Planet exclusive WRX Gallery. Click pictures to enlarge.

We expect to see first 2023 Subaru WRX arrive at Planet Subaru early in the spring of the 2023 calendar year. (Last year's model did not arrive until May because of supply chain factors). That model was all new, undergoing what is known in Subaru parlance as a "full model change" or FMC. Subaru published no changes on the 2023 WRX.

Subaru builds its "volume models," such as Forester and Outback, on a five-year product cycle, which means they predictably introduce an all-new model every five years. In the fourth year of that cycle, they undertake a "BMC," a humorous acronym for Big Minor Change. This "refresh" usually includes cost-effective changes that keep the vehicle contemporary, such as suspension settings, bumper and taillight redesign, and infotainment upgrades. However, on "boutique" vehicles, sold in smaller quantities, such as WRX and BRZ, Subaru undertakes complete redesigns less frequently--every six, seven, or even eight years. The first WRX lasted six years (2002 through 2007) and the second went seven years (2008 through 2014). Subaru introduced the most recent WRX for 2015, and refreshed the car for 2018. That car went seven years before a complete redesign.

And what about a five-door hatchback model not seen since the 2014 model year? Subaru is building one in international markets, but does not offer it in the United States. For the throngs clamoring for its return to North America, take comfort that Subaru made the significant investment to engineer the car. Perhaps when the global auto industry recovers from the chip shortage in the next few years, Subaru might offer the hot hatch here. The picture below is from Subaru of Australia. Note the differences in styling, including painted wheel arch moldings on the hatch instead of rally-inspired matte black on the sedan.

What about the STi? Subaru released this statement:

"As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ). 

As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification.  In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.  

The Subaru WRX STI and the STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru's performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru's unique DNA and rally heritage.  As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles."

Many more details on the 2023 WRX, including pricing:

The WRX lineup features legendary Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru BOXER® engine, delivering 271 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and broad torque curve with 258 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-5,200 rpm. Active Torque Vectoring is also standard across the model line.

A 6-speed manual transmission with optimized gear ratios and refined shift quality is standard. The Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) is available on all trim levels (standard on GT). The automatic SPT offers faster up and down shifts and incorporates adaptive shift control that can quickly respond to perform rev-matching downshifts under braking, maintain the ideal ratio through corners, and respond faster on corner exit.

The WRX is built on the Subaru Global Platform which offers a substantial upgrade in ride and handling performance from the previous generation thanks to increased chassis stiffness. The enhanced platform, which includes full inner frame construction and increased use of structural adhesive, delivers a 14 percent increase in front lateral rigidity, 28 percent increase in overall torsional rigidity, and a 75 percent increase in suspension mounting point rigidity (from the previous generation WRX).

The 2023 WRX has a wide-body design that projects an aggressive stance and bold look. At the front, Subaru's signature hexagonal grille is paired with compact LED headlights and a broad hood scoop to emphasize the wide and low look. On Premium and higher trims, the rear deck lid integrates a low-profile rear spoiler in matching body color. Rear taillights are designed to glow with a look reminiscent of volcanic magma.

All SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia systems for the 2023 WRX are equipped with high-resolution touchscreens with on-screen controls for audio, climate, and vehicle features. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity; AM/FM stereo; Rear Vision Camera; SiriusXM® All-Access radio and Travel Link®; and HD Radio® are also standard.

Select 2023 WRX trim levels are equipped with the latest generation of SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security. Available packages offer emergency services and convenience features including Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Vehicle Diagnostic Alerts, Remote Engine Start with Climate Control and more.

The 2023 WRX, starting at $30,605, continues its tradition of incredible performance and value with a long list of standard features including power windows, door locks, and side mirrors; dual USB-A input/charge ports in the front center console; Welcome Lighting; remote keyless entry; headlight auto on/off linked with windshield wiper operation; and combination meter with color LCD. The all-wheel drive performance car also comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in summer performance tires; 6-speed manual transmission; Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control with Track Mode; and Incline Start Assist. For greater versatility, the WRX features roof rack mounting brackets and 60/40 split fold-down rear seats.

Standard on WRX is a center information display with SUBARU STARLINK dual 7.0-inch high-resolution touchscreens. The top screen controls smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity; AM/FM stereo; Rear Vision Camera; SiriusXM® All-Access Radio and Travel Link®; and HD Radio®. The bottom screen provides controls for climate and vehicle settings.

The Subaru Performance Transmission is an option on the entry level WRX and is priced at $32,455. The option also adds EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology with Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control; Auto Vehicle Hold; Paddle-Shift Switches; SI-Drive; and Electronic Parking Brake.   

WRX Premium
Priced from $33,105, the WRX Premium is designed to enrich the performance-driving experience by adding 18-inch alloy wheels in dark gray finish with summer tires, LED fog lights, and low-profile rear spoiler in matching body color. The Premium also comes standard with Keyless Access with Push-Button Start; premium seat fabric; Dual Automatic Climate Control with Voice Activation; Dual USB-A charge ports in rear center console; and All-Weather Package that includes heated front seats, side mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer.

Front and center in the cabin, and highlighting the driver-focused interior, is a tablet-style high-definition center information display. The 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia Plus system offers direct touch controls for multimedia, climate, and vehicle settings. As with a smartphone, app icons on the touchscreen can be moved and configured based on personal preference. The multimedia system also offers a split-screen display that can simultaneously show two types of information, such as navigation and audio.

An available option package for Premium adds an 11-speaker Harman Kardon® Speaker System plus Power Moonroof for $1,875.

The WRX Premium also offers the available Subaru Performance Transmission. The option gains all the features of the Base WRX with SPT plus a Transmission Oil Cooler. The WRX Premium with SPT is priced at $35,155.

WRX Limited
The Limited builds on the Premium's content with Steering Responsive LED headlights (low and high beam); Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert; front and rear seats with Ultrasuede® trim; 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar adjustment; 11-speaker Harman Kardon Speaker System; Power Moonroof; and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Also standard on Limited is the SUBARU STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia with Navigation that includes voice-activated navigation powered by TomTom® (3-year free map updates). Pricing on the WRX Limited starts at $37,495.

With the available Subaru Performance Transmission, the WRX Limited is priced at $39,745. The option includes all equipment from the Premium with SPT plus Reverse Automatic Braking.

The WRX GT is the top trim that adds near-luxury refinement and performance to the iconic sports car at a price of $43,395.

Exclusive to GT are standard electronically controlled dampers with Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings. Drive Mode Select allows the driver to configure up to 430 different customization options for steering feel, damper settings, SI-Drive settings, and more. The settings are configured through the 11.6-inch multimedia display.

Recaro Performance Design front seats ensure the occupants are securely supported during performance driving. The seats are trimmed with black Ultrasuede® with contrasting red stitching and the "Recaro" logo embossed on the seatbacks. The driver's seat includes 8-way power adjustments. The performance seats are complemented by black Ultrasuede adorned throughout the interior.

Also exclusive to the GT trim level, 18-in aluminum alloy wheels in matte gray finish are paired with 245/40 R18 summer performance tires.

The GT comes standard with the Subaru Performance Transmission, EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology with Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control; Auto Vehicle Hold; Paddle-Shift Switches; SI-Drive; and Electronic Parking Brake. 

Model/Trim Transmission Applicable Option Code MSRP MSRP + destination and delivery ($1,020)
WRX 6MT 01 $30,605 $31,625
WRX SPT 03 $32,455 $33,475
WRX Premium 6MT 11 $33,105 $34,125
WRX Premium 6MT 12 $34,980 $36,000
WRX Premium SPT 13 $35,155 $36,175
WRX Limited 6MT 21 $37,495 $38,515
WRX Limited SPT 23 $39,745 $40,765
WRX GT SPT 33 $43,395 $44,415
CODE 01 Standard Model - WRX 6MT N/A
CODE 03 Standard Model - WRX SPT N/A
CODE 11 Standard Model - WRX Premium 6MT N/A
CODE 12 Standard Model - Harman Kardon Speaker System + Moonroof $1,875
CODE 13 Standard Model - WRX Premium SPT N/A
CODE 21 Standard Model - WRX Limited 6MT N/A
CODE 23 Standard Model - WRX Limited SPT N/A
CODE 33 Standard Model - WRX GT N/A

Changes made for each recent model year:

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Wondering about the changes, revisions, improvements and release date of the 2023 WRX.  For residents of Cambridge, Brockton, Somerville, Chelsea, Boston, and all over Massachusetts, you've come to the right place.