It is quite perplexing that the only Subaru WRX and WRX STI you can currently buy new is a sedan. Sure, it’s nice to see Subaru’s go-fast cars holding it down for a dying segment, but a lot of us—me included—miss the practicality of the old WRX wagon and hatchback. Don’t get your hopes up too much over this 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon concept, though.
Today we learn that at Japan’s classier version of SEMA next month, Subaru will show off two concepts: the Impreza STI Concept and Forester STI Concept. The latter’s a hybrid STI, too. More on that in a moment.
The Impreza STI Concept is clearly based on the five-door non-WRX hatchback we do get in America, but it’s been outfitted with some custom wheels, aero bits and other parts. It may or may not have a turbo—the newer turbo Subarus often don’t have the famous hood scoop.
Doesn’t it look good, though? Doesn’t it make you want a WRX or STI hatch could meet all your needs, blasting through ice and rain with its all-wheel drive and carrying all sorts of crap in the back? It’s clearly a great idea, but I’m not holding my breath that it’ll be anything more than a tuner proof-of-concept.
Then we have the Forester STI Concept. This is based on the upcoming Forester eBoxer Hybrid, which has a combined system output of about 155 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque—not bad but not STI-worthy, either. Here it gets more aero parts, a custom gray paint job, 19-inch wheels and Brembo six-piston caliper brakes up front.
It looks sharp enough, but I wish these cars had the power outputs to back up the flashy pink badges. Maybe we’ll see some cooler stuff from Subaru at the Salon next month, or at the Detroit Auto Show around the same time.
Update: This post has been revised to clarify that newer Subarus like the Ascent don’t always have hood scoops, so it’s hard to tell from these pics if the cars are turbocharged or not. I’m dating myself here.