2015 Subaru WRX Bows in LA With CVT, 268 Horsepower

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad
Despite all the leaked information coming out, the Subaru WRX still made its debut at the 2013 LA auto show, sporting a few new wrinkles to the winning WRX formula.

The new WRX turns the already grown up look of the Subaru Impreza into an car that exudes a sporting personality, complete with hood-scoops, low-profile spoiler and flared fenders.

Everyone wants to know what lies under the hood of the WRX and Subaru opted to stick to the familiar idea of turbocharging a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Despite being a whole half-liter smaller than the last generation of WRX, the 2015 model puts out 268 hp, just three more than before. On the other hand, torque is improved, offering 14 more lb-ft of it at 258 lb-ft in total, which is delivered as soon as 4,800 rpm.

SEE ALSO: 2013 LA Auto Show Coverage

Another area where the new WRX one-ups the old one is in the transmission, which is now a six-speed manual, compared to the last models five-speed. The new manual transmission even features carbon synchros for the first two gears ensuring quicker shifts and a more durable gearbox. Subaru is expecting the manual model to get around 24 mpg combined.

Subaru is also offering a CVT transmission to those who don’t like shifting at all. The new gearbox features three different modes, and paddle shifters which allow the driver to switch between 6 or 8 pre-set gear ratios. While CVTs are rarely sporty feeling, this is a unique twist to the usually boring and fuel conscious transmission. The automaker believes the CVT will deliver 21 mpg combined.

Inside the WRX tells a bigger story. The car features a far more grown up and mature look, starting from the cars leather-wrapped flat bottom steering wheel. There’s more soft touch material in key spots around the cabin and there’s also (finally) an option for a premium sound system by Harman Kardon, pumping out 440-watts of kicking tunes. The rear seat benefits from the shared platform of the new Impreza, sporting two extra inches of rear-seat legroom.

Weighing in at just over 3,200 lbs, the new WRX is a new twist on the brand’s Subaru sport car, leaving us with just one question: when do we see the STI model?

GALLERY: 2015 Subaru WRX Live Photos

GALLERY: 2015 Subaru WRX Studio Photos

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Discuss this story at our WRX forum.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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2 of 15 comments
  • Justin Justin on Feb 01, 2014

    My 2012 Subaru Impreza Sport (hatchback) looks more aggressive than this WRX... shame

  • Aaron2112 Aaron2112 on Mar 13, 2014

    I understand that the styling was a let down, but as a 2014 WRX owner, I really like this. The interior was a MASSIVE move in the right direction. And the engine will be a real peach. It makes more torque and makes it MUCH sooner. This motor out torques the EJ255 (current WRX engine) and the EJ 257 (STI engine) through all the RPM ranges that really matter. It brings its full song on around 2,000 RPM, in comparison the EJ series are laggy little buggers until 4k RPM. The acceleration times are not as good as I would have imagined considering the torque advantage but, this does now have a 6 speed manual and that means one more required shift (into 3rd rather than holding 2nd) and that is undoubtedly where the slower times come. But I guarantee, this car will out class the previous gens on a track. And quite honestly, I find the exterior to be classy. Reminiscent of a German compact lux/sport sedan in WRX quise. It has a nice, subtle, aggressiveness that no longer means you need to be a teenager to be in one and taken seriously as an adult.