Has Subaru succumbed to the hate?
The comments have been extremely negative from the moment the Rex broke cover.
The reveal video now has 5.5k likes and a whopping 3.7k (and counting) dislikes.
This is the risk that automakers can and will run into if they mishandle a new generation of a beloved and iconic car. Spy shots, stories, rumours, renderings, and the like featuring the next-generation Subaru WRX and STI circulated online for years building up hope and anticipation. In short, following the reveal, the world and legions of WRX fans sent a clear message to Subaru and it’s pushed the Japanese automaker to delist the debut video.
Back on September 10th, hundreds of thousands of Rallye, Subaru, hot compact car, WRX, and STI fanboys and fangirls tuned in to finally get a glance of the all-new, highly anticipated 2022 WRX. And in short, they did not like what they saw.
Videos and images quickly popped up all over the interwebs about all the wrong moves perpetrated by Subaru when designing the new WRX. One of them pertains to the taillight treatment which looks quite a bit like a 10th generation Civic sedan. Much was said about the Crosstrek-inspired plastic cladding. Finally, the WRX’s modest output has upset many not to mention the CVT being the only transmission available in the top GT model with good seats and suspension…
The result of all this negativity, along with 3.7k dislikes on YouTube, has pushed Subaru to delist the WRX reveal video from its official YouTube channel. If you want to see it, you need to use the direct link: The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX
Questions are: Will Subaru do anything to appease the hordes of unhappy WRX aficionados? Will they trim the plastic? Up the power? Offer the top trim with a 6-speed manual and a CVT? Redesign it? Rethink the STI? Will they postpone market introduction? Will someone get fired? And so on.
All of us here at Motor Illustrated are big fans of the WRX. I’ve actually owned a 2003 Bugeye Spec R1 wagon and think about it almost every day. The new Rex however has us scratching our heads too.
The backlash to the new WRX has also made us understand why, we think, Mitsubishi never launched an EVO XI. We can imagine the backlash tsunami of negativity had they slapped “EVOLUTION” on an Eclipse Cross’ hatch ’cause as far as we know, that was the plan at one point. And it might still be…