Call my jimmies’ rustled. Since the release of the 2015 WRX and WRX STI, the Subaru has been copping some slack for bearing too much of a resemblance to its arch rival, the Mitsubishi Evolution X…
For someone who spends a glorious amount of time gawking at photos of cars, I had not noticed the similarity until it was pointed out in memes such as this one:
It was only after this exposure that it was glaringly obvious that these two cars were fairly identical upon initial sight, and “fairly” was how far as I saw it going.
Unfortunately for me, there are a large number of people who do not see things the way I do. Therefore I am making it my duty to enlighten those who I frustratingly find to be pointing fingers and yelling out “copy cat”; diving into collection of points that I hope would distance the portrayed visual likeness of the two vehicles and convince readers of Subaru’s new platform being an original design.
I’ll start off where these criticisms first emerged, and that would be a graceful skip past the 2015 WRX and immediately off the bat with the 2015 STI.
For some reason, the new WRX had not received the same label until the beefier, brembofied version was released.
Why’s that, I suppose?
The 2015 WRX’s press photos were released with the car wearing a nice shade of red that should surely ring bells with Mitsubishi fans; what with the logo, team colours and all.
What we saw in the WRX was the clear Impreza chassis lying underneath the sharper looking body panels. Much to our disappointment as we were hoping an original, coupe-esque sedan, as seen in the concept.
So how did we go to calling Subaru out on an unoriginal design?
People claim the biggest rip-off Subaru pulled was on the front end, yet people seemed to have only taken note when stuck side by side a similarly hued Evo while wearing the high tail.
Absurd auto identifying skills such as this remind me of times spent with a pretty lass who couldn’t quite draw a line of difference between an XV10 Camry and my Subaru SVX.
As you are slamming your head against a stable, solid object in disbelief, the thought “How could such an atrocious conclusion be made?!” rings through your head.
As it would be, they were both dark grey in colour, had cliché 90’s rectangle headlights and a small rear spoiler.
Now, I would dread for any self proclaimed car enthusiast to be in the same boat as that bright spark.
Back to the subject, Subaru is under heat for supposedly ripping off the Evo’s design. This claim finds a majority of its strength from the similarly shaped headlights, a generally sharper front end design and a rear wing to tie up the entire package.
Of course, when looking closely at those highlighted similarities it’s clear to see how different they are. From the WRX’s curved headlight outline, to the stacked lights in the fog light housing, and most noticeably the lack of a blacked out grill centre piece; the list goes on.
It’s only when we treat both vehicles to glimpses do we draw together the few similar shapes that drives us to the conclusion of plagiarism. I believe that the Subaru Levorg is testament to this fact. In design, it’s basically a WRX wagon despite its size slotting between the Impreza and Legacy. The front end of the Levorg only takes a different path from its sedan sibling with its fog light housing and lower grill being flipped upside down. Simple, minimal changes that puts more distance from an Evo X title than the 4 door.
The resemblance between the flagships also struggle to hold ground with me when looking at Subaru’s design history. Upon seeing previous generations of the WRX/STi you can see that the headlight dip was there since the ’06 (GD kouki). Furthermore the sharp headlight dip first appeared in the ’09 Legacy (BM/BR), then in the ’11 Impreza (GP/GJ), which was then applied to the current WRX/STi (VA) which is basically a sleeker variant of the base Impreza’s.
The same can be said for other design traits featured on the WRX/STi, such as the hood lines and fog light assembly. Hell, I could quite easily say that the current WRX/STi is a merger of the original GC8 and current Impreza.
So there my point stands. The new WRX/STi’s looks only exists as a subject of criticism because of a collective of vaguely similar shapes. It is a car being wrongfully fouled for a design seemingly ripped from an Evolution, when in actual fact it is an evolution in Subaru’s design.
Words – Shahid Mohamed Islam