Auto for Impreza STI only
SUBARU is, well . . . being Subaru again. The Japanese company has just announced it will add an automatic to its fiery, rally-bred Impreza WRX STI range.
But in typical Subaru fashion it has no plans to introduce an automatic version of the WRX itself.
You’d think there would be more demand for the latter, but Subaru says it does not have a suitable transmission available.
The WRX was last offered as an automatic back in 2005, but was withdrawn due to lack of demand.
Back then it accounted for just 6 per cent of sales.
Since then however the market has come full circle, especially in the high peformance $60,000 plus segment. Now 80-90 per cent of the vehicles sold in this segment are autos.
Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior said the revised sedan and hatchback Impreza WRX STIs will add the option of a five-speed automatic transmission.
“We saw an opportunity of incremental sales and decided to take it to appeal to the 60K segment,” he said.
The auto is the same five-speed unit that has been offered with the A-line STI in Japan for the last year.
Mr Senior said the transmission would reflect the performance and engineering values of STI to produce a fantastic driver’s car that will expand its appeal to a wider audience. The STI will also continue to be offered with a six-speed manual.
Unveiled at the New York International Auto Show this year, revised Impreza WRX STI sedan and hatch are due to go on sale during the last quarter of 2010.
Pricing and full specifications will be announced at the time of the launch.