The Subaru WRX and the WRX STI are both known for being street-legal rally weapons that can out-perform quite a few cars that cost significantly more money. Traditionally, neither car has offered much in the way of creature comforts, instead putting the R&D budget to use on the parts that improve handling.
It’s a simple approach that’s worked for years, but if Autralia’s Motoring is to be believed, the next-generation WRX STI is about to get a a lot more complicated because it’s going hybrid.
Supposedly, the need to drastically improve fuel economy is behind the decision. Subaru is reportedly working on a way to pair the 2.0-liter turbo four in the WRX with an electric motor to bring total power up to around 320 horsepower.
The new car’s all-wheel drive system could also receive an update, using electric motors to drive the rear wheels. A new dual-clutch transmission is reportedly in the works, as well. Finally, Subaru is also looking into offering a plug-in hybrid version of the new STI.
As always, these are very much rumors and should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt, but we’re beginning to see hybrids become the norm in performance cars, so this wouldn’t be a huge shock if it came to fruition.
It may sound heretical to turn the STI into a hybrid, but assuming Subaru keeps the price from spiraling out of control, the torque from the electric motors could make for one seriously fun-to-drive economy car.