Say Goodbye To The 2.5L Turbo Engine In Future STIs. It Might Become A Hybrid
The 2.5 liter turbo boxer engine "simply cannot continue to be used in the future"
We just discovered that the EJ257, the 2.5 liter turbo boxer engine that has powered the WRX STI since 2008, will definitely go away in the next generation WRX STI. According to David Dello Stritto, Sales & Marketing Europe General Manager of Subaru Europe, just shared with AutoRAI.nl that due to more stringent CO2 emissions, the current 2.5-liter turbo boxer engine "simply can not continue to be used in the future." This might not come as a shock to enthusiasts as the WRX ditched the EJ motor since 2015, in favor of the new FA20 direct injection architecture.
He goes on to assure enthusiasts that there are no plans to say goodbye to the WRX STI, but there will be a period of time where "we will temporarily not run the WRX STI." This confirms other reports where we won't see another version of the rally-turned-street-car until the year 2020 or later. David continues by saying "There will be a new WRX STI, but that takes time."
Subaru Viziv Concept
The even bigger news is the possibility of the next WRX STI possessing an alternative powertrain. Subaru has been investigating other powertrains like hybrid and electric, just like all manufacturers should at this point to stay competitive. This doesn't mean that the next WRX STI will come with a different powertrain, but certainly everything is being investigated. The source further emphasizes that "We really do not give up our motto of Fun to Drive. The new Impreza also delivers this, but in a different more environmentally-friendly way."
Subaru Concept for Gran Turismo 6
Dello Stritto did not outright confirm that the next WRX STI would be a hybrid, but the everything-is-on-the-table talk certainly has people like us speculating. Given that premium sports car are employing hybrid technologies and achieving spectacular results, it's not a far stretch to think Subaru will do the same. It would behoove Subaru to follow the market trend and stay competitive, to say the least.
The bottom line is whether enthusiasts will embrace the possibility of a hybrid powered STI?