2015 Subaru WRX STI Gets Trick Torque Vectoring

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

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.

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.

Driver Adjustable

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.

Launch Edition

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

Discuss this story on our Subaru Forum.

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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  • Soul_theorem Soul_theorem on Jan 24, 2014

    My turbo-swapped '04 Forester makes more HP than the new 'stock' STI. Subaru should have engineered at least 350 HP into the new STI - minimum! A freakin' 2014 V6 Mustang makes the same 305 HP. Subaru disappoints again....

    • See 2 previous
    • John STI John STI on Jun 09, 2014

      OK dickwad, what's your point? It's not a pissing competition. Your pissy Forester would get eaten any day of the week by a 2015 STI (stock vs stock). Who friggin cares what VW just announced? If you don't like the car, go back to your upgraded soccer mum car and leave the real enthusiasts to enjoy.

  • Pablo Pablo on Apr 18, 2014

    The STI has had no major performance upgrades for 10 years. It's a joke. The brand is a joke. The concept car last year was beautiful, and they release this boring car with no significant improvements in any performance category. This is why I also look at it, but never bite when I'm shopping for cars.

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