The Subaru WRX first arrived in the market in 1992 as a turbocharged version of the Impreza, hence the designation Subaru Impreza WRX. Impreza means “achievement” in Italian while WRX stands for World Rally eXperimental. The Impreza WRX was first offered in Japan and slowly found its way to Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Finally, after almost a decade of stay in the Japanese market, the Subaru WRX made its way to the North American market. Though it took the car around ten years to get into the U.S. market, it had successfully bagged the 2006-2007 Golden Icon Award for best sedan.
1992: The first Subaru WRX
The Impreza had been an international superstar not just on the racetrack but also on the streets, so the marquee needed to take huge strides just to make the Impreza WRX more powerful and faster than the other already-impressive Impreza variants. All WRX versions are fitted with rally-inspired technology, including stiffer suspension, all wheel drive, as well as turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
Subaru also launched the STI (Subaru Tecnica International) versions of the WRX in Japan in 1994. These were basically upgraded versions of the standard WRX. They were fitted with blueprinted performance-tuned suspension, transmissions, and powertrains, which make these vehicles extremely successful in rallies and famous among street racers.
2000: The “New Age” Impreza WRX
It was in August 2000 when the “New Age” Impreza was introduced in Japan. These Imprezas came larger than their predecessors—the sedan had an additional width of 40 millimeters while the hatchback was larger than the previous iteration by only 5 millimeters. Since the 2000 model year, the WRX derived power from a 2.0-liter boxer engine until 2005, when this was replaced by the 2.5-liter turbocharged powertrain.
The turbocharged Subaru WRX was offered in various specifications as well as in limited edition variants. Year by year, Subaru also made sure that the WRX and STI got updates in cosmetics, mechanical components, interior, and other aspects to uphold its outstanding reputation in handling and performance.
2010: Special edition and Cosworth WRX STI
For model year 2010, Subaru launched the WRX Special Edition, which was actually Impreza WRX STI’s version for the North American market. This model sported thicker stabilizer bar for improved handling, stiffer suspension, seven twin-spokes gray 18-inch alloy wheels, four-speaker stereo, as well as 10-speaker premium audio.
That same year, the limited edition of the Impreza WRX STI for UK market was also introduced. It was named Cosworth WRX STI as it was fitted with Cosworth-tuned version of the standard STI engine. This version also came with “Cosworth” emblem on the car’s lower mesh grille, rear waist spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, as well as floor mats with “Coswort” badge.