2022 Subaru Levorg STI Sport R Is The WRX Wagon America Needs
If you’ve always wanted a brand-new Subaru WRX but you hated its sheer amount of body cladding, then you’re in luck, if you live in Japanby Isaac Atienza, on LISTEN 03:41
The Subaru WRX’s launch was controversial, to say the least. It was mostly driven by the fact that the sports sedan looks like a crossover, no thanks to its sheer amount of body cladding. But what if you want a WRX, but in a body style that enthusiasts actually want, and with a design that’s arguably more attractive? Say hello to the Subaru Levorg STI Sport R.
This isn’t the first time we’re seeing the second-generation Levorg. As a matter of fact, its global debut was held last year. What makes this model special is that it’s a sexy wagon that adopts the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged boxer engine as the recently-launched WRX. This engine also serves its duty in the Ascent three-row SUV, albeit in a detuned state.
As a result, the Subaru Levorg STI Sport R produces the same 271 horsepower as the North American WRX, though the Levorg’s torque figure is 19 lb-ft more at 277 lb-ft. Like the WRX, this is mated to a CVT with eight simulated ratios, or what the company markets as their new "Subaru Performance Transmission".
The Subaru Levorg STI Sport R also benefits from a few hardware upgrades from the WRX sports sedan, such as a drive mode selector that calibrates the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and the adaptive suspension depending on whether the car is in Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, or Individual.
A more tame STI Sport variant is also being sold, and this is mostly an aesthetic upgrade over the standard Levorg. This means it uses the standard model’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo boxer engine that produces 174 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to a more conventional Lineartronic CVT.
As for its design, it still looks largely the same as the standard Subaru Levorg. What sets the STI Sport R and STI Sport from other models are the STI badges on the grille and tailgate, larger dual exhaust finishers, sportier 18-inch wheels, plus the more aggressive front and rear splitters.
It’s also the same case with the interior, wherein it also adopts the standard Levorg’s large portrait 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Your only clues that this is the STI Sport R or STI Sport variant are its STI-badged steering wheel, embossed STI logos on the headrests, along with red and black leather upholstery.
Subaru also updated the Levorg’s list of features in Japan for the 2022 model year. Some of these new or enhanced features are the driver’s side button for the powered tailgate, the addition of a sunroof, and an enhanced EyeSight X, which has a 360-degree detection of the vehicle’s surroundings compared to 180 degrees for the current version.
Want one? Well, you’re in luck if you live in Japan. The chances of a North American Subaru Levorg are slim to absolutely none. The 2022 Subaru Levorg starts at ¥3,102,000 (around $27,215) for the base GT trim and climbs all the way to ¥4,774,000 (around $41,883). for the top-of-the-range STI Sport R in EX trim.