When Subaru released the fourth-generation of its legendary rally-inspired pairing—the WRX and its big brother WRX STI—the decision between the two suddenly got a lot more difficult.
The WRX and STI used to share the same 2.5-liter engine (with different power levels of course), so the STI was always more desirable since it had not only more horsepower at 300PS, it also had a better suspension setup, beefier components such as bigger brakes, sturdier transmission etc. But the 2015 revision came with an all-new direct-injected 2.0L engine with a modern twin-scroll turbo—it made 268PS and 350Nm of torque, close to the same numbers as the old model but without the turbo lag, thirsty fuel consumption, and other known problems of a decades-old motor.
Suddenly the WRX wasn’t a “lesser” STI anymore, it became a choice between modern engine tech and old school Japanese muscle. Visually, with a few mods, their wide-body shells are all but identical to the untrained eye—a major plus point even if no car guy will admit that this deeply satisfies them. And most importantly, the close performance of the WRX is a crazy bargain at P1,888,000 versus the P2,598,000 sticker price of the STI.
Some will say Subaru played themselves with making the WRX such a compelling purchase. But no doubt many WRX drivers who get hooked on the experience will want an STI in their garage next because it’s still the next level. In the meantime, though, there are few better ways to join the sports car ownership club than the WRX.
Photography Ian Guevara
This story originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of FHM Philippines.
Minor edits were made by the FHM.com.ph editors.