September 29, 2022
First Drive: 2022 Subaru WRX

The rain came down in wind blown sheets somewhere north of Parham, Ontario. Green leaves and branches peppered the ground, knocked loose from their verdant perches by the wind and marble-sized rain drops. All the birds that knew what was good for them huddled at the base of trees; feathers ruffled up like little blowfish.  Meanwhile the ample population of painted turtles took advantage of the damp soil to dig holes for their eggs and lay them. It was perfect weather if you were a turtle. Or a Subaru.

Subaru labels the WRX as a “sports car” which sits it with contemporaries like the Ford Mustang, Volkswagen Golf GTI, and Honda Civic Si and the Subie outsells all of these save for the ‘stang. Compared to these competitors the WRX lags in fuel economy, has questionable styling, and there is no two-door or hatchback bodystyle offered. But I’d like to see the other cars try out this road.

Broken and pockmarked pavement gave way to gravel miles ago and the road is dotted with milky brown puddles, swirling like a fresh latte. The road is barely 1.5 cars wide so speed ’round the blind corners if you dare and mind the yumps.

Under the Subaru’s bescooped hood sits a boxer four-cylinder engine that makes 271 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. I wonder how much water that scoop is inhaling as I floor it through an open stretch of road and the boost gauge climbs. This 2022 Subaru WRX has an entirely new engine compared to the outgoing model and despite the new architecture, it makes essentially the same peak power and torque. Peak horsepower is up by three, and the torque is exactly the same. So what changed?

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