When I was sitting at a red light this morning, I saw this car pull into the left turn lane. “Nice blue color there, I didn’t know the Hyundai Accent came in that color,” I thought. And then my eyes noticed that it wasn’t wearing a Hyundai badge, but a Subaru badge. My eyebrows furrowed upon noticing this, and then I was thinking “what the hell car is this?” Upon scanning the rest of the vehicle, I saw the badge that I didn’t think was possible to be on such an unimpressive, mundane looking vehicle: WRX.
I’m aware that I’ve been talking about cars a lot lately, or at least making car-related analogies, but that’s how the brog works, I write about the things that trigger the impulse to write, and seeing this piece of shit this morning made me feel like writing about how pathetic and sad the Subaru Impreza WRX has become.
Not too long ago, I pointed out that the regular Subaru Impreza was one of the more recent cars to have joined the unfortunate “I give up on life” club of once-proud, stylish, discreetly-well-performed vehicles. But that was the regular Subaru Impreza, the one with the standard engine that was meant to ultimately become a rental car, or the car that the teenage kid inherits while dad goes out and gets a Camaro. The WRX, however, was still cool; the car with rally-inspired lineage, the turbo-charged pocket rocket that could compete with Evos and Audi Quattros in terms of speed, acceleration and handling.
But this WRX, this Hyundai Accent lookalike WRX, no bueno. So mundane, so boring, and so looking like a rental car.
And it looked like a fucking bad ass. Part spaceship, part rally car, all monster; it had aggressive styling, from the giant ram-air hood scoop, the massive fog lights, and a big-ass wing spoiler. I loved the factory gold rims on with the rally championship blue paint job.
I pretty much loved this car, and wanted one above almost all else. 4-wheel drive, 220 horsepower, turbo-charged, blue paint, gold rims, big mean face with foglights. And it was actually comfortable on the inside to boot. But as was the story of my teenage life, they simply always cost way more than I could fathomably afford, and mommy and daddy weren’t ever going to help me with car or insurance payments, and I really didn’t want them to have to.
But that was the WRX back in 2000. The WRX of 2012 just makes me feel really sad, and kind of wishing to pour a beer out in honor of the coolness that Subaru used to bring to the table back a decade ago. Even the bug-eye western WRX looked cooler and more aggressive than the Hyundai Accent WRX of today.
Ironically, the current WRX is performance-wise, on paper, way better than the older, cooler-looking WRXs. It boasts somewhere in the neighborhood of 260 horsepower, which is what the super-WRX STi used to be around, all while still claiming to be capable of getting 25-26 miles per gallon; from a turbo-charged engine. Granted, the horsepower numbers are probably inflated due to the unmentioned necessity of premium gas that nobody wants to pay for any more these days, but still, anything over 200 horsepower from a mid-compact sized car is still way powerful.
The interesting thing is that sure, you can get on Subaru.com, and the glamour shots of the car don’t really look that suspect, but that’s why I went with the photo I took at the start of the post as opposed to what’s available online, because from my perspective in the morning, it pretty much was a Hyundai Accent. The front of the car still looks pretty menacing and aggressive, but the rear so offsets everything, and to me, balance, symmetry – that’s the stuff that makes things awesome. The WRX now is kind of like a hot girl with a pleasant face, nice rack; but then absolutely no ass at all. Flat, pancake ass. Unbalanced distribution of sexy parts, 2/10 would not bang but who am I kidding I would.
The thing is, the WRX doesn’t look bad anymore when a spoiler is put onto the car. Even the “premium package” spoiler that is really like 1.5 inches in height improves the rear end of the car dramatically. It’s like putting up a modest fence at the edge of a cliff, it’s saving the WRX from falling off the cliff of boredom, but by the bare minimum.
And then there’s the big-ass wing spoiler that comes on the WRX STi; that rescues the car exponentially. Now it regains some of the aggressive coolness that the WRX once had back in the early 2000s, and even more so paired up with the right style of rims. Dare I say, with the spoilers equipped, the WRXs actually look kind of cool again?
In this example, spoilers are now the equivalent to yoga pants for women. Yoga pants have the inexplicable capability to make just about every single woman’s ass look better. Women with asses have their asses accentuated and glorified in yoga pants, but even women with little to no ass to begin with get a little bit of an upgrade themselves too. Of course, this doesn’t mean putting spoilers on a Pontiac Aztek or anything, because nobody wants to see Mo’Nique in yoga pants either.
As I was writing this, I realized how close to home this hit; back when I had my Nissan Sentra, now that was a car that if it didn’t have a spoiler, was depressing looking. Completely same deal too; without the spoiler, that generation of Sentra looked, and was most definitely a rental car kind of car, and actually was used by a lot of rental companies as their default “compact” car option. Not saying that adding the spoiler turned my car from Tina Yothers to Scarlett Johansson, but that one little accessory really saved the appearance in general.
Initially, I wanted to write about how I’d rather see Subaru close shop than continuing to put out mediocre and sad looking cars, regardless of how high-performance they may actually be, but in the end, it turned out to mutate into the importance of spoilers. And it has absolutely nothing to do with aerodynamics and performance upgrades, but really to make the flattest, non-existent asses in the world pop just a little bit more.