First Look: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Wide-Body

By Brandon Turkus

March 23, 2010

When it bowed in 2008, the level of praise for the new Subaru Impreza WRX was hardly what the automaker had hoped for. The WRX was almost universally panned for its bland looks and soft suspension. Subaru remedied this with the 2009 model WRX. It featured a bump in power along with a more aggressive suspension setup, fixing two of the primary complaints about the 2008 WRX. Now with some help from big brother STi, the WRX has finally got some new(ish) clothes to go with the extra muscle.

The 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Wide-Body features a “wide and low” concept on both the four-door and five-door models. Besides giving the standard WRX a bit of the STi’s aggressive looks, it also adds 1.5 inches to the front and rear track. The rubber is also bigger, with wheel sizes going from 17x7 to 17x8. The wide-body adds only 33 pounds of weight, but also allows an improvement in the drag coefficient. What this all means is a healthy boost in stability from Subaru’s pocket rocket.

Cosmetically, a revised front bumper and grille along with wider rear fenders will help identify a wide-body from an older WRX.

The 2011 WRX will officially bow at the New York International Auto Show, with customer deliveries coming this summer.

Please scroll down for Subaru’s press release.

Subaru Introduces 2011 Impreza® WRX® Models With New Wide-Body Designs and Enhanced Handling Performance

- New WRX 4-Door and 5-Door Models Adopt Wide-Body Design

- Wider Track and Tires Enhance Grip

Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the new 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX models, which now use a wide-body design like the brand's iconic WRX STI® performance flagship model. The wider body designs give the 2011 WRX an aggressive road presence and also allow wider track dimensions.

An approximately 1.5-inch increase in front and rear track, firmer rear subframe bushings and wider 17-inch wheels and tires deliver improved grip in the 2011 WRX. The standard wheels are now 17 x 8-in. vs. 17 x 7-in. in the 2010 model, and tire size is now 235/45R17 vs. 225/45R17.
"The new wide-body designs mark another major step on the continuous evolution of the WRX to give driving enthusiasts an even more compelling all-wheel drive performance package," said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO of Subaru of America, Inc.
The 2011 Impreza WRX 4- and 5-door models arrive in Subaru dealerships this summer. Both are powered by a 265-hp turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-liter 4-cyl. SUBARU-BOXER® engine teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission. This highly responsive engine produces 244 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.
The WRX has been the focus of continuous improvement since its introduction. Most recently, the 2009 model received the 265-hp engine and a significant chassis tuning upgrade. For 2010, the new Limited trim lines expanded the WRX model's appeal to a broader range of driving enthusiasts.
The 2011 Impreza WRX uses the Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking center differential nominally distributes torque 50:50. Should slippage occur, this system transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction.
The Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system is standard. Incline Start Assist, featured on all Impreza models equipped with a manual transmission, can momentarily prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
New Designs for 2011
Both the WRX 5-door model and 4-door model will now feature a wide-body design for 2011 similar to that of the WRX STI, underscoring the high-performance character of both models . The new design is based on a "wide and low" concept and gives both cars an aggressive street presence. The design also maintains a consistent flow from front to rear bumper, creating a distinctive identity and a sense of stability in the vehicles.
Significantly, curb weight for the 2011 WRX models increases by just 33 pounds over the "original body" 2010 models, preserving their powerful acceleration performance.
In front, the 2011 WRX models feature sharpened bumper corners and wider, blacked-out fog lamp nacelles to accentuate the "wide and low" profile. A jutting lip spoiler with three-dimensional detailing emphasizes the cars' sporty intent. The newly designed front grille with black base and blacked-out Subaru wing highlights the headlights' shape to give the entire front end a more powerful appearance, accentuated by larger grille and bumper intake openings.
For the 2011 WRX 4-door model, the wider fenders are stretched out on the side more than the tail lamps, accentuating a look of stability. The new design details contribute to an improved drag coefficient.
Sporty, Spacious and Versatile Interior
In the WRX models, exclusive carbon black checkered upholstery accented by red stitching sets the tone for the sporty interior. The compact layout of the double-wishbone rear suspension helps to minimize intrusion into the cargo area, providing a wide and deep luggage compartment. In the 5-door, the wide and flat load floor can accommodate two Tour-size golf bags with the rear seat backs in the upright position. In the 4-door, which is 6.5-inches longer than the 5-door, the trunk can accommodate three Tour-size golf bags. A 60/40-split folding rear seat further boosts cargo capacity and convenience in both models and the 4-door also features a rear seat fold-down center armrest.
All WRX models are equipped with standard aluminum-alloy pedal covers and driver's footrest. Performance-design front seats integrate the backrest and head restraint into a single structure. As a sporty accent, the instrument panel electroluminescent gauges use indicator needles that sweep the gauge faces upon engine startup.
The standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel is a three-spoke, leather-wrapped design and features control switches for Bluetooth® hands-free phone function. A new AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player features Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free calling, iPod control capability, a USB port, 3.5mm aux. input jack and has XM/SIRIUS satellite radio capability (subscription is extra). An available navigation system integrates a vehicle information center and Bluetooth hands-free calling.
Proven Subaru Safety
The Impreza models are built around the Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure with front and rear crumple zones. This design has been proven in Subaru models for over a decade to provide outstanding crash protection. Side-curtain airbags are standard on all Subaru models, as is a 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel-efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit