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2013-04-18 08:33

TONED-DOWN PROTOTYPE: A prototype version of the Subaru WRX was spotted and although it isn't as dramatic as its concept, there are some similarities. Images: Automedia

Following the debut of the Subaru WRX concept at the 2013 New York auto show, spy images of an early prototype have been captured.

The model has elements that suggest that this may in fact be a prototype for the even more extreme STI version of the new 2014 WRX.


The most obvious sign is the giant rear wing, which shares a design with wings found on past WRX STI models including the current 2013 model.

There’s also a slightly toned-down version of the aggressive rear diffuser we saw on the WRX concept as well as wheels that almost completely fill out their arches.

Image gallery

The styling of the car isn’t as dramatic as what we saw on the New York concept, although there are clear similarities between the two, particularly in regards to the lights and elements such as the fender vents, grille and the aforementioned diffuser.

If you squint, there's even a resemblance to the legendary WRX models of the 1990s.

Sadly, the production version gets a conventional sedan body with a taller roof and narrower fenders than that found on the concept, and its side mirrors are mounted to the doors instead of on the A-pillar. Finally, the lower air intakes are also much smaller than those on the concept.


The new WRX, which should be launched later in 2013, is expected to make do with a two-litre boxer four-cylinder engine, although it’s unclear if a regular turbocharger will be used to boost power or more sophisticated means. This engine will be closely related to the unit in the BRZ, but will come with its own direct-injection system.

The regular BRZ engine borrows a direct-injection system from Toyota.

Dropping down to a smaller two-litre displacement from the current model’s 2.5 would be advantageous for certain motorsport classes as well as being more fuel efficient. Power levels, however, won’t deviate much from current levels, though the performance of the car will be improved thanks to a lighter curb weight.

This means the WRX should output around 197kW while this WRX STI should put out at least 227kW. A symmetrical all-wheel drive system will remain standard, as should the choice of sedan and hatchback body styles.

Lots more Wheels24 spy shots.

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