Subaru to develop new WRX competition car

There won't be a WRX STI fueled with gasoline in the future, but that won't stop Subaru USA's motorsport plans


Subaru is currently developing a new competition car based on the 2022 VB WRX sedan, despite news last week that the STI variant of the brand’s roadgoing WRX sedan would no longer be sold with an internal combustion engine.

In a statement provided to DirtFish, Subaru of America’s motorsports manager William Stokes reaffirmed Subaru’s commitment to motorsport in the US in light of the demise of the brand’s sportiest road car, and revealed its future plans when it comes to competition.

“Subaru of America remains committed to motorsports success through our efforts with Subaru Motorsports USA,” said Stokes.

“We plan to defend our American Rally Association and Nitro Rallycross championships in 2022 with our current internal-combustion vehicles, and have already undertaken the development of a next-generation competition version of the 2022 WRX.

“Since the inception of Subaru Rally Team USA in 2000, well before the launch of the WRX STI in the US market, rally performance has been a vital element of the Subaru brand in America to test and prove our all-wheel drive technology.”

Stokes also confirmed that Subaru is exploring opportunities to race in electric motorsport going forward, but stopped short of announcing any program for the immediate future.

“Subaru of America, Subaru Corporation, and Subaru Tecnica International [STI] are also currently evaluating opportunities in electrified motorsports, as demonstrated by the announcement of the STI E-RA concept at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon,” he said.


“Although we cannot comment on participation in other series at this time, we look forward to continuing the championship-winning history of Subaru in motorsports as the automotive industry moves toward electrification.”

Subaru’s long-term factory racing partner Vermont SportsCar is set to compete in the new all-electric Group E class of Nitro Rallycross this year, although its involvement in the single make category will be entirely separate to VSC’s Subaru program.

Meanwhile Subaru’s second generation WRX will hit US showrooms this May, with its trademark all-wheel-drive and 271 horsepower on-tap, meaning that even without that special three-letter suffix, it’ll still be a potent machine.

DirtFish says:


I can almost hear it – no, not the unmistakable thrum of a four-cylinder boxer engine, but the sighs of relief, or cheers, from Subaru’s fervent fanbase.

When the marque announced that another WRX STI wouldn’t be coming in combustion flavor, many feared the end of Subaru as we know it: a brand that has had motorsport at the core of its marketing efforts in the US for over two decades.

Subaru – and by extension, its factory-backed team – has been at the heart of rallying stateside since the turn of the century, and rallycross since it arrived in America over 10 years ago, while hillclimbs have also been a core part of the brand’s activities as well. With the ever-popular brand not offering a true performance sedan (or hatchback) at its dealerships, surely that meant motorsport was off the table. Well, apparently not.

Subaru of America committing to a new generation of car for motorsport in the US provides a shot in the arm for many people, not least the passionate fans of the brand whose “SU-BA-RU” chants will continue to be heard across the country.

Subaru’s remaining tight-lipped as to what exactly this new “competition” car will be for the time being, but what we do know is yes, it will be a WRX, and yes it’ll be missing an STI badge.

But that’s just weight reduction, right? It’ll definitely be quick out of the box when it arrives, regardless of what the letters on the back say.