The Subaru Impreza sedan and 5-door concepts shown at the 2015 Los Angeles and Tokyo auto shows preview the Japanese automaker's new styling direction for its next-generation models, including the WRX and STI variants. Now we hear the next Subaru WRX STI could feature a hybrid powertrain, according to motoroing.com.au.
Based on the automaker's new Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the next WRX STI will use a 2.0-liter FA20 boxer flat-four engine mated to an electric motor. The new powertrain is expected to make around 326 hp or about 21 hp more than the current U.S. model's turbocharged 2.5-liter EJ257 engine. A new all-wheel-drive system will feature a "motor-drive" on the rear axle, according to the report.
The automaker's first six-speed automated dual-clutch manual transmission is said to back the hybrid powertrain. Subaru hopes to add power and improve fuel economy with the new powertrain. Additionally, the rumor suggests a plug-in hybrid version of the WRX STI is also in the works.
Subaru's SGP architecture is designed to incorporate battery packs and electric motors. While the next WRX STI is expected to share a platform with Impreza models, the high-performance model could feature larger fender flares, carbon fiber air ducts, rear diffuser, and the requisite larger rear wing.
The report suggests the next Subaru WRX STI hybrid will go on sale for the 2017 model year while the plug-in concept model will be shown at the 2018 Tokyo auto show.