WRX keeps on getting better

Before we get going, I must tell you that I have a soft spot for the Subaru WRX. We started publishing simultaneously with Subaru SA launching out of a downtown Jozi dungeon and not only have we owned several, tweaked them and were part of the cult, but I raced a Bugeye in the twilight years of Group N too. So, this may be a bit biased!

Anyway, meet Subaru’s hot new WRX – they call him ES Premium. Boasting a few tweaks here and there like a trick exhaust with equal-length headers to rid it of that Beetle burble and a re-burned ECU to up boost, advance the timing and fiddle the fuel for a few more kilowatts.

Add lowered sport suspension with a wider track too and a cool splitter among its aero addenda and voila – bar stripping the innards out of the cabin, welding pipes in and stickering it up, this one its pretty well the same spec as my racecar was back in ’01. 

So yes, I have a soft spot for it – even if that Bugeye drove us batty and tried to burn down Kyalami.

ES Premium adds quite a bit of vim to Rex and while its purposeful soundtrack may be a tad too audible for some and that ride is, well taut for those of us beyond our mid-life crises, it does the job very well indeed. It also beat its enhanced performance claims on our test run, but we struggle to appreciate those fuel claims.

Considering that it builds on an already impeccable platform however, I must report that it is quite a car. ES also plugs a hole in the WRX range between the R580K stock WRX and the R770K STi, so it certainly has its place and its pretty exclusive too. 
It really was good to see you, old friend! – Michele Lupini

QUICK TEST Subaru WRX ES Premium
Engine:          197W 350Nm 1998cc turbo petrol H4   
Drive:            6-speed CVT AWD
0-100km/h:      5.81 sec 
0-160km/h:      13.83 sec
400m:              14.0sec @ 161km/h   
80-120km/h:    3.71 sec
120-160km/h: 5.95 sec          
VMax:            240km/h                                
Fuel:            8.6 l/100km                           
CO2:              199g/km
Warranty/Service:  5y 150K/3y 75Kkm  
LIST PRICE:      R631K

RATED:    87