It’s the end of an era. For three decades cars branded with Subaru Technica International’s initials have graced Subaru’s top performance cars. However, Subaru has announced that it will officially cease production of gasoline-powered WRX STI cars. It’s an immediate stop, and the current WRX, which debuted last year, will not be getting an STI variant.
Subaru does leave the door open for other STI cars that are powered by an electrified drivetrain, though no concrete plans were divulged. The full press release is as follows:
As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).
As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification. In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.
The Subaru WRX STI and the STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru’s performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru’s unique DNA and rally heritage. As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles.
Even as recently as January, Subaru had shown an STI concept based on the latest WRX at the Tokyo Auto Salon. At the same event, it also displayed an electric STI E-RA concept, though it seemed much more distant from production. Times are changing, and it seems those lucky few who were able to get one of the final hand-built EJ20 cars will have something very special to hold on to.
Honestly I’m not even mad about this. I’ve owned a Legacy GT, a Bugeye WRX, and currently own a VA WRX. The people that want these cars more often than not don’t buy them new yet shout the loudest for them being available (especially the GR hatch fanboys…). I’d love to buy a hybrid STi in the future, but if it goes full electric as well I wouldn’t mind that either. Would love to have my eventual electric car purchase go to a manufacturer that actually builds cars rather than a tech company passing off their shoddy products as $40,000 cars.
They should go hydrogen like Toyota, so you don’t have to spend 45 minutes at a recharging station every 200 miles or whatever.
Surely you’d want an EV for the short bursts of torque a performance model requires… I couldn’t imagine needing to drive an WRX STI over 200 miles very often.
Japan was the home of futuristic technology in the 80’s and 90’s, but Silicon Valley have stolen their thunder for the last 20 years. I can’t wait to see more Japanese “full” EVs, from the likes of Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Mazda etc. I want to see that long lost Japanese futurism baked in to the designs, models that ooze Japanese flavour. Strobing neons. GPS voiced by a Japanese girl. Robot arm to hold the tofu water. Make it look like something out of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Honda E is the closest yet, but still too reserved, turn it up to 11!
It’s been effectively dead in some Euro markets for a long time due to the punitive costs associated with its CO2 levels so if an EV is the only way to bring back the WRX, then it’s better than no WRX.