Wings and roundabouts
Here’s a sneak peek at the new Rex — or maybe not
THIS is the all-new Subaru WRX. Or is it?
This heavily disguised Subaru prototype has been spotted lapping the Nurburgring in Germany and has raised far more questions than it answers.
It’s definitely more clunky looking than the edgy WRX concept car unveiled recently at the New York auto show, and the mishmash of body bits— and even an STI rear wing— raise some doubts about its relationship to the final WRX production car that will be ready for the road later this year.
It’s also hard to balance Subaru’s claims that the new WRX moves away from a body shared with the four-door Impreza against the sedan-like look of the test car.
But Subaru Australia is planning for the arrival of the new WRX and company boss, Nick Senior, makes one promise.
‘‘ The critical component of the WRX— and it has been since day one— is that it provides an exhilarating drive. That was and always has been in the brief and we’ve never failed to deliver on that,’’ he says after seeing the WRX production car at Fuji Heavy Industries in Japan.
Senior is guarded on the look of the upcoming hero, and the car lapping the Nurburgring.
‘‘ FHI’s intention has always been to differentiate newgeneration WRX from Impreza, and the newgeneration car will reflect that intention,’’ he says. ‘‘ As with any new interpretation of an iconic product, it must continue to appeal to those that contributed to the success. For us, that means a vehicle that will continue to resonate with the more than 25,000 passionate and enthusiastic customers. Our core.’’
The Carparazzi crew that caught the Subaru in Germany is strong on their interpretation of the new look.
‘‘ The styling of the car isn’t as dramatic as what we saw on the New York concept, although there are clear similarities between the two, particularly in regards to the lights and elements such as the fender vents, grille and the aforementioned diffuser. If you squint a little there’s even a resemblance to the legendary WRX models of the 1990s,’’ Carparazzi says.
‘‘ Sadly, the production version gets a conventional sedan body with a taller roof and narrower fenders than that found on the concept, and its side mirrors are mounted to the doors instead of on the A-pillar. Finally, the lower air intakes are also much smaller than those on the concept.’’
But there is some hope for WRX tragics.
‘‘ Look a little closer and there are some elements that suggest this may be a prototype for the even more extreme STI version of the new 2014 WRX.
‘‘ The most obvious sign is the giant rear wing, which shares a design with wings found on past WRXSTI models including the current 2013 one. There’s also a slightly toned-down version of the aggressive rear diffuser we saw on the WRX concept as well as wheels that almost completely fill out their arches.’’