Big Apple show car gives the faithful something to chew on
FULL-SCALE preparations are under way for the Subaru hero that will drive the brand forward to 2020 in Australia. Just don’t ask about the price.
The all-new WRX promises everything from greater punch to better economy and quality, all wrapped in a body that is creating headlines following its unveiling at the New York motor show.
The first cars will be delivered by June next year. Company boss Nick Senior tells Carsguide the Australian reaction has been big.
‘‘ There are blogs and forums, but people are still going to wait to see the final car,’’ he says. ‘‘ We don’t get involved with pre-orders but there is a lot of interest.’’
Senior says the Big Apple show car is almost identical to the production car but the four-door is expected to gain headroom at the expense of the coupe-style roofline.
‘‘ The excitement and the elements of design are all there. There are some obvious things that will be missing, like the (concept’s) small mirrors and carbon-fibre roof, but the factory has always produced a sporty replacement for the existing model,’’ Senior says.
The fourth-generation WRX’s pricetag needs to fall below $40,000 but Senior says:
‘‘ There is still a long time to go before we even get to specifications and pricing.’’
Among the WRX developments may be downsized turbo engines, the end of the two-door— and even wagon versions of what will be a unique body, not shared with the Impreza. Senior has his own wish-list. ‘‘ From a performance point of view, it’s still got to be true to the core (yet) broaden the appeal,’’ he says. ‘‘ We’d like to see changes to the interior, particularly for the STI.’’
Senior says the new WRX has plenty of showroom potential and will be a cornerstone for a range that runs from the BRZ sports car to the Forester.
‘‘ We are seeing a bit of a renaissance in sporty and performance cars,’’ he says.
‘‘ That’s the direction I very much want them to take. We have a unique opportunity and unique position in Australia.
‘‘ The SUV category is growing stronger and the sports categories are also growing stronger. We see that increasing in the next 5-10 years. We’d like to have those sporty models available.’’
And what about a variant with a 1.6-litre hybrid drive package? ‘‘ Definitely not.’’