The Subaru Impreza WRX car received a complete front-end re-design, boldly styled headlights with smoke-tinted lenses, a three-section mesh-type grill, and distinguished new tail lamp clusters. Three trims levels are available: WRX TR (Tuner Ready), WRX, and Limited. The car’s curb weight is 3,140 lb (1,424 kg) for the WRX TR, 3,192 lb (1,448 kg) for the WRX, and 3240 for the WRX Limited. The biggest change was the 2.5-liter turbocharged intercooled EJ255 engine, producing 230 hp (172 kW) at 5600 rpm. It replaced the 2.0-liter EJ205 engine used since the WRX model's introduction. The larger-displacement engine produces 235 lb·ft (319 N·m) of peak torque at 3,600 rpm, compared to 217 lb·ft (294 N·m). at 4,000 rpm for the previous WRX. Performance was improved in all speed ranges, with greater emphasis on low-end and mid-range torque. The 2.5-liter WRX engine shares architecture and technology with the WRX STI engine, including Subaru Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing technology and an Electronic Throttle Control system. The turbocharger remains the same unit as on the 2002-2005MY US-spec WRXs, but now only peaks at 11.6 psi of boost. The first gear in the transmission received dual-ring synchros to improve downshifts from 2nd to 1st.
For the 2009 model year the WRX will receive a boost of 41 horsepower (31 kW) and 18 ft·lbf (24 N·m) of torque to bring the total output to 265 bhp (198 kW) and 244 ft·lbf (331 N·m) of torque. In addition, the 2009 model will receive stiffer suspension parts from the STi model, an aerodynamic package and summer performance tires will become standard, and the 5-door hatchback version will feature the rear spoiler and underbody diffuser from the STi. The WRX will be also only available with 5-speed manual transmission. The 4-speed semi-automatic racing sports gear shift; manual/automatic will be available on a new Impreza model called the 2.5 GT, which feature the same 2.5L 4-cylinder 224Bhp (246 Bhp) Subaru Boxer Turbo engine as in the 2008 WRX.