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The Chevy Corvette is a legendary American sports car. However, the icon is losing its lead among the top-selling sports cars in the U.S. Here’s a look at the Corvette’s recent sales compared to an unlikely Japanese competitor, the Subaru WRX. 

Corvette sales have dropped

The Chevy Corvette has long been an American staple in the sports car segment. However, its first-quarter sales numbers didn’t quite live up to its legacy.

According to GoodCarBadCar, Chevrolet sold 8,812 Corvettes in Q1 2022 and 7,904 in Q1 2023, a drop of nearly 1,000 units. That number isn’t alarming on its own, but compared with steep competition from Japan, the Corvette could continue slipping among America’s most popular sports cars. 

We’re not talking about the Toyota Supra. It’s none other than the Subaru WRX. In Q1 2023, the Japanese manufacturer put up some impressive numbers with the Subaru WRX. Data from GoodCarBadCar shows that during Q1 2022, Subaru sold only 576 WRX units. The WRX was hardly on anyone’s radar at the beginning of 2022 and certainly wouldn’t have been considered one of Corvette’s top competitors. However, sales saw a significant shift coming into 2023. 

Is the Subaru WRX coming for the Vette? 

Compared to the merely 576 WRXs that moved during Q1 2022, Subaru sold 7,609 WRXs in America during Q1 2023. Selling more than 7,000 additional units in one quarter year-over-year is impressive. With those numbers, the WRX sits just behind the American classic, with only a little more than 300 units separating the WRX from the Corvette’. 

One reason for the 10% drop in Corvette sales between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023 is that production was heavily constrained due to supply chain issues and resulting production shortages. As for the WRX’s performance, the sudden year-over-year sales increase is likely because the new model didn’t end up at most U.S. dealerships until spring 2022. That would explain why the WRX made massive gains from 576 units in Q1 2022 to 7,609 in Q1 2023. 

The 2023 Subaru WRX can’t compete with the 2023 Chevy Corvette in 2 areas


What Do the Letters WRX Stand for in the Subaru WRX?

Subaru lists the base-model 2023 Subaru WRX starting at $30,605. The Japanese sports car has three additional trim levels: Premium for $33,105, Limited for $37,495, and GT for $43,395.

All trims have a 271-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine and standard symmetrical all-wheel drive. But buyers can choose between a continuously variable transmission and a six-speed manual. It can reach 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds. That’s hardly fast for a sports car.

Though the WRX has pros, especially a low starting price, its style and power can’t compete with the American classic. 

The base-model 2023 Chevy Corvette Stingray, the 1LT, starts at $64,500. Other trim levels are the 2LT, starting at $71,800, and the 3LT, beginning at $76,450. All Stingrays are available as a coupe or hard-top convertible, with the latter costing around $7,000 more. In addition, the 2023 Corvette will also be available in a special 70th Anniversary edition, starting at over $80,000.

Though the Corvette costs more than the WRX, it packs significantly more power. The 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT have a 490-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. This setup can push the car to 60 mph in under three seconds. 

So, regarding power and aesthetics, the WRX can’t compare to the Chevy Corvette despite its growing sales numbers.