If you can ignore the controversial crossover-esque styling, there is a lot to like about the 2022 Subaru WRX.
Driving the new car is a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine with an impressive 271 hp and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. Customers can opt for either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT but regardless of which gearbox is chosen, drive is sent to the pavement through Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
In a straight line then, the Subaru WRX should have no problem out-accelerating a front-wheel drive Hyundai i30 N, right?
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To find out, Cars.co.za from South Africa pitted the two against each other. The WRX tested had the CVT while the i30 N was fitted with the available dual-clutch transmission and the two are quite well matched.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Subaru has the advantage off the line thanks to its all-wheel drive while the i30 N struggles to put all of its power to the ground, despite having a launch control system. For approximately half the race, it is the Subaru that remains ahead of the Hyundai but as the speeds start to build, the i30 N claws its way back and is able to overtake the WRX and claim a convincing victory.
The result doesn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder of the i30 N, despite lacking 400cc of displacement to the Subaru’s, is more powerful with 276 hp and 289 lb-ft (392 Nm) of torque. It also weighs less than the WRX and has less drivetrain loss because of the front-wheel drive layout.