Why A Subaru WRX Was Cut Out Of 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Few compact cars have the same World Rally Championship pedigree as the Subaru WRX. The first- to fourth-generation models were Impreza-based rallying machines with turbo Boxer engines, all-wheel-drive, and stiff suspension. Subaru made the WRX a standalone brand in 2015, and the second-gen 2022 WRX is the latest iteration of the brand's iconic World Rally eXperimental vehicle.

Sure, the new WRX is not easy on the eyes, but its rugged countenance makes it great for executing donut burnouts in the Mojave desert. However, the previous-gen WRX that debuted in 2015 looks good enough to appear in "Top Gun: Maverick," the sixth highest-grossing Hollywood movie in domestic box office history (per Variety), surpassing "Avengers: Infinity War" for overall ticket sales.

The Drive initially reported that "Top Gun: Maverick" would feature a 2018 WRX as a pilot's car in the movie. However, something happened along the way. Subaru of America's Dominick Infante confirmed to The Drive that the automaker supplied the WRX when filming began in 2018. But if you watch the movie, you won't find a Subaru WRX, so what gives?

COVID happened

As with all good things in life, the COVID-19 pandemic put an abrupt end to everything we enjoyed to maintain our sanity in this fast-paced world — including new movie releases. "Top Gun: Maverick" was supposed to release in the summer of 2019 before being pushed back to 2020, but then COVID reared its ugly head. Before we knew it, we were wearing masks, working from home, and prohibited from seeing each other for fear of infection. It also meant movie theaters were closed, and movie producers had no choice but to delay the release of their ultimate moneymakers to maximize audience reach and ticket sales — including "Top Gun: Maverick."

The much-anticipated sequel to the original Tom Cruise hit movie was rescheduled to debut at theaters in 2021 — until the surge of the Delta variant. Then, Variety reported it would finally release on May 27, 2022, and the rest is history. However, editors must have deleted all the Subaru WRX movie scenes in the final cut version shown in theaters, despite entering into a product placement deal with Subaru (per The Drive). It could have something to do with the new WRX entering the market in time for "Top Gun: Maverick," or it could be an artistic, creative decision since the production team had more than enough time given the lengthy COVID-19 furlough.

Another catch: Subaru unleashed the all-new, second-generation WRX in early 2022. If the previous-gen WRX did appear in "Top Gun: Maverick," it would have been a silent diss to the new WRX that isn't getting much love in the first place. The incident apparently didn't damage Subaru's bottom line, but you have to admit things would be a lot different if the body-armored 2022 WRX successfully made it to the big screen.