Overall track performance
If you’ve read reviews of my previous generation Subaru WRX STI and my opinion on what I want from the next WRX STI, you’ll see that I’m a half-full type of glass. I see this as an opportunity for Subaru to position itself at the top of the packing order for performance beyond its price tag.
The Subaru WRX Never the king of the track, yet always provides an impressive and engaging driving experience, which is almost all the more important to most buyers.
The benchmark time from the previous generation WRX STI has reasonably well stood on the leaderboard and I see this as a good target for this new generation Subaru WRX.
But somewhat disappointingly, my optimism revolves around the changes of 2022 where somewhat swelled and as direct opposition and direct front-wheel drive opposition continues to move forward, Subaru seems to be running out of water. Improving certain areas and losing something that makes it special for others.
The Subaru WRX is still far from uncomfortable on the track and as a result the timing is very respectable, it just leaves me wanting my own preconceived notion of what the Subaru WRX should be.
Upgrade from a 2.0-liter 2.4-liter turbocharged ‘Boxer’ engineWith 202 kW Of power and 350Nm The torque, despite adding 400cc size, brings only a moderate increase of 5kW. This is the same base engine as the non-turbocharged BRZ coupe and this is what my initial thinking goes to as a reference point.
I was really impressed with how well Subaru BRZ used its rev range, yet I didn’t get the same feeling from WRX. It’s an engine that seems to want to revive it but as soon as you go, you’ll go to rev limiter at 6000rpm and I’m almost embarrassed to say how many times I’ve done it.
As a racing driver you will usually get a sense of where an engine wants to be and for me, there was something missing. I had to consciously pre-try every shift, because when I thought I was in the perfect part of the rev range, I would put my foot on the throttle and hit the limiter.
Extensive gearing can help in this situation, but then performance will suffer.
The torque curve is wide and flat but it can be pushed a lot more, and although it is smooth and maneuverable, I actually like it to be sharp and sharp. I want the torque and the ability to revive it!
You may know by now that I prefer a better torque curve, and the new WRX offers it more than the previous generation, but to get the most out of it you almost have to forcibly under-drive.
I managed a 0-100 6.35 seconds With just a few attempts, and much larger engines and a wider rotation curve than you would normally expect from a WRX. Unfortunately, most AWD cars on our leaderboard are in 4-5 second brackets – usually with a well-designed launch control system.
This engine has a lot of potential, but in order to keep up with the competition, it needs to tap into the potential.
The brake pedal felt good and the ability to modulate and control the release on the way to the corner was good, but it did not match the previous generation Subaru WRX STI for its direct stop power.
I record 100-0 2.78 seconds @ 36.80 m – About one meter more than the old STI.
I struggled at 3rd And 4M The lap with the paddle started to go a little longer as well. While it didn’t affect the lap time too much, it wasn’t great for confidence.
Chassis is the area where the Subaru WRX has been the biggest improvement for me. The balance has been improved and it seems more rigid.
The tendency to underestimate the track is gone, letting the rear go a few times even in slippery corners.
On the track, the chassis has surpassed the suspension, something that Subaru has not been able to achieve for a long time. It felt like you could start adding support and the chassis would respond in a positive way.
If you do this with the previous generation, it will probably induce even more Undertaker, if you wait long enough, it will be a big extra help to Overture.
You don’t have to fight so hard to get in properly with this car or you have to be patient like a throttle to get out. Maybe Subaru took some notes from my previous tests.
“A few modifications to the front geometry to help add steering and support to the rear, will transform this car perfectly”- which is exactly what they did, the front suspension geometry has been optimized to help cornering and track to add more support with changes to the rear stabilizer bar.
It is certainly a chassis that can give Subaru a much more performance-oriented push than what they have worked with in the past.
Infections and differences
The six-speed manual transmission is better, and slightly better than the previous generation. I never had a problem moving, which wasn’t always on track before, but didn’t have the same precise feeling as the recent Subaru BRZ’s gearbox.
Honestly I’m a little unsure about the gear ratio – is it the engine causing the problem or is it the gear ratio that isn’t right for the engine? I want to spend a day with the Subaru engineers and understand what they want to achieve.
Basically if the engine is allowed to revive further it will not be a problem and it has a lot of torque to get back on. The engine may have crossed this point and fallen off a power and torque cliff and they could not let it out again.
This seems a bit uncompromising to me, while the BRZ engine transmission seems to be a perfect match.
The all-wheel drive system has a 50:50 torque split and a viscous-coupling center differential, but no front-to-rear limited-slip differential. This last point is the most noticeable difference, as the front and rear axes explore the grip on the departure of slow angles.
Since there is nothing but the grip of the tire and your legs to control the rotational force and the speed of the wheels, there is some inconsistent movement when pushing hard.
The suspension on the Subaru WRX has always been a good compromise, but on this first track I really felt that the chassis could handle a more aggressive tune.
It has great support on the bumps as always and has no problem attacking the carbs. At high speed angles, however, it lacked rebound control to keep it tied, and chassis accuracy was not rewarded with improved performance.
Overall this is a more refined and easy to control package, which will be an advantage for most people behind the wheel.
The Subaru WRX, with a new dual-pinion electric power steering system, claims to “separate the driver’s input shaft from the motor assist shaft”, if I could say it was as good as before, but instead seems to have separated the feeling as well as the driver.
It may sound harsh, but the first time I turned a corner, I was almost stunned to see the difference.
Now most people are not going to notice the huge difference between normal driving and parking, but what was once the highlight of WRX, is definitely a step backwards.
Wheels and tires
The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 245/40 R18 tires worked well on the track, and I didn’t notice a huge drop-off in the grip.
The conditions were quite perfect and I noticed that they missed a bit more direct performance than a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.
Driver aids (electronics)
There was no need for traction or stability control on the track, the all-wheel drive system worked for me.
There is no real alternative to manual WRX, just hop in and go!
The steering wheel is a bit thick, but still nice and has good texture and grip. I didn’t have any problems with my toes, I found the position of the paddle to be very good.
Seat positioning and support were reasonable, but not as extreme as you get from the older WRX generation.
Overall, the cabin really works without standing outside.
2022 Subaru WRX is a more complete package than previous versions, but on track Disconnected The first word that jumped to my mind after a hug.
It didn’t feel slow, it didn’t feel fast, it did a good job. I personally want more than one Good Jobs from a WRX.
For such an iconic car, it has somehow transformed into a sporty conservative, while opponents, including two-wheeled drive options, have begun to push the boundaries further. It can no longer rely solely on its all-wheel drive traction to blow up the opposition.
At first I was a little surprised to hear what Subaru WRX did lap time.
On the track it was deceptive and efficient, two things that are not usually associated with WRX and the final timing compares well with something like a Toyota GR Yaris (non-rally).
Of 61.37-sec On the lap just sneaks in front of Yaris Care Expert Leaderboard. So, it still provides good-value performance in its segment, but nowadays it is far from the only choice in this impressive segment.
- Let the car flow through the corners more than the previous WRX
- The rear can actually get away from you at the beginning of the corner, beware of this for turning less grip
- Shift gears before you think
Click image for full gallery
More: Everything Subaru WRX