You know, it’s strange that the Subaru WRX hasn’t been in the wider enthusiast conversation much. With all the glory going to the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Elantra N, Toyota GR Corolla, and Subaru BRZ, it always felt like the new, softer VB-generation WRX never hit the mark. Subaru now has an opportunity to fix that with the upcoming 2024 Subaru WRX TR.
Details are scarce at the moment, as Subaru plans to pull the cover off the TR at Subiefest in Florida on Oct. 7. The only hint we have so far is the teaser image of huge and very red Brembo brakes behind a new set of wheels—and of course the name TR. TR in Subaru speak used to mean Tuner Ready and was only offered for two model years, 2006 and 2007, on the GD-generation Hawkeye WRX. Back then, it was a baser-than-base model that offered basic essentials and was cheaper than a standard WRX. It didn’t make a return on the GR-generation WRX that debuted in 2008, and was dormant until now.
There’s plenty to dissect here for the discerning Subaru tragic. The eagle-eyed will see that the brakes are not the four-piston Brembo calipers used on WRXs and BRZs of the past, but the larger six-piston Brembos used on the final years of the WRX STI. I’d put money on these front brakes being paired with the two-piston Brembo rears from the STI as well. In the Subaru community, bolting on the six-piston Brembos has been done. The calipers require no modification, but the trick is to find the right rotor to fit them. This is the case with the VB-generation WRX as well, so having a no-fuss factory big brake kit will be a bonus.
If it’s anything like the Subaru BRZ tS, it might not be what the WRX needs to sell itself to enthusiasts. The new WRX is decent, but it sits just outside the cool kids' table. While a set of dampers, brakes, wheels, and an appearance package can go a long way, I wouldn't pin my hopes on more power or limited-slip differentials. Prove me wrong, Subaru.
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