Subaru stun­ner

Ad­vanced Tourer Con­cept has a se­cret — it’s the next WRX

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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.

Il­lus­tra­tion:

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