SUBARU Australia has quietly started taking enquires and expressions of interest for a limited run of 150 WRX Club Specs due to hit dealerships “in the coming weeks”.
Priced from $47,990 plus on-roads, the Club Specs will be available with the option of either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT), though the latter carries a $2500 premium ($50,490).
Each paired to the familiar 197kW/350Nm turbocharged 2.5-litre ‘Boxer’ flat four-cylinder petrol engine, the Club Spec does not possess any additional firepower compared to the standard WRX, although it does score some extra visual flare, more standard kit and in the manual’s case, upgraded brakes courtesy of Brembo.
To distinguish it from its standard WRX siblings and STI cousins, the Club Spec brandishes a number of unique visual cues to advertise its identity, including 18-inch STI alloy wheels behind which lay the red Brembo brake callipers (manual only), ‘Crystal Black’ door mirror caps, rear lip spoiler and shark fin antenna as well as matte black rear WRX and Club Spec badging.
Things have been stepped up inside the cabin too with the biggest change being the addition of heated Recaro bucket front seats while other premium touches include a Harman Kardon sound system, Ultrasuede STI steering wheel, “carbon design” instrument panel and vehicle-specific Club Spec number badging.
Just three exterior colours will be offered – WRX Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl – although it is not known if the 150 examples bound for Australia will be divided evenly across the colour-palette or what the transmission split will be.
Save for the changes outlined above, the rest of the package is all stock-standard WRX, meaning you get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, manual seat controls, cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control and rain sensing wipers as standard.
All WRXs and WRX STIs come with a five-star ANCAP safety rating and are covered by Subaru’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
While the Club Spec nameplate can be traced back to the original GC8 WRX, in more recent years it has heralded the beginning of the end for a particular generation, and it is the same story here with the current model having been on sale since 2014.
Subaru Australia would not be drawn into revealing the timing of the next-generation car, however GoAuto understands it could be slated to touch down locally as early as mid-next year, with the Club Spec limited editions having traditionally landed between 12 and 18 months ahead of the new model.
When the new model does eventually touch down here, it will have to take the fight to a myriad of increasingly rabid hot hatches including the Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30 N (both hatch and Sportback), Renault Megane RS and VW Golf GTI.
The inevitable fire-breathing STI meanwhile will take the performance fight further up the tree with expected rivals to include the Golf R, Mercedes-AMG A35 and possibly even the ballistic A45 S and Audi RS3.
Through the first half of 2020, Subaru sold 508 WRXs, accounting for just 0.9 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small car segment and marking a 2.1 per cent sales decline compared to the first half of 2019.
2020 Subaru WRX pricing*
|WRX Premium (a)||$50,090|
|WRX Club Spec||$47,990|
|WRX Club Spec (a)||$50,490|
|WRX STI Premium||$56,890|
|WRX STI spec.R||$58,940|
*Excludes on-road costs