WRX Subaru - Fourth generation (2011–2016) – GJ, GP, VA

Four-door and five-door models were unveiled in 2011 at the New York International Auto Show.  Not until the 2012 model year would the generation IV Impreza debut, with Subaru's new FB engine.

US models went on sale as a 2012 model year vehicle. Early models include a choice of four-door sedan or five-door hatchback body, 2.0-liter DOHC (148 hp) engine, five-speed manual or Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifting six-speed manual mode. Trim package included base 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited.

Japan models went on sale on 20 December 2011 at Subaru dealerships. Early models include a choice of four-door sedan (as Impreza G4) or five-door hatchback body (as Impreza Sport), 1.6-liter DOHC FB16 (1.6i, 1.6i-L) or 2.0-liter DOHC FB20 (2.0i, 2.0i EyeSight, 2.0i-S, 2.0i-S EyeSight), five-speed manual or Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). There is also a bigger station wagon with different bodywork, called the Subaru Levorg. The Levorg is going on sale in April 2014 and was first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The smaller 1.6-liter engine is offered in Japan so as to reduce the annual Japanese road tax obligation.

Remaining nearly the same size as the previous series, the new model is lighter and more fuel efficient, plus is claimed to be better packaged. The 2012 Impreza received longer wheelbase that provides more interior room for passengers. The Impreza hatchback rear head-and-legroom is impressive; two adults can ride in the back of the Impreza with comfort. Whereas, in the hatchback, the rear 65/35 split seatbacks fold down, offering 52.4 cu. ft. of cargo space.

Higher quality materials are fitted throughout the interior, and due to its larger exterior dimensions as defined by Japanese government regulations, the Impreza is an upmarket product in Japan. It is now almost exactly the same dimensions as the first and second Subaru Legacy (1990–1999).

The third generation high-performance WRX variants will continue on in production until new versions will be released in early 2014. As of 2014, Subaru has decided to move away from marketing the WRX and WRX STI under the Impreza name, but the WRX and WRX STI are simply performance trims of the Impreza with higher output engines, firmer suspension, larger brakes, slightly resculpted body panels, lowered ride height and larger intakes. Subaru had promised to completely move the WRX and STi off the Impreza chassis and body to create a standalone model, but they instead chose to simply alter the Impreza's body, and chassis and remove the Impreza name. Subaru decided to not produce a WRX or WRX STi wagon as had been previously offered. The wagon made up approximately 50 percent of US WRX and WRX STI sales.

In addition to the regular models, Subaru also offered the Impreza Sport Hatchback in the Premium and Limited trim levels. The so-called American Impreza Sport (not to be confused with the JDM regular hatchback with the same name) has the rugged style with side spoilers, roof rack, different style alloys, and availability of two-tone colors. However it also has the normal ground clearance, unlike the new XV. For the Premium model grade, buyers can choose 5 speed manual or Lineartronic CVT, while the Limited is only available with CVT.

EyeSight consists of two cameras with one on each side of the interior rear view mirror, that use human like stereoscopic vision to judge distances and generally keep tabs on the driver. The system can help maintain a safe distance on the highway, a lane departure warning system, a wake up call when traffic lights change, and even keeps an eye out for pedestrians. Autonomous cruise control system has been integrated into the EyeSight feature as a driver safety aid. This feature is initially available only in Japan, but was expanded to US models of other vehicles, beginning with 2013 Legacy and Outback models.


Subaru XV 2.0i-L (Australia)

Subaru XV 2.0i-L (Australia)

Subaru demonstrated the Subaru XV concept vehicle in 2011. Based on a raised suspension version of the Subaru Impreza 5-door hatchback, the XV concept offered aluminum alloy wheels with silver spokes, black wheels and clear blue center caps; yellow-green body colour, silvery white leather interior upholstery at seats, mesh in selected interior areas with yellowgreen piping, multifunction display with navigation, car audio, and vehicle information in the center panel; EyeSight driving assist with LCD monitor between the two combination meters and stereo cameras, 2.0-liter four cylinder Horizontally-Opposed DOHC engine, Lineartronic CVT, 245/45 ZR19 tires. The vehicle was unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2011.

The production version of the XV was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and later at the 20th Indonesia International Motor Show. Production of the Subaru XV began at Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn. Bhd (TCMA) in Malaysia in January 2013, with annual production of 5000 units. Production began on 20 December 2012.

Badged Impreza XV in Japan, this model went on sale in Japan on 5 October 2012. Early models include a 2.0-liter boxer engine, Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

Early European models include a choice of 1.6-litre petrol, 2.0-litre petrol, 2.0-litre Diesel engines; 5-speed manual (1.6 petrol), 6-speed manual (2.0 petrol, 2.0 Diesel), Lineartronic CVT (1.6 petrol, 2.0 petrol) transmission; idle engine start stop (standard in petrol engine models, optional in Diesel engine models).

The Subaru XV Sport Concept (2013) is a version of the Subaru XV with Front Bumper (Prototype), Bilstein Suspension (Prototype), LED Driving Lights (Prototype), STI Flexible Tower Bar (Prototype), Side Under Spoiler (Prototype), STI Sport Muffler (Prototype), Fender Arch Protector (Prototype), Enkei Designed 17-inch Aluminum Wheels (Prototype), Recaro Front Seat (Prototype), Brembo Brake & Drilled Rotor (Prototype). The vehicle was unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2013.

The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid (2013) is a version of the Subaru XV Crosstrek with permanent magnet AC synchronous motor rated 15 PS (11 kW; 15 hp) and 65 N⋅m (48 lb⋅ft), Lineartronic CVT transmission, Nickel hydride batteries, 225/55 R17 tires. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.[54][55]

In North America, the XV is sold as the Subaru XV Crosstrek and was unveiled at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The US model went on sale in 2012 as a 2013 model year vehicle. Early models include a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter boxer engine, five-speed manual or available second-generation Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). In the United States starting with the model year 2016, Subaru has dropped the XV from its name and will just be called Crosstrek.

For the VA series WRX released in 2014 for the 2015 model year, Subaru took a different approach with the model when compared to past generations. This time, the Impreza name is dropped in all markets in which the new model is named simply as the WRX—as had been the case in North America with the previous model while in Japan, it is sold as the WRX S4. The body design also took a stronger departure from the Impreza donor model than in the past. The general WRX profile/silhouette is carried over from the Impreza, as are the front doors, trunk lid, and interior. However, the entire front end bodywork plus the rear quarter panels are unique to the WRX. The rear doors have received a subtle reskin with an upwards kink and revised character line but retain an otherwise identical shape.

This model is the first of the WRX line to deviate from the EJ-series engine. It uses the new 2.0-liter FA20F engine, which has direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger. On all previous WRXs the turbocharger was located near the right-hand side of the firewall, close to the third cylinder. With the new FA20F, Subaru fitted the turbocharger at the front of the car, close to the serpentine accessory belts. There is a robust aluminum skid plate that protects the underside of the turbocharger. Mounting the turbo lower in the engine bay helps reduce the car's center of gravity to 19.5 inches (500 mm).

Behind the wheel, the most noticeable difference between the EJ and FA engines is the latter's broader torque curve. The 2.5L EJ produced a maximum of 240 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm, while the new 2.0L FA peaks twice as soon (258 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm). Less obvious is a 3-hp increase over the old engine; the FA is rated at 268 hp at 5,600 rpm.

From 2009 through 2014 the WRX's engine was mated exclusively to a five-speed manual. That changes for 2015. In base trim, the sole transmission is a six-speed manual, the first ever available in a non-STi WRX while the Limited and Premium trim levels add the option of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters for the first time.

When left in Intelligent mode (the most frugal of its three settings) the CVT returns better fuel economy than the manual. In Sport and Sport# modes it shifts more aggressively, mimicking a six and eight-speed gearbox, respectively, but its acceleration still lags that of the manual transmission.

The new powertrain gives the 2015 WRX a different character than the car it replaces, but its acceleration times are virtually unchanged. The biggest performance gains come from the 2015 redesigned chassis. Structural stiffness and spring rates are up 40 to 60 percent, raising roadholding numbers by about 0.08 G.

The 2015 WRX has been met with mixed reviews by automotive journalists. It placed second to the 2015 Volkswagen GTI in separate comparison tests in the September 2014 issues of Car and Driver and Motor Trend. In general, it bests its sub-$30,000 competition in nearly every performance metric, but suffers from a cheaper interior and a less comfortable ride. Its sharp styling is usually listed as polarizing, too, although the bulk of criticism in that area is based on the lack of a hatchback model.

Performance numbers vary from publication to publication. Testing from Car and Driver, Road & Track and Motor Trend has produced 0–60 mph times as fast as 4.8 seconds and as slow as 5.5 seconds. It runs the quarter-mile anywhere from 13.6 sec @ 102 mph to 14.0 sec @ 98 mph. (CVT-equipped WRXs are about a half-second slower to 60 mph and through the quarter-mile.) On the skidpad, roadholding numbers range from 0.92 G to 0.96 G. Braking from 70 mph results in stops as short as 156–166 feet.

In base trim, the car starts at $27,090 (including destination) and weighs 3,267 lbs. Limited and Premium trim levels add more comfort and convenience, such as heated seats and LED headlights, but not more performance. Starting in 2016 the Premium and Limited trim levels also come with 18" wheels, similar to the last generation STI Enkei wheels.


Subaru WRX STI Type S (VAB, Japan)

Subaru WRX STI (Australia)

This model retains the same engine as the previous generation STI, which is a 2.5-liter EJ257 with dual AVCS however with modifications to the ECU which have increased fuel economy slightly, and has given a 6 kW boost in power to 227 kW (310 HP). Torque however has dropped from 407Nm to 394Nm. There are also reports that along with the ECU changes, the rev limit was raised to 7100 rpm to support the power increase at the upper rev range to support a stronger top end. It also retains a hydraulic power steering system as opposed to the WRX's new electric-assisted rack. The steering rack was changed to a quicker 13:1 ratio, as used in the Japan delivered vehicles, as opposed to the 15:1 ratio of the previous models. Also, the 2.0-liter EJ207 that is standard for Japanese STI's has been retained specifically for the Japanese market in the new 2015 WRX STI.

A sound tube device, also seen on the BRZ, has also been fitted to the air intake system to channel certain induction and turbo frequencies into the cabin, reports show this is only fitted to vehicles in some markets. In Europe and Australia, the STI is available with and without the wing. Starting in 2016 the US version of the limited STI was also made available with or without the wing.

In 2015 Subaru released the WRX STI Launch Edition that came in World Rally Blue Pearl exterior paint combined with gold-painted, 18-inch, BBS alloy wheels. Only 1000 Launch Editions were released in North America.

In 2015 Subaru released the WRX STI S207, limited to 400 units sold only for the Japanese market. Power output tuned to 328 PS (323.5 hp, 241 kW) and 318 lb.-ft. of torque (431 Nm). Upgrades also include a quicker-ratio 11-to-1 steering rack (compared to 13-to-1 for the stock unit). STI-spec Recaro front bucket seats, Bilstein's adjustable DampMatic II front suspension, and drilled rotors clamped by Brembo monoblock six-piston front callipers and four-pot rear callipers. Up to 200 of the units could be equipped with the NBR Challenge Package, which features a carbon-fibre wing and a badge commemorating Subaru’s class victory at the 2015 Nürburgring 24 Hours.

In 2016 Subaru released the WRX STI Hyper Blue special edition series, with production limited to 700 units for the United States. The new color covers the outside, and it is also offset with gloss black 18-inch BBS wheels, badges and mirror caps. Blue stitching brings the color into the interior, and Subaru's seven-inch navigation system with a nine-speaker stereo is standard for this version. In Australia, Subaru announced the WRX Premium Hyper Blue special edition with the CVT automatic will be limited to 200 units, and WRX STI Premium with the six-speed gearbox will be limited to just 50 units.

WRX Subaru - Fourth generation (2011–2016) – GJ, GP, VA