2018 Subaru WRX and STI get visual, drive updates

2018 Subaru WRX and STI get visual, drive updates

Looks good doesn’t it, with that new aggressive bumper? This is the 2018 Subaru WRX and 2018 WRX STI, which has been revealed in the US. The performance duo will reach American dealers this spring.

Besides the new lower bumper sporting larger air intakes, the latest WRX and STI also come with a more pronounced grille design. The WRX Limited and all STIs feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights that help shine into corners. The whole family gets new roof rack mounting brackets.

The WRX, shown in red here, is powered by a 268 hp 2.0L turbo boxer engine, paired to the brand’s symmetrical AWD and Active Torque Vectoring. It comes standard with a six-speed manual and the Sport Lineartronic CVT auto as an option.

2018 Subaru WRX and STI get visual, drive updates

New for model year 2018 is new front/rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort, while retaining cornering ability. Subaru has also ‘significantly enhanced’ shifter feel for the stick, with a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. The car’s EPS steering has been revised to provide a smoother, more natural feel; while integrating the steering motor and ECU reduces weight.

A new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium features Recaro eight-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers, upgraded Jurid brake pads and the deletion of the moonroof to reduce weight. The standard 18-inch wheels feature a nice new double-spoke design.

The 2018 WRX STI has gone through a ‘comprehensive handling enhancement’, Subaru says. The 305 hp 2.5L turbo boxer sedan includes the revised suspension tuning from the WRX, plus a revised DCCD AWD system, upgraded brakes and this model’s first-ever standard 19-inch wheels.

The DCCD system, which previously used a combination of mechanical and electronic centre LSD control, now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response. The 19-inch alloys feature a striking Y-shaped spoke design and carry 245/35 tyres that improve cornering performance, and stance.

The yellow brake calipers identify a significantly upgraded Brembo system that now uses stronger monoblock six-piston calipers in front, monoblock two-piston calipers in the rear and larger, drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. New brake pads provide greater surface area for improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also offers the Recaro seats from the WRX Performance Pack, standard on STI Limited, optional for base trim.

Styling and performance upgrades aside, all models feature upgraded cabin materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips and faster remote trunk opening. Thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam reduce noise. There’s also a new, larger multi-function display – 5.9-inch from 4.3-inch.

2018 Subaru WRX and STI get visual, drive updates

WRX Limited models now feature power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment. The standard WRX adds heated exterior mirrors (standard on higher trims), while the WRX Premium gets a Subaru Starlink 7.0-inch multimedia unit, up from 6.2″.

Lastly, Subaru revised the front structure of the cars for enhanced frontal collision performance. The WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight driver assist tech, now features Vehicle Hold (AVH) and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor.

The latter uses LED indicators to display EyeSight status and alerts on the windscreen, allowing the driver to see them without taking eyes off the road. AVH, which replaces Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions, holds the car on all angles and not only inclines.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • passion on Jan 06, 2017 at 11:54 am

    gorgeous car. but price not so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • The dash is lame

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8
  • Superb car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Jan 06, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    the engine performance is really so-so for 2016, plus they should give the ej20 which revs better than the rather lethargic ej25

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Had a rental 2015 NA Impreza during my trip in US couple of years ago. Was only let down by the ‘less-engaging’ CVT but otherwise its one of the best everyday Japanese family sedans I would want in my porch.

    Pity that Motor Image’s high pricing here plus lack of options and SCs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • motorimageX on Jan 06, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    The question will be will our solely MI bring this new WRX STI in MY this year and if the price remain the same or below 300K? Wanted to replace my old loyal reliable Toyotacar.

    Even now the nissan teana is still not the new one….sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • for me no need for the sti..i just hope they will bring in the manual wrx but i know that will never happen..or they swap the cvt with the more engaging torque converter transmission..also will never happen

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Mikey on Jan 06, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Subaru is know for its rich history in Rallying. The world famous Subaru World Rally Team 555(in Blue) is well known in the 90’s.

    It has won the manufacturers’ championship 3 times in 1995, 1996, 1997 & the drivers’ championship 3 times, in 1995, 2001 & 2003.

    That is history now. The current WRX/STI looks handsome & have all the latest Gizmos & tech BUT loose out to the Europeans in terms of marketing, Horse Power & Image.

    The Europeans competed with huge financial resources & manpower in WRC with smaller & lighter car while the Scooby & Mitsu Evo looses out Bcos they cannot compete with limited $$$ & hence loose the Battle & War.
    For more info, check out Wikipedia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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