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Considering the WRX STI has a large and dedicated fan base, perhaps we wanted to see something more dramatic come out of the highly-anticipated new STI. But we didn't get our hopes up after seeing what small changes were made to the 2015 WRX this past November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
For 2015, Subaru sticks to what has worked in the past. Horsepower is the same as it was in the previous generation—305—and torque remains the same at 290 pound-feet. Whereas the WRX is now powered by a smaller 2.0-liter engine, the turbo 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder in the WRX STI is the same. Still a six-speed manual. While Subaru may not have changed much, the alterations they made were at least properly thought out. New for 2015 is improved handling and cornering from Subaru's Active Torque Vectoring system. Subaru also says that it has taken steps to reduce cabin noise and boost interior space. On the outside is a deeper hood scoop, LED taillights, and lower side sills.
Who It's For
The all-new STI will continue to appeal to its long-established fan base of racing-oriented buyers. But the STI may be able to branch out to new buyers with its newly-found sophistication. Expect a more refined interior, a larger trunk, and better technology in the fresh WRX STI.
While no doubt the STI is one of a kind, there are a few cars out there that are competing for the same customers. The Nissan 370Z, although a coupe, offers spirited driving and more power for a reasonable price. Its closest competitor, however, is likely the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, which rules the road with superior handling. Unlike the STI, the Evo is available in an automatic. Choosing the STI over its competitors will likely be a matter of personal preference.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI features plenty of features that make it perfect for the highway or the track.
- Brembo performance brakes and STI sport-tuned suspension.
- New flat bottom leather steering wheel.
- Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp driving settings.
- New 4.3-inch LCD screen with rear camera display, audio, Bluetooth, and climate controls.
- Optional harman/kardon nine-speaker sound system, navigation, and Aha smartphone integration.
What We Think
The WRX STI has always been disgustingly fun to drive, and we are confident that the changes for 2015 will only enhance this experience. But we wanted a bit more bravado, perhaps some key styling changes or some noticeable changes under the hood. To be honest, when the WRX gains a bit of power in its new generation and some similarly sized cars are creeping up in power, we expected Subaru to do more, especially since the STI is a heavier car than it used to be.
Subaru fans will continue to love the STI, but the rest of the world may pass it by as fresh new alternatives hit the market. Our ultimate verdict, however, will come when we put the pedal to the medal. Frankly, we can't wait to see how it drives.
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