Both the WRX and WRX STI will receive minor exterior changes along with suspension tweaks and new technology for the 2018 model year.
For 2016, Japanese manufacturer Subaru continued, in nearly unprecedented fashion, its ascension in the U.S. market. Recently released sales figures show that December of 2016 was Subi's best sales month ever, eclipsing 2015's sales by 12.3 percent. December also marked the brand's 61st consecutive month of yearly month-over-month sales increases, while 2016 sales of 615,132 vehicles marked a 5.2 percent increase over 2015.
2018 Subaru WRX
A 268-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring and either a standard 6-speed manual or optional CVT automatic with manual mode all carry over from 2017.
The newness in store for the 2018 WRX includes revised front and rear suspension tuning that's supposed to improve steering stability and ride comfort. Improvements were also made to the 6-speed manual, where a new synchro design improves feel and reduced friction. In addition, the steering motor and electronic control unit for the electric power steering system was revised for a more natural feel.
Subaru will also offer a new optional Performance Package for the 2018 WRX that, for weight savings, deletes the moonroof while adding Recaro 8-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded JURID brake pads.
2018 Subaru WRX STI
A 305-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differentia, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, Active Torque Vectoring and a 6-speed manual transmission all carry over from 2017.
The 2018 STI features the same suspension changes as the WRX, along with revisions to its AWD system that make it entirely electronic, as well as first-ever 19-inch alloy wheels.
The braking system is much improved, with new brake pads with a larger surface area, stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers up front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in back and larger, drilled rotors, front and back. Recaro seats are optional on the base model and standard on the STI Limited.
All models come with better interior materials along with minor updates that include a rear seat armrest with cup holders, new interior door grips and a remote trunk opening that's supposed to be faster (trust us, this is all real). Other improvements include a larger multi-function display (5.9 versus 4.3 inches) along with standard heated outside mirrors. Limited trims get power lumbar for the driver's seat, while Premium models receive a larger 7-inch (up from 6.2 inches) multimedia unit.
Interior noise levels have also been addressed with thicker door glass, new door seals and a foam-filled windshield header beam. Meanwhile, on the safety front (pun intended), the front structure of both the WRX and WRX STI have been revised for better collision performance. Finally, WRX Limited models, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, now come with a new Vehicle Hold (AVH) feature. Replacing Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist, AVH can hold the vehicle even at traffic lights, then seamlessly transition to acceleration.