A fresh report claims the next-generation Subaru WRX STI will switch to a turbocharged 2,4-litre boxer engine churning out as much as 298 kW.

According to Forbes, sources close to Subaru have confirmed the new WRX STI will employ a version of the Japanese firm’s latest FA24 powerplant, in this case tuned to deliver 298 kW and 490 N.m.

Those figures are considerably higher than the current SA-spec STI, which generates 221 kW and 407 N.m courtesy of a turbocharged 2,5-litre four-banger.

The report, which claims the new all-wheel-drive STI will hit the market at some point in 2021, suggests the FA24 unit (already used in the Ascent) will benefit from “significant upgrades”, including a reinforced crankshaft and reinforced pistons.

Interestingly, Forbes says Subaru “benchmarked” the new engine against Mercedes-AMG’s M139 turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder unit, which delivers 310 kW in top-spec “S” guise in the A45 and CLA45, and is considered the most powerful four-pot used in a production vehicle.

The report makes no mention of transmission options for the new STI, but here’s hoping Subaru will continue to offer a manual gearbox...