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November 25, 2021

Sorry Guys That Black Cladding On The 2022 Subaru WRX Is Here To Stay

For those hoping the 2022 Subaru WRX would take a slightly different design direction outside of the U.S., you’re out of luck. This as Subaru pulled the wraps off the JDM version of its iconic World Rally eXperiment. And whether you like it or not, that black cladding is here to stay.

Subaru says the cladding is all part of its BOLDER (yes, that’s in all caps) design language which is a further evolution of its “Dynamic x Solid” design. Exterior-wise, it’s pretty much the same as its U.S. market counterpart save for a rear wiper which is unique to JDM models, and a choice to go for a more luxurious two-tone machine cut 18-inch wheels.

While the looks are questionable, Subaru did point out that the black cladding does incorporate air outlets and vents to smoothen the overall aerodynamics. The wind cutting solutions continue underneath where the WRX benefits from an hexagonal pattern in the engine undercover to regulate the airflow.

Like its North American equivalent, the all-new WRX (WRX S4 as it’s called in Japan) packs a 2.4-liter direct injected turbo flat-4. But because of Japan’s high-octane standard fuel, it produces slightly more power—275 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 375 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,800 rpm (this is versus 271 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque in the North American version). The engine is also mated to a new CVT dubbed “Subaru Performance Transmission.” This gearbox is set apart from the regular Lineartronic system thanks to a newly-developed shift control logic with 8 simulated gears.

The JDM WRX also has selectable drive modes which doesn’t just alter the characteristics of the all-wheel drive system, but the electronically controlled dampers and even EyeSight system.

Subaru’s also taken this opportunity to explain more about the changes done to the Subaru Global Platform for the all-new WRX. For their sports sedan, the carmaker increased the usage of structural adhesives while adopting a full inner frame structure for enhanced stability, comfort, and drivability.

Now, for those who really don’t like the WRX’s new look, Subaru has also fitted the same 2.4-liter engine to the Levorg. Taking on the Levorg STI Sport R variant name, it receives a couple of standard STI goodies such as an STI front grille and bumper and larger muffler cutters along with the new engine.

As for the Philippine market, the Subaru WRX should make its way here in the next few months (as promised by Philippine distributor, Motor Image). The scenario is likely the same for the all-new Levorg. However, it’s currently unknown if it’ll continue to carry that name, or whether it’ll switch on to the WRX nameplate like they did in Australia.


  1. It will be overprice at 2 million plus....

    1. No it isn't.
      The current one is at 2,158,000 PHP which is a good deal.

      Maybe you can provide an alternative vehicle here in the Philippines that competes with the Subaru WRX.

      *I only know of two - either Kia Forte GT or Kia Stinger V6

  2. I don't understand all the fuss about the cladding. It is a rally car after all, basically off road stuff and rocks gets thrown into the fender so it serves a purpose.


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