Subaru of America recently dropped a bombshell that left the performance car community in shock. They declared that the much-anticipated next-generation WRX STI with a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine would not see the light of day. To make it even more surprising, this new STI wouldn’t be built on the fresh WRX platform either. So, what does this mean for enthusiasts eagerly waiting for a power-packed 2024 STI?
First things first, the 2022 Subaru WRX is set to hit dealerships this spring, which is exciting news for fans. However, those hoping for an STI version of the WRX in the near future might have to wait a bit longer. While the 2022 WRX is right around the corner, the STI is expected to follow a year later.
Performance enthusiasts had their hopes pinned on the next-generation 2024 STI. The big question on everyone’s mind was: how much horsepower would this beast unleash? Speculations ran wild, with rumors suggesting it could come close to a whopping 400 horsepower, thanks to its 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine.
But alas, just when excitement was at its peak, Subaru of America dealt a disappointing blow. They officially announced that the 2024 STI would not be produced. This sudden turn of events left many enthusiasts crestfallen, as they had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this high-performance icon.
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Subaru Wrx Discontinued 2024
Shifting Gears in the World of Cars
The automobile industry is rapidly shifting towards electrification, and Subaru is no exception. They’re focusing on how to adapt their upcoming sports and performance cars to meet the changing demands of the market. What’s driving this change? Well, it’s all about meeting certain norms and standards related to greenhouse gases (GHG), zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE).
The Electric Future Beckons
By 2030, many automakers are aiming to have fully electric lineups. However, Subaru Corporation has been a bit cautious about going all-electric. Instead, they’ve been exploring other options, like the Boxer engine and hybrid battery technology, to meet emissions and fuel efficiency requirements effectively.
But then, something significant happened when California reinstated its GHG emission rules and ZEV sales requirements. This move had a profound impact on Subaru’s plans. They were forced to take a closer look at the future of the Subaru WRX STI, with a particular emphasis on electrification.
The End of the Road for 2024 STI
The result? Well, unfortunately, the United States, and other markets, won’t be graced with the presence of the 2024 Subaru WRX STI. Greenhouse gases, zero-emission vehicle mandates, and corporate average fuel economy regulations have effectively put the brakes on the next-generation STI, and it won’t be making a comeback.
Why Did Subaru Discontinue The STI?
The Era of Efficiency and Emissions
In today’s automotive landscape, fuel efficiency and carbon emissions have taken center stage. This shift towards cleaner, more environmentally friendly vehicles is becoming a necessity, and this applies even to beloved performance cars like the Subaru WRX STI. After all, who among us can deny that these high-performance machines tend to emit and burn fuel like a blazing oil rig?
A Farewell to Fire-Breathing Pasts
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to bid adieu to the fire-breathing past of the WRX STI. Factory-sponsored rallying initiatives are no longer as prevalent, and the STI name has somewhat distanced itself from its off-road roots. Moreover, the last WRX STI model faced challenges due to its aging flat-four engine and had to grapple with the ever-increasing standards in Europe.
A Pause for Reflection
So, Subaru’s decision to discontinue the STI might just be a temporary pause to reassess and adapt. The world of cars is evolving, and Subaru seems poised to make a comeback when they’re fully prepared to meet the new demands and expectations of the automotive landscape. Stay tuned for what the future holds.
List Of Factors Explains Why Subaru Is Discontinuing The WRX STI
Subaru has taken a bold step by discontinuing the WRX STI, and there are several factors that help explain this significant move. Let’s delve into the reasons behind Subaru’s decision:
1. Electrification as the Future
The world of automobiles is rapidly shifting towards electrification. Subaru has recognized this trend and aims to align itself accordingly. In the near future, we can expect to see more hybrid options from Subaru, possibly even a fully electric WRX or a new electric vehicle (EV) platform by the end of the decade.
2. High-Performance vs. Electrification
Given Subaru’s long-term goal of electrification, it seems logical to put high-performance vehicles like the STI on hold. Even some of the slower electric vehicle platforms on the market can now rival a gas-powered STI in terms of performance. Hence, it makes sense to wait until Subaru develops an electric platform that can do justice to the STI and potentially compete in motorsport.
3. Emissions and CAFE Standards
Emissions play a crucial role in the automotive industry, and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are at the core of this issue. Producing a high-performance and fuel-thirsty car like the STI would significantly lower Subaru’s overall fuel economy rating.
4. The Current WRX Generation
While the WRX STI might be discontinued, the standard WRX is still going strong in its second generation. With 270 horsepower, it remains a sporty option for enthusiasts. It’s available with a six-speed manual and four-wheel drive, and you can even opt for STI badges if you’re a true fan.
5. The STI Name Lives On
The discontinuation of the WRX STI doesn’t mean the iconic STI nameplate is gone forever. It will continue to thrive in Japan and Australia with the Levorg STI Sport. Subaru has also hinted at the possibility of the STI returning as an electric vehicle, as evidenced by the STI E-RA concept unveiled earlier this year.
6. Subaru’s Relationship with Toyota
Subaru’s partnership with Toyota plays a role in this decision. Toyota recently released the GR Yaris, and introducing a new STI would have likely impacted Yaris sales. The coexistence of the 86 and BRZ makes sense because it was a joint venture, but having both the Yaris and WRX would have created competition for sales.
7. Changing Preferences
The market for small-performance cars has seen a decline in popularity over the years. More people are opting for practical pickups and crossovers. Subaru has also faced stiff competition in terms of build quality and performance from rival hot hatch manufacturers like the GR Yaris.
8. Pandemic-Related Chip Shortage
The global chip shortage has affected the automotive industry, causing delays in delivering existing models. Introducing a brand-new model, like a new STI, at this time would have faced lengthy delays and complications.
9. Shifting Marketing Strategies
Subaru’s early success was heavily tied to motorsport, particularly in the World Rally Championship (WRC). While they enjoyed a dominant presence in the WRC for over a decade, their departure from the sport could be part of a larger effort to evolve their brand image and reputation as an automaker.
In conclusion, Subaru’s decision to discontinue the WRX STI is a multifaceted one, influenced by factors like electrification goals, emissions standards, competition, and market dynamics. It marks a significant shift in Subaru’s approach to high-performance vehicles and paves the way for a potentially electric future for the STI nameplate.
At the end of the day, Subaru’s decision to discontinue the WRX STI comes down to business. While it might have been possible to keep the current-generation WRX STI on the market for loyal fans to enjoy, this would have been a costly solution. When you take a closer look at the sales figures from recent years, it becomes apparent why the STI had to exit the stage. The automotive landscape is evolving, and Subaru is adapting to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. While it may be the end of an era for the STI as we knew it, it opens the door to a new chapter in Subaru’s journey.