For now, Subaru is calling the little sports coupe on display at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center a “concept,’ but what you see is almost certain to be what you get – with only the most subtle tweaks – once the next-generation Subaru WRX goes into production for 2014.
The WRX is not only the halo car for the Subaru brand but a benchmark for the “rice-burner” market that includes such competitors as the Honda Civic Si and Mitsubishi Evo, so Subaru has a lot riding on the new model.
The Subaru WRX Concept’s design is meant to emphasize the show car’s turbocharged power and all-wheel-drive grip while adopting a more agile and athletic form. But some of the biggest changes aren’t immediately visible, Subaru putting an emphasis on reducing the performance coupe’s overall weight and lowering its center of gravity.
The new model sits lower and is also sleeker and wider, measuring 178 inches in overall length, 74.4 inches wide and 54.7 inches tall, while the wheelbase comes in at 108.7 inches.
Curiously, while Subaru makes mention of a “new turbocharged engine and intercooler,” the maker is holding back details, likely waiting for the unveiling of the actual production WRX later this year.
One of the more significant features on the Subaru WRX Concept is the use of a carbon fiber roof, which contributes much to the lightweighting of the new model. It remains to be seen, of course, whether Subaru will make any significant use of the light but extremely costly material when the WRX actually goes into production.
Along with the improvements in weight, performance and handling, a key goal of the redesign is to give the WRX more of street presence than previous generations, according to Subaru’s designers.
The new grille design is larger and bolder and sets off the classic WRX hood scoop. A pronounced power bulge provides clearance for the new turbocharged engine and intercooler, while the hexagonal grille form and deep lower valences with air intakes are designed to enhance aerodynamics, add downforce and aid engine cooling.
The three dimensional mesh pattern of the grille emphasizes the sporting nature of the WRX Concept and sets the Subaru star cluster apart, while the new hawk-eye headlights integrate the Subaru family design heritage.
A sharp character line runs from the front corner through to the taillights, intersected by the boldly flared wheel arches emphasizing the Subaru’s AWD system. The compact cabin greenhouse draws attention to the power and solidity of the body and focuses attention to wide stance that provides a visual link between body and chassis.
The rear fascia carries over the hexagonal design motif from the front grille and features a dramatically curved trunk lid that also acts as a rear spoiler.
The distinctive wide rear bumper of the concept vehicles adds to the powerful street presence of the car and is offset by large quad tailpipes. The aggressive rear diffuser improves vehicles aerodynamics.
The all-new Subaru WRX also features a new paint color, “WR Blue Pearl III”, which modernizes the iconic WRX look. Fluorescent Yellow is used as an accent on the WRX badge on the front grille, the brake calipers and the exhaust tip finishers, adding character notes to the design.
Filling out the broad fenders are BBS “RI-D” One Piece Forged Duralumin wheels and featuring 245/40ZR20 Dunlop tires with an exclusive tread pattern.
Tags: 2013 new york auto show, 2013 nyias, auto news, auto shows, car news, car shows, compact sports coupes, japanese sports coupes, joe szczesny, rice burners, subaru new york, subaru news, subaru sti, subaru wrx, subaru wrx concept, thedetroitbureau, wrx