STI or No STI, a Stock Subaru WRX Still Eats Up a Rally Course

a red car on a road
Even a Bone Stock Subaru WRX Is Super Fast on DirtSubaru

Even with decades of rally pedigree behind the Subaru WRX name, it's easy to forget where the AWD sedan is truly at home. Sliding on loose surfaces and jumping through a row of trees is where the Subaru WRX still performs best, as the folks at Team O'Neil Rally School tested recently.

Without the WRX STI in the lineup, Wyatt from Team O'Neil set out to test the remnants of Subaru's sport sedan lineup on the New Hampshire school's grounds. Complete with jumps, high-speed gravel slaloms, and hairpins, the stock Subaru WRX on factory tires handles it all exceptionally, posting the school's fastest time around the test course.


Unlike many modern AWD systems, the Subaru WRX is praised for the simplicity of its viscous center differential and symmetrical AWD system. What it lacks in programmable driveline settings, it makes up for in consistency and predictability, even if the tunable center differential in the final generation WRX STI was a welcome feature.

"It's never going to surprise you with some weirdness based on a minor input that really shouldn't have affected the driveline," Wyatt says, counter-steering through a gravel figure eight. "That is why I love the WRX. I don't know what else you would want, especially on gravel."

Does that mean you should pick up a 2024 Subaru WRX and head straight to your closest rallycross event? It all depends on your willingness to learn, as the Subaru WRX is quick from the factory and even faster on gravel. Especially considering rally schools like Team O'Neil and DirtFish often teach beginning students on two-wheel drive cars, the Subaru WRX is perhaps overly capable in the hands of loose surface students. And that's a good thing for Subaru's pedigreed legacy.

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