This is it! The 2015 Subaru WRX STI, the darling of car magazines, the road-going rally car, the affordable four-wheel-drive speed machine, has been unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show. Let’s cut straight to the chase: the new STI has a 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled 4-cylinder BOXER engine with 305 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of peak torque.
To be honest, we were expecting a bit more than that, what with the standard 2015 WRX boasting 260 hp. But you know what they say, it’s not how much power you have. It’s how you use it. And the STI uses every one of its horses to good effect.
The car features a reinforced six-speed manual gearbox with an STI short-throw shifter in the Launch Edition model and Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) powertrain management system with “Intelligent,” “Sport” and “Sport Sharp” driving modes, not to mention the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
Now, that last bit probably needs deciphering. The system uses planetary-type center differential gears with a nominal 41:59 torque split. A mechanical limited-slip type center differential augments an electronically controlled center differential to enhance torque transfer performance. WRX STI has a helical-type limited-slip diff at the front, and a TORSEN torque-sensing limited-slip at the back with Active Torque Vectoring. What all these mean, in essence, is that power goes to the right place at exactly the right to make the car faster.
The new STI even looks fast, what with the wide body treatment with extended arches, more aggressive fascia, and all those spoilers and wings. And it has gold wheels, which when combined with a blue body brings back lots of good memories for Subaru fans. The 2015 Subaru WRX STI has also become more refined and easier to live with than its predecessors. The cabin features nicer materials and there are lots of advanced technologies going on in there.
Standard features for the 2015 WRX STI include dual-zone automatic climate control and the All-Weather Package (dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer). The new standard audio system combines AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, a single-disc in-dash CD player, 6 speakers, MP3/WMA capability, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, iTunes® Tagging, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (subscription required), USB port and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio input jack. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console hold phones, USB drives and MP3 players.