Subaru has just taken the wraps off of the 2015 WRX STI and it doesn’t disappoint.
Starting on the outside, the new STI features a weight reducing aluminum hood that of course is equipped with a functional hood scoop feeding air to a top mounted intercooler. Narrower headlights than found on regular Imprezas adorn the front of the WRX STI with standard LED low-beam headlights. In all, the WRX STI features a unique hood, fenders, doors, quarter panels, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters to separate the STI form both the Impreza and the WRX. Of course, a massive rear wing is still available.
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Power will come from the same 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine developing the same 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. As well, a six-speed manual will be the only transmission available. But don’t write the STI off as a mechanical carry-over just yet; the suspension and chassis have significantly changed.
The WRX STI will include a 13.0:1 steering ratio that enables 2.5 turns lock-to-lock which is much quicker than the regular WRX’s 14.5:1 ratio and 2.8 turns lock-to-lock. The STI will continue to use an inverted-strut front suspension system with aluminum front lower L-arms to help save weight. 18-inch wheels wearing 245/40R18 summer performance tires are standard on all STIs while the Launch Edition and Limited models will come with obligatory BBS aluminum-alloy wheels.
Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) powertrain management system will allow the driver to select one of three modes, “Intelligent,” “Sport” and “Sport Sharp,” to change the engine control module and throttle response. As should be expected, the STI retains the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) that splits power 41:59 front to rear and can be set in three automatic modes or one of six manual modes. A mechanical limited-slip type center differential will alter the torque split between the front and rear wheels depending on the situation. Thankfully, the 2015 STI comes with two more mechanical differentials as well; a helical-type limited-slip up front and a Torsen in the rear.
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For the first time on an STI, active torque vectoring will be included, but sadly relies on brake applications to the inside front wheel to improve cornering ability. The good news is, the system includes three settings: “VDC Normal,” “Traction” and “Off.” In the off mode the active torque vectoring will be completely disabled and won’t interfere unlike a similar system found on the Ford Focus ST.
Inside, the new WRX STI has become more premium offering a harman/kardon audio system, dual zone climate control and Alcantara seating surfaces with red and black leather bolsters and red stitching. Most noticeable inside however is the new flat-bottom steering wheel.
To mark the beginning of the new model, 1,000 special “Launch Edition” WRX STIs will be created all painted in traditional World Rally Blue Pearl. The interiors will feature unique trim with blue highlights, a STI short-throw shifter and keyless start. And, like any good STI, gold-painted BBS alloy wheels are part of this package as well.
GALLERY: 2015 Subaru WRX STI
GALLERY: 2015 Subaru WRX STI
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