A Proud Rally Heritage
The three letters WRX are a symbol of the Subaru sporting spirit. A symbol that is synonymous with outstanding success in the World Rally Championship (WRC) having become the first Japanese automobile company to win three consecutive manufacturer’s championships, plus a host of other success including class wins in the 24-hour Nurburgring race.
This outstanding motorsport success is a testament to, and a demonstration of, the design philosophy and product concept that successive WRX models offer.
Now in its 20th year, the new WRX is not just about motorsport and the performance purist. While it retains these attributes in spades it has grown up offering refinement, comfort and ease of use in everyday motoring and true to character it is lots of fun to drive.
Subaru WRX: Two decades of dominance
It was the original turbocharged “pocket rocket” when launched in Japan in 1992 and since then, the Subaru WRX has become a global phenomenon.
WRX could clinically be described as a distinctive sports car combining impressive performance with the practicality of a four-door sedan.
But the reality is far more emotional – it’s a passion-stirring, multi award-winning turbocharged icon that as long ago as the year 2000 was crowned “Car of the Decade” by the respected Car magazine in the United Kingdom.
It was an amazing feat against the precious metal of Europe and America, but clear confirmation that the essence of Japanese engineering was alive and well in an amazingly agile package, whose early looks may have belied the beast within.
Introduced in New Zealand in 1994, a key ingredient in WRX’s success was the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that set Subaru apart from the pack – linked in this instance to a compact four-cylinder turbocharged Boxer engine, delivering the knock-out punch that literally set hearts racing.
It was sheer, unadulterated fun, engineering ability and solidity.
As MOTOR summarized in 2009: “The time-honoured Subaru chassis balance and adjustability still shine. It’s playful on the throttle and remains an inherently fun car. There’s a bit more purchase with the roadholding, and more purpose in its dynamic abilities.”
And that lustre is reflected in consistently strong WRX sales over the past 20 years in New Zealand.
There are multiple WRX clubs nationwide and the signature WR (as in “World Rally”) blue colour carried by so many WRX rally and customer cars, has become an intrinsic part of Subaru’s legend.
Multiple special editions and retained value the envy of competitors are yet more evidence of WRX-appeal.
Affectionately known as “Rex” by fans globally, WRX shows no sign of slowing as it enters its third decade.
Bringing it right up to the present day, Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, adopted the design philosophy of “Pure Power in Your Control” for the Model Year 2015 fourth generation WRX, reaching an even higher level of driving excitement.
Lighter, yet more rigid, with extensive chassis reinforcements, new WRX continues to deliver on the core promise of adrenaline-pumping fun and thrills, packaged in a super-safe, durable and solidly-engineered chassis and body, that continues to set the global trend for affordable performance.