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There’s also the Honda Civic type r due next year (spy photos below), but Honda’s styling has been a bit hit and miss over the years. I liked the look of the 1990s NSX.
Yeah, I might have to try prying the FWD aspect of these with my SO. She really wanted AWD, and honestly I prefer it myself having the RS now. So far she's not wanted to. Given the kinds of weather we get having AWD is both useful and fun. I did look and there are plenty of '21 model WRXes around with normal dash buttons and with normal painted body paneling.
After twisting things this way and that way I could almost get past all the styling of the car, but that HVAC setup is just offensive. Here's some samples:
 

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After twisting things this way and that way I could almost get past all the styling of the car, but that HVAC setup is just offensive.
I blame Tesla for making all these automakers move towards these gaudy humongous screens. Usability-wise, touchscreens in general are a terrible user interface for somebody driving, requiring them to look down and precisely "poke" at a small target to interact with. This is probably why there is a need to move to such a large screen, to get more real estate to allow for larger icons and more space in between them. At least they kept the more used HVAC and audio controls as regular buttons/knobs...
 

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I think it looks hideous but apparently the fa24 motor is supposed to be a beast. wont know until the aftermarket gets ahold of it. I've only ever owned turbo fords (ST and RS) but it seems like you have to put way more parts and way more money to get power out of Subaru's compared to Eco boosts.
 

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11.6” Infotainment....where has the driving gone?
Makes no sense. Just look at the GR86 interior - made in partnership with Toyota. Simple and to the point - having a modern simple infotainment system and a bunch of physical controls.
Car Vehicle Speedometer Gear shift Motor vehicle


Would have been so simple for Subaru to go to Toyota and ask "Hey, how do we make a driver's interface?"

I once again though suspect that they are trying to get away from the driver's / enthusiast car image for the WRX. I can't explain any other way why they would lock the top trim with all the new mechanical goodies and bolstered Recaro seats behind a CVT. That on top of consolidating their production. Same platform, same engine, same infotainment, same styling. The infotainment is not from cars for drivers, but from people-haulers, so it looks real weird in a car that's supposed to be for enthusiasts. On top of it, if they could consolidate all of their cars under CVT they could drop the manual production lines entirely likely improving efficiencies of scale.
 

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Actually, what am I even talking about? Here's the BRZ interior - and that IS a Subaru-branded vehicle.
Vehicle Car Trip computer Speedometer Gear shift


It's the same as the Toyota ofc, but my point is that they can do a proper interior. They chose that abomination for the WRX.
 
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Makes no sense. Just look at the GR86 interior - made in partnership with Toyota. Simple and to the point - having a modern simple infotainment system and a bunch of physical controls.

Would have been so simple for Subaru to go to Toyota and ask "Hey, how do we make a driver's interface?"
Actually, what am I even talking about? Here's the BRZ interior - and that IS a Subaru-branded vehicle.

It's the same as the Toyota ofc, but my point is that they can do a proper interior. They chose that abomination for the WRX.
I don't recall where I read it, but one of the GR86/BRZ reviews mentioned that this infotainment unit is an updated version of what they have on the Forester, Outback and Crosstrek, so it's still a Subaru unit/design. I think it boils down to target market. Subaru (& Toyota) know that their main market for this car could care less about the infotainment...

I once again though suspect that they are trying to get away from the driver's / enthusiast car image for the WRX. I can't explain any other way why they would lock the top trim with all the new mechanical goodies and bolstered Recaro seats behind a CVT. That on top of consolidating their production. Same platform, same engine, same infotainment, same styling. The infotainment is not from cars for drivers, but from people-haulers, so it looks real weird in a car that's supposed to be for enthusiasts. On top of it, if they could consolidate all of their cars under CVT they could drop the manual production lines entirely likely improving efficiencies of scale.
...On the flip side, I think the target market for the WRX has shifted over the years. With the existence of the BRZ, I think most of the younger "enthusiast" base has shifted towards that direction, leaving older, more mature buyers with the WRX line. Before the BRZ, Subaru's sportiest offering was the WRX/STI, so it made sense then. Now, folks who want something "sporty" yet affordable have a choice. Those that need a back seat (for the kids) or more trunk space can be talked into a WRX instead. These same folks probably use the same car as a commuter, so an auto makes sense, plus are toting kids, so any additional safety features are a plus.

Case-in-point: I was about to hop onto the freeway from work a few days ago. About to go around the on-ramp, I decide to have a little fun and give it the beans to feel some G's. From my rear view mirror, I see a current WRX hot on my tail, so we keep going until we merge onto the freeway. I knew it was an auto since I can make out the eyesight cameras on it. As I ease into the middle lane traffic, the WRX continued to blast around me. As it passed me, I was expecting some young, probably Asian kid driver, but nope, it was an older white lady, car seats in the back (for grandkids?) with a license plate "PAT💛WRX". Imagine my surprise...😅
 

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I don't recall where I read it, but one of the GR86/BRZ reviews mentioned that this infotainment unit is an updated version of what they have on the Forester, Outback and Crosstrek, so it's still a Subaru unit/design. I think it boils down to target market. Subaru (& Toyota) know that their main market for this car could care less about the infotainment...

...On the flip side, I think the target market for the WRX has shifted over the years. With the existence of the BRZ, I think most of the younger "enthusiast" base has shifted towards that direction, leaving older, more mature buyers with the WRX line. Before the BRZ, Subaru's sportiest offering was the WRX/STI, so it made sense then. Now, folks who want something "sporty" yet affordable have a choice. Those that need a back seat (for the kids) or more trunk space can be talked into a WRX instead. These same folks probably use the same car as a commuter, so an auto makes sense, plus are toting kids, so any additional safety features are a plus.

Case-in-point: I was about to hop onto the freeway from work a few days ago. About to go around the on-ramp, I decide to have a little fun and give it the beans to feel some G's. From my rear view mirror, I see a current WRX hot on my tail, so we keep going until we merge onto the freeway. I knew it was an auto since I can make out the eyesight cameras on it. As I ease into the middle lane traffic, the WRX continued to blast around me. As it passed me, I was expecting some young, probably Asian kid driver, but nope, it was an older white lady, car seats in the back (for grandkids?) with a license plate "PAT💛WRX". Imagine my surprise...😅
That's not contrary to my point - Subaru wants to push in that direction. It doesn't leave much room for someone who wants fun, but also needs space and 4 doors. The RS is a great car for that niche, but there's not going to be a new one. That leaves the WRX. It kinda sucks not being able to get an enthusiast AWD manual car. My SO is looking at '21s now because she can't stand the idea of on-screen infotainment. We'd get another RS, but they obviously don't make em anymore.
 

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That's not contrary to my point - Subaru wants to push in that direction. It doesn't leave much room for someone who wants fun, but also needs space and 4 doors. The RS is a great car for that niche, but there's not going to be a new one. That leaves the WRX. It kinda sucks not being able to get an enthusiast AWD manual car. My SO is looking at '21s now because she can't stand the idea of on-screen infotainment. We'd get another RS, but they obviously don't make em anymore.
Oh I was very much agreeing to your point. With the current market, I think Subaru is fully aware of the competitive cars in the segment and is making moves to grab the non-enthusiasts out there. I feel like they are going "all in" as the affordable, go-anywhere AWD sporty sedan. Only other options I can think of are far less fun: Camry, Altima, TLX, Genesis G70, etc. or they'll have to go "up-market" like an Audi, BMW, Volvo etc.
 

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Oh I was very much agreeing to your point. With the current market, I think Subaru is fully aware of the competitive cars in the segment and is making moves to grab the non-enthusiasts out there. I feel like they are going "all in" as the affordable, go-anywhere AWD sporty sedan. Only other options I can think of are far less fun: Camry, Altima, TLX, Genesis G70, etc. or they'll have to go "up-market" like an Audi, BMW, Volvo etc.
My theory was that maybe they are trying to go upmarket with the GT. Maybe they are thinking something like the KIA Stinger, where you in theory got a good bang for your buck relative to comparable BMWs. I really don't know. Your average driver is unlikely to care about the GT's mechanical fanciness either - which actually makes me curious who the target for the GT is. A BMW buyer? An Acura buyer?
 
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