With its flared fenders, functional hood scoop and big rear spoiler, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show gives hope to rally fans looking for a little more power from Subaru’s all-wheel drive compact sedan.
Wait, there’s more: new design, powerful 305-horsepower BOXER engine, stiffer chassis, quicker steering, interior details, and STI Launch Edition limited to 1,000. Here’s the scoop.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is a bold new sedan model with an aero body design. It’s “nose-cone” configuration combines the grille and bumper cap into one weight-saving piece of aluminum and incorporates narrower headlights (including LED low beams) that were inspired, says Subaru, by a raptor’s stare.
Hood, fenders, doors and quarter panels, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters signal that the car is the WRX STI. The functional hood scoop is set more deeply into the hood than previous STI models for better forward visibility.
Subaru’s WRX STI is powered by the 305-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged intercooled four-cylinder BOXER engine that employs the Dual Active Valve Control System. Exclusive to the STI model, the engine produces 290 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm and is paired with a specially reinforced six-speed manual transmission. In the Launch Edition, the transmission includes a short-throw shifter.
Incline Start Assist can temporarily prevent the car from rolling backwards when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
The Subaru Intelligent Drive powertrain management system allows the driver to tailor the car’s driving characteristics by choosing three selectable modes – Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp – using a rotary controller on the STX’s center console.
Also standard is a Multi-Mode Driver-Controlled Center Differential, which offers six manually-adjustable modes for different traction situations. The front to rear default split is 41.59.
The Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system includes Active Torque Vectoring. The VDC system has three driver-choice settings – VDC Normal, Traction and Off – each of which allows the driver to tailor driving situation response.
The WRX STI has a stiffer chassis, with greater use of high-strength steel than previous models, and also features extra stiffening at key points. Steering is also quicker, at a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock, compared to the 2.8 for the standard WRX.
Subaru paid special attention to the interior of the 2015 WRX STI, making use of premium soft-touch materials and rich-looking appointments and details. The cabin is also roomier than the previous WRX STI, thanks to a one-inch longer wheelbase. The windshield is more raked for better forward visibility.
Rear seat legroom increased by nearly two inches and storage capacity in the trunk is now 12 cubic feet, up from 11.3 cubic feet in the previous WRX STI sedan.
There’s a new flat-bottom, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel that integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth control, and a new 4.3-inch LCD center-stack display for monitoring key systems. An optional touch-screen navigation system displays on a 6.1-inch LCD screen and offers voice controls. The upscale WRX STI Limited models adds a harmon/kardon premium audio system and leather trim.