A U G U S T 2 0 1 7
M E D I C U S
D R I V E
Dr Peter Randell
RX? World Rally Cross!
That is where this
amazing car had its birth
23 years ago. It was a killer, knocking
out the opposition with its combination
of four-wheel drive, reliability and high
output for the weight. And now?
Here is a 4WD car with a two-litre
turbo-charged engine pumping out
197kW and 350Nm yet looking like
any sedate family car.
There is a gaping air intake on the
bonnet to raise suspicions and four
exhaust pipes adding menace at
the rear, below a rakish lower finned
Keyless entry shows off the well-
bolstered leather seats, the driver
having eight-way electric controls.
Red stitching further delineates the
premium version, which also scores an
eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo
with woofer, and a sunroof. There’s also
Sat Nav, Pandora and Siri capability.
The seats are very comfortable,
including the back two which have
plenty of space. I had the Continuously
Variable transmission option, which
can be modified with the Mode button
to be sportier. In Sport mode, the CVT
is forced into an eight-geared manual,
able to be controlled by the flappy
paddles behind the racy D-shaped
A 6.2-inch touch screen dominates
the centre console, and above that is
the rear view camera’s screen, which
also shows the view from a camera,
mounted below the passenger’s rear
view mirror. No more kerbed mags!
The entire dash and interior has
jumped up more than a notch since
those early rally days, much of it now
having the tactility of a classy German.
There were no rattles or squeaks, even
over some of my more detested speed
humps, all in keeping with Subaru’s
reputation for reliability and toughness.
The engine deserves special mention,
being Subaru’s brilliant concept and
use of a horizontally opposed four-
cylinder engine lying flat and low in
the engine bay. This keeps the centre
of gravity low, enhancing roadholding
and smoothness. It also results in
a characteristic burble allowing
the cognoscenti to know
when a Subie is coming. An
interesting technical point:
the engine is ‘square’– bore =
86mm, stroke = 86mm.
Did you work out where Toyota
got its moniker for its sports
car, the Toyota 86? Yes, it is this exact
engine, built by Subaru for them, but
The WRX is a joy to drive, having been
developed as a driver’s car, Subaru
has held onto all the good bits like
all-wheel-drive, sharp steering, good
brakes and a hand brake. That low
engine helps the quality tyres to hang
on hard in corners. Push too hard, and
the torque vectoring system activates,
braking the inner front wheel to stop
understeering into the scenery.
Other safety gear includes a driver’s
knee bag, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear
Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist
and dusk and rain sensors.
That World Rally Cross killer of
23 years ago has grown up, and
become a sophisticated, quick and
century family car!
RALLY CAR BECOMES
RRP from $38,990 + ORC; this vehicle
$45,990 +ORC. Vehicle supplied by
Subaru Osborne Park.
It might look sedate but the Subaru WRX is a 4WD car with a two-litre turbo-charged engine.