In a surprise addition to the next generation Subaru WRX line-up, New Zealand will receive a 2.4-litre, turbo WRX-GTB (Grand Touring Boxer) wagon early next year.
Destined solely for New Zealand and Australian Authorised Subaru Centres, the rally-bred model combines the legendary turbocharged performance of the WRX sedan in a station wagon body. While the next generation Subaru WRX sedan was recently revealed in the United States, the wagon variant will not be seen anywhere else in the world in this format.
The WRX-GTB wagon has a larger capacity, more powerful, turbocharged 2.4-litre Boxer engine, producing 202kW, and driven by an 8-speed paddle shift performance-tuned Sport Lineartronic® transmission. The sport shift feature provides faster shifting and downshift blipping control. Such a shame there’s no manual model and that Subaru is sticking a CVT transmission into the GTB, but we’ll take what we can get.
While it’s nice to see such a legendary name return in the GTB, with 202kW of power, it seems like perhaps this is just a smaller version of the Levorg, with it’s 197kW. But Subaru has said that the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) WRX-GTB wagon replaces the Levorg model and also becomes the true successor of the discontinued Legacy GTB wagon, which was well-loved by many Kiwi Subaru loyalists.
Subaru of New Zealand’s managing Director Wallis Dumper says the 2.4 turbo WRX-GTB has been a well-kept secret model globally and is destined to arrive in Australasia by April next year.
“The WRX sedan was no surprise but its 2.4T new, clean technology grunty engine was! No one had a clue that New Zealand was getting this WRX-GTB wagon. Given all the pressure on car manufacturers to produce electric vehicles and our own patient wait for production details around Subaru’s new, all-electric SOLTERRA, we were unsure if this latest generation WRX would actually arrive here.”
The WRX-GTB wagon and WRX 2.4T sedan features include:
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for outstanding traction and the horizontally opposed Boxer engine for an ultra-low centre of gravity.
- Larger capacity and more powerful turbocharged 2.4-litre Boxer engine (202kW).
- The Subaru Performance Transmission features a tuned 8-speed paddle shift Sport Lineartronic®, Variable Torque Distribution and Sports Shifting Control for faster shifting and downshift blipping control.
- The Subaru Global Platform SGP) delivers benefits via increased rigidity, which aids outstanding corner carving ability.
- EyeSight® Driver Assist technology is fitted as standard in models equipped with the performance focused Sport Lineartronic®.
- Drive Mode Select is a new feature on select variants that allows advanced customisation of the vehicle characteristics, including electronically controlled dampers and steering – delivering an experience that can be tailored specifically to driver preferences.
- LED headlights feature Subaru’s signature C-shaped motif, with the classic hexagonal front grille and muscular styling lines prominently enhancing both the WRX-GTB and the WRX 2.4T sedan body styles.
- 18” alloy wheels further compliment the all-new exterior styling.
- The 11.6-inch centre information display has a highly responsive touchscreen, which stands proudly in the dash, amidst an abundance of high quality, soft touch materials.
- Sports bucket front seats ensure the occupants are comfortable and supported during spirited driving.
Mr Dumper adds: “Performance wagons have a special place in New Zealand’s Subaru history. Before WRX moved globally to sedans only, we used to sell about 50/50 sedans to wagons. The Legacy GTB earned its own cult status here with literally thousands of these ultra-popular wagons flooding the market in the late 1990s. When the Legacy won the Subaru World Rally Team its very first WRC event in Aotearoa, driven by the late, great Colin McCrae, this model’s illustrious reputation grew larger still.”
“When we replaced the Legacy GTB with the Levorg, although it was a great sports wagon and it sold well, many motoring industry commentators simply couldn’t adjust to its distinctive name. Even though in 2021, the new Levorg won Japan Car of the Year and it has a 1.8-litre engine, not our grunty 2.4 version. However, we worked away diligently with Subaru Corporation to find something special to take on the performance wagon mantle.”
“The result was the 2.4T WRX-GTB and it is absolutely a worthy replacement. Born from a true rally-bred vehicle that has earned an iconic level of prestige over the decades, the WRX-GTB offers New Zealanders a performance machine with enhanced wagon-shaped practicality.”
“The WRX-GTB wagon is a model in its own right, with both the WRX-GTB and WRX 2.4T sedan featuring unique specification tailored to their respective audiences. We’re confident the all-new WRX-GTB wagon and WRX 2.4T sedan will continue to build upon the performance model’s rich heritage as they usher in a new era of style, technology, razor sharp handling and exhilaration.”
“The WRX-GTB will provide a best-value offering for those who are considering purchasing a performance AWD wagon. Realistically its rivals will probably be European and anything comparable will be over double the price.”
“Unfortunately, due to global supply challenges, the reality is that customers will probably need to forward order the Subaru WRX-GTB,” Mr Dumper concludes.
The all-new 2022 WRX-GTB wagon and WRX 2.4T sedan combine Subaru’s iconic raw performance with a new level of technology and sophistication. With two modernistic body styles to choose from, the new WRX heralds the reincarnation of a long-time legend, says Subaru.
Customers can register their interest for the all-new Subaru WRX 2.4T and WRX-GTB wagon at: https://www.subaru.co.nz/new-gen-wrx/kmi