- The new WRX TR packs upgrades that should make the current WRX better than ever
- There's no additional horsepower for the turbocharged flat-four, so overall performance is unlikely to match the old WRX STI
- For 2024, manual-equipped WRXs can be had with adaptive cruise control and a few other aids
2024 Subaru WRX TR Debuts With Performance Upgrades but No Additional Firepower
We're looking forward to the upgrades, but this is still no replacement for the old STI
The Subaru WRX has been a global icon in the sport compact segment since before it finally hit America's shores in the early 2000s. The current fifth-generation model made its debut in 2022. Based on the humble Subaru Impreza (curiously, Subaru only offers the Impreza as a hatchback and the WRX as a sedan), the WRX builds on that car with things like a standard turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes. For 2024, Subaru is introducing the WRX TR, and while it doesn't make any more power than the standard WRX, we're excited to see how the other upgrades affect performance.
More than just skin-deep
The WRX TR isn't vastly different to the standard model, meaning it's not really a replacement for the dearly departed high-output WRX STI. The TR still uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine making 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed manual transmission. As with every Subaru outside of the BRZ, the WRX TR comes standard with all-wheel drive. In comparison, the previous-generation STI made 310 horsepower from a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four and featured an AWD system that was different from the one on the standard WRX.
While the core car remains the same, the changes Subaru has made to the TR are notable. Brembo brakes feature six-piston front and two-piston rear calipers with larger pads and rotors than what's on the standard WRX. The brake master cylinder is larger, which Subaru says should improve pedal feel and reduce brake fade. The suspension is revised with stiffer springs and different rates for the dampers, and a retuned steering rack promises to improve feedback and response. The TR also features 19-inch wheels with grippy Bridgestone Potenza S007 rubber. Recaro sport seats are standard, and Subaru has nixed the moonroof to increase headroom, reduce weight and lower the car's center of gravity.
The last WRX we tested sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, stopped from 60 mph in 110 feet and pulled 0.98 g on our skidpad, generally on par with its rivals. Given the TR's reduced weight and stickier tires, we wouldn't be surprised to see slight improvements in those figures. We would have liked to see revised gearing, too, given the WRX's turbo lag at low revs, but here's to hoping that Subaru has more upgrades in store.
Tweaks for the 2024 lineup aren't just limited to the new TR. WRX models with the manual transmission will finally get the EyeSight suite of driver aids (which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision automatic braking and land departure warning) as standard equipment. It was previously only available in conjunction with the CVT automatic.
We still miss the old WRX STI, but we're looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the WRX TR to see if numerous small enhancements make for big improvements.