Subaru has put a stop to the rumours by confirming that the next generation of the WRX and WRX STI will still come with a manual transmission. This feature has been removed from nearly all of the automaker’s models, but it will survive in the brand’s sportiest cars – at least for another cycle.
Tom Doll, CEO of Subaru North America, confirmed the news to Australian magazine Drive, saying “we'll still have manual transmissions in our performance line like for the WRX.” He did add that a stick would no longer be offered in the Forester.
The many ardent fans of the WRX are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the news that the WRX and WRX STI coming down the road in 2020 will have a manual gearbox and a 4-cylinder turbo engine. The CVT will still be offered as an option. Other rumours still circulating make mention of a possible evolution of the current 2.4L engine bloc that will power the upcoming Ascent SUV, and which can generate 330 hp.
And what of the styling of the next-gen WRX? We expect the company’s engineers will take inspiration from the VIZIV Performance presented last year in Tokyo. The new edition will be built on the structure already underpinning the Forester and Impreza chassis. Both versions will be of the four-door variety; the hatchback seems to be on its way out. Subaru’s head of design, Mamoru Ishii, told Digital Trends magazine that the company is not planning to bring a five-door version back in 2020.