for the radical decision to totally divorce Impreza from WRX.
The WRX employs a heavily modified Impreza platform, but dispenses altogether with the suffix Impreza.
Product planners resolved to redefine the WRX from a raw cult hero into a more mature, sporty grand tourer with higher interior quality but with suspension to satisfy hardcore fans.
Our insider confirms Subaru is testing new FA series 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre boxer direct injection turbo engines and a 1.6-litre turbo with hybrid— the Advanced Tourer Concept’s powertrain.
The R&D team is said to be satisfied with the hybrid’s mileage and emissions but others feel is adds unwanted weight. There are some engineers who support the hybrid idea, our source says. Despite using Toyota componentry, the ‘‘ hybrid unit we are using is a far lighter (lighter than Toyota’s THS-II) single-clutch design developed in-house’’.
He says the thinking is to channel the hybrid powertrain away from the WRX and into the all-new 2015 Legacy/ Liberty. That will also incorporate a choice of the standard six-speed manual transmission or a new CVT.
Our man adds that an even hotter STI should surface in 2015. It is to employ a 240kwplus 2.0-litre turbo and compete in THEWTCC and the Nurburgring 24-hours, in which the current model recorded a dramatic class win last year.