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With the introduction of every new Subaru Impreza, the focus will invariably turn towards the inevitable go-faster WRX and WRX STI variants that will come. To that end, rendering wizard Theophilus Chin has worked his magic to envision what a next-generation ‘Rex – based on the latest Impreza – will look like.

Theo prefaced his renders by saying that he prefers a more subtle approach to the styling of high-performance vehicle, and admits that fans might prefer a more outlandish version that would suit the brand. His attempts do reflect his comments, with the front end only embellished by a bonnet scoop, as well as a front spoiler reminiscent of the latest facelifted BRZ.

At the rear, there’s a bootlid lip spoiler, as well as a diffuser (replete with twin exhaust exits) that has also been borrowed from the BRZ; the multispoke wheels and Brembo brakes, meanwhile, have been taken off the BRZ Performance Package/GT models.

It has to be noted that the current WRX and WRX STI models sport slightly different front and rear ends from the standard Impreza, so expect the new model to also feature reshaped head- and tail lights and grille, fatter wheel arches, faux fender vents and quad tailpipes to match. Oh, and a massive trademark goalpost-style rear wing in the case of the STI.

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Expect the WRX to feature an evolution of the 2.0 litre FA20 turbocharged flat-four with direct injection, which in the current car develops 264 hp and 350 Nm. Transmission choices should remain, consisting of either a six-speed manual or a Lineartronic CVT.

On the other hand, Subaru will likely ditch the current STI’s older 2.5 litre EJ25 turbo flat-four – which at present makes 296 hp and 407 Nm – and move to an uprated version of the WRX’s newer DI mill. The most high-performance version should be made available exclusively with a six-speed manual.

Both models should get Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with Active Torque Vectoring, as well as Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) that manages power delivery and throttle response. The STI is also expected to retain its multi-mode Driver’s Control Centre Differential (DCCD) that allows the driver to adjust the torque distribution between the front and rear wheels.

Of course, there’s also the outside possibility of both cars using – shock, horror – a hybrid powertrain instead, ditching all that mechanical goodness mentioned earlier for an electric motor on the rear axle and a dual-clutch transmission managing the power. Sacrilege, perhaps, but with the Honda NSX already setting the tone for hybrid Japanese sports cars and its rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, likely to be reincarnated as a petrol-electric SUV, it’s something that definitely cannot be discounted.