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Subaru WRX spy pictures

The next Subaru WRX has been spied testing at the Nurburgring, but UK sales remain uncertain

These are the first spy pictures of the all-new Subaru WRX saloon. It’s based on the US-market four-door Impreza, and borrows styling cues from the WRX Concept shown at the New York Motor Show earlier this year.

The WRX test car spied shows that the design of the new car will be much more in-keeping with the looks of the four-door Impreza range, sold in the US, rather than the stylish motor show concept that had styling similar to a Subaru BRZ on steroids.

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There’s a deeper front bumper with a more upright front grille, the swept-back headlights get a different daytime running light design from the concept, and a trademark oversized scoop sits on the bonnet.

Larger wheels mirror the 20-inch BBS rims used on the concept car, while the rear features a diffuser, quad exhaust pipes and a huge boot-mounted wing. Flared wheelarches further distinguish the WRX from its less powerful Impreza counterparts.

The production model is likely to be offered with the new WR Blue Pearl III paint used on the concept, along with its feature fluorescent yellow brake calipers. A carbon fibre roof, to reduce the car’s centre of gravity, could also be offered.

Under the bonnet, the WRX is likely to feature an uprated version of the engine that’s fitted to the new Subaru Forester Turbo. That unit uses the 2.0-litre direct-injection boxer engine from the BRZ with a turbocharger fitted underneath.

In the Forester, this develops 237bhp – 40bhp and 145Nm more torque than the BRZ – and this would be further increased for the WRX. A hybrid WRX STi, producing over 300bhp, is also believed to be under consideration.

What’s not certain is whether the car will make it to the UK. The Impreza and the WRX aren’t currently part of the UK line-up, as the combination of low fuel efficiency and the strength of the Japanese yen has stifled sales.

What’s more, speaking at the launch of the new Forester, Subaru UK MD, Paul Tunnicliffe, admitted that he’d had “no knowledge” of the WRX Concept in New York.

He didn’t rule out the arrival of the WRX in the UK, and did say that a new, more left wing government had introduced quantitative easing to reduce the strength of the yen, and thus the cost that Subaru UK pays for cars from Japan.

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