2015 Subaru WRX STI: Yep, I was right… I want one. [NAIAS, Video] (UPDATE: Pricing)

2015 Subaru WRX STI NAIAS 3

As I’m writing this post, I’m watching The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.  I can be said that this is not the greatest of films.  But, there can be no argument that the cars featured are a bit inspirational.  I’m seriously a hairsbreadth from grabbing the keys and being very, very irresponsible.

 

I recently sold my 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, and since then I’ve been aching for another fun car.  And, at first blush, I think I’ve found it… the 2015 Subaru WRX STI, which just launched at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get one of the 1,000 launch editions.

2015 Subaru WRX STI NAIAS 7

This is the fourth generation of the lauded WRX STI, and it is leaving some Subie fans a bit flummoxed.  And, I’ll tell you why.  The last gen STI was powered by a 305 horse and 290 pound-feet 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder boxer engine.  The one before that nursed 300 hp from a 2.5-liter 4-banger.  Before that 265 hp from a tiny 2.0-liter.  The 2015 Subaru WRX STI has a 2.5-liter turbo boxer four-cylinder engine making 305 horse and 290 pound-feet of torque with power going to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

 

I’m sure every fan of the STI was hoping for a bit of a bump in horsepower and torque.  It seems almost lazy to not squeeze out at least a few more HPs from and engine that we know has more to give.  But, does the 2015 Subaru WRX STI have more to give than just WR Blue Pearl paint and shiny, shiny gold BBS rally wheels?  Is it worth getting over the 2013 STI?  Oh yeah.

2015 Subaru WRX STI NAIAS 5

All-wheel-drive rally cars like the Subaru WRX STI and Mitsu Evo are a special breed of cars.  They’re designed not just to go fast, but to go fast over (or, in some cases, through) anything.  They’re like the post office… Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.  Thinking about it, they’re probably more reliable than the post office.  That means that while plenty of power and plenty of torque are important, it’s the chassis of the 2015 Subaru WRX STI that is the milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard.

 

And, what a milkshake it is.  The all-new 2015 Subaru WRX that debuted at the LA Auto Show was already a serious improvement over the current car.  The 2015 Subaru WRX STI takes it to a-whole-nother world.  New for the 2015 WRX STI is Active Torque Vectoring which is part of the Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control systemThe Active Torque Vectoring (which can be set to VDC Normal, Traction and Off) will apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel for more neutral cornering.

2015 Subaru WRX STI NAIAS 6

The VDC teams up with Subaru’s Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) and Brembo’s Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS to make one high-tech car.  A driver can tailor the driving characteristics of the car by picking one of three modes (Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp) and choose one of six different modes for locking the the 2015 Subaru WRX STI’s center differential.  The standard torque split of the 2015 STI is 41:59, but a mechanical limited-slip center diff works in tandem with an electronic center differential to enhance torque transfer performance.

 

So, yeah the 2015 Subaru WRX STI may not have a bump in power, but you can be damn well sure the handling and chassis upgrades will more than make up for it.  This is going to be one sharp car, especially if you can get your hands on one of the 1,000 launch edition cars.  The 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition comes with:

  • WR Blue Pearl Paint
  • Special cabin trim with blue highlights
  • Gold BBS forged alloy wheels
  • STI Short-Throw Shifter
  • Keyless Access & Start

2015 Subaru WRX STI NAIAS 9

Bad news for hatchback fans.  The 2015 STI is only coming in sedan form.  Inside, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI looks a lot like the 2015 WRX.  Shocker, no?  At first glance, it looks there may be some improvement in interior quality, but we’ll have to wait to see it in person.

 

No word yet on price or availability. [NEVERMIND… SEE BELOW FOR PRICING]  I would guess the 2015 Subaru WRX STI won’t be far off the current car’s $35,000 starting price.  For more info, check out the press releases below.  And, be sure to peruse the galleries and videos.

[UPDATE: Pricing for the 2015 Subaru WRX STI…

2015 SUBARU WRX and WRX STI SEDAN
Model/Trim
Transmission
MSRP
MSRP + destination and delivery
WRX
6MT
$26,295
$27,090
WRX Premium
6MT
$28,495
$29,290
WRX Premium
CVT
$29,695
$30,490
WRX Limited
6MT
$29,995
$30,790
WRX Limited
CVT
$31,195
$31,990
WRX STI
6MT
$34,495
$35,290
WRX STI Launch Edition
6MT
$37,395
$38,190
WRX STI Limited
6MT
$38,495
$39,290
2015 OPTION PACKAGES
Navigation +Audio w/ Harman/Kardon® Amplifier and speakers
$2,000
Navi System + Audio w/ Harman/Kardon® Amplifier and speakers +Keyless Access
and Start
$2,500
Navigation System +Keyless Access and Start
$1,500

2015 Subaru WRX STI Debut Press Release

2015 Subaru WRX STI Press Release

ALL-NEW 2015 SUBARU WRX® STI® DEBUTS AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT

New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru’s global performance flagship model • Bold new sedan model with aero body design • High-performance chassis with new Active Torque Vectoring • 305 hp turbo BOXER engine; most powerful engine in the segment • Driver Controlled Center Differential All-Wheel Drive • STI Launch Edition limited to 1,000 available

DETROIT –  Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 WRX STI, Subaru’s iconic performance flagship model, at the North American International Auto Show. Subaru will offer a WRX STI Launch Edition, limited to 1,000 units and exclusively featuring WR Blue paint and gold BBS® forged alloy wheels and unique interior trim.

Powered by the legendary 305-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX STI debuts a new four-door wide-body design, built on a stiffer chassis for even greater handling agility and precision. The WRX STI provides a rally-bred drivetrain and all-wheel drive handling that is unique to this model. Handling is enhanced with a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and faster steering (13.0:1 ratio).

New for the 2015 WRX STI, Active Torque Vectoring joins an arsenal of the model’s proven handling technologies that includes Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, and a Brembo® Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS.

The 2015 WRX STI carries its bold personality inside, where new Alcantara seating surfaces accented by red and black leather bolsters and red stitching set the tone for the upgraded and roomier cabin. A driver-focused interior remains integral to the WRX STI performance character, with the new model debuting a motorsports-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel and new whiplash-reducing performance-design front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints. A wide array of new user technologies include, for the first time in a WRX STI, availability of a harman/kardon® premium audio system.

Iconic STI Design Exclusively in Sedan Form A bolder front design makes the 2015 WRX STI look ready to devour the road. The “nose-cone” configuration combines the grille and bumper cap into one unit ahead of the hood, which for the 2015 model is made from aluminum to reduce weight over the front of the car. Narrower headlights, designed to evoke a raptor’s stare, flank the Subaru hexagonal grille. It’s a more powerful stare thanks to new standard LED low-beam headlights.

The special hood, fenders, doors and quarters, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters convey the WRX STI identity. As on previous WRX STI models, a functional hood scoop supplies the intercooler with fresh air, and in the 2015 model it is set more deeply into the hood to provide better forward visibility.

Other new performance-oriented details include foglight surrounds with a carbon fiber-like pattern and front fender vents that feature a mesh screen. A full aerodynamic body package includes the large trunk spoiler that has been a WRX STI signature feature. A rear diffuser, LED taillights and LED center high-mount stop lamp (CHMSL) leave a distinctive signature.

New, Stiffer Chassis for Greater Handling Agility The 2015 WRX STI body structure makes greater use of high-tensile steel than the previous model and features special stiffening elements at key locations. The stiffer chassis helps yield a super-quick steering response that was benchmarked against top-handling sports cars. The 13.0:1 steering ratio provides a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock compared to 14.5:1 and 2.8 for the standard WRX model.

As on previous WRX STI models, the 2015 version uses an exclusive inverted-strut front suspension system that provides higher levels of cornering agility. Aluminum front lower L-arms reduce unsprung vehicle weight. The STI-tuned suspension teams with standard 18-inch wheels and 245/40R18 summer performance tires, with the WRX STI Launch Edition and WRX STI Limited models featuring BBS® forged aluminum-alloy wheels.

305-hp Turbo BOXER Engine The 2015 WRX STI is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled 4-cylinder BOXER engine that employs the Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS). The engine, which is exclusive to the STI model, produces 305 horsepower (SAE) at 6,000 rpm and 290 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.

The WRX STI engine is teamed exclusively with a specially reinforced 6-speed manual transmission, which includes an STI short-throw shifter in the Launch Edition model. Incline Start Assist can momentarily prevent the car from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.

The Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) powertrain management system allows the driver to tailor the car’s driving characteristics by choosing from among three selectable modes – “Intelligent,” “Sport” and “Sport Sharp” – using a rotary dial on the center console. SI-DRIVE alters vehicle performance characteristics by regulating the engine control module and by fine-tuning the electronic throttle control system.

Multi-Mode DCCD All-Wheel Drive with Three-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control The 2015 WRX STI is exclusively equipped with the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This sophisticated 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.

Sensor inputs that include steering angle, throttle position, RPM, lateral-g, yaw, brake, ABS and wheel speed govern torque transfer response. A helical-type limited-slip front differential and a TORSEN® torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential optimize side-to-side torque distribution.

The DCCD AWD system features three automatic modes, each using varying degrees of center differential locking to match different driving situations. In manual mode, the driver can select one of six center differential locking levels to suit the driving situation.

Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The VDC system offers yet more driver choices, with three settings: “VDC Normal,” “Traction” and “Off.” Each provides respectively lesser degrees of system engagement, allowing the driver to tailor response for the driving situation. Active Torque Vectoring remains engaged for “Normal” and “Traction” modes.

Premium Cabin A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX STI helps provide a roomier cabin in the new model. The windshield is more raked than before, with the A-pillar pulled forward nearly eight inches at the base for better forward visibility, aided by a lower dashboard and narrower A-pillars. Lower side sills and wider-opening doors make ingress/egress easier. Rear seat legroom is increased by nearly two inches, and trunk capacity is now 12 cu. ft., up from 11.3 cu. ft. in the previous WRX STI sedan. A standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat extends versatility. New available Welcome Lighting responds to the driver approaching the car.

In the 2015 WRX STI, the driver grips a new flat-bottom, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel that integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth control. The STI Design electroluminescent gauge panel gets a new 3.5-in. central LCD screen that displays various functions, including low-level warnings for oil and windshield washer fluid and the selected gear.

Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. A new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a standard rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio (on non-navigation models), Bluetooth and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can also provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.

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.

An available touch-screen navigation system displays on a 6.1-inch LCD screen and offers voice controls. The WRX STI Limited model adds the luxury of leather-trimmed upholstery, an 8-way power driver’s seat, the harman/kardon premium audio system and a power moonroof that opens one inch farther than on the previous model.

Subaru Safety Subaru’s renowned safety package uses the brand’s proven Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure, which has been shown to excel in the new small overlap test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the cabin, a driver’s knee airbag is added to the roster of safety features that includes front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.

Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car.

Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Press Release

2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Press Release

2015 SUBARU WRX® STI® LAUNCH EDITION COMMEMORATES THE BRAND’S COMPETITION HERITAGE

• 1,000 to be offered, all painted WR Blue Pearl • Special cabin trim with blue highlights • Built on standard, lightest STI model • Gold-painted BBS® forged alloy wheels • STI Short-Throw Shifter • Keyless Access & Start

DETROIT –  Subaru of America, Inc. will usher in the new-generation 2015 WRX STI by offering the STI Launch Edition, designed to appeal especially to loyalists who have made the STI a high-performance icon. Exclusive features amplify the special nature of the STI within the performance-car community. Subaru will offer 1,000 of these models in North America.

All 1,000 of the WRX STI Launch Edition models will be painted WR Blue Pearl and come equipped with gold-painted 18-inch BBS® alloy wheels, an iconic color combination long associated with Subaru competition cars. As on all 2015 WRX STI models, the wheels carry 245/40R18 summer performance tires.

Built on the standard and lightest WRX STI model, the STI Launch Edition is exclusively equipped with special interior colors and trim and gets a standard STI Short-Throw Shifter for the 6-speed manual transmission. The Keyless Access & Start system, which is offered as an option on WRX STI Premium and Limited models, is included as standard with the STI Launch Edition.

Powered by a 305-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX STI debuts a new four-door wide-body design, built on a stiffer chassis for even greater handling agility and precision. New for the 2015 WRX STI, Active Torque Vectoring joins the model’s arsenal of proven advanced dynamic handling technologies that includes Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), SI-DRIVE powertrain control system and a Brembo® Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS.

Exclusive STI Cabin Design The Subaru competition heritage carries into the roomier cabin of the 2015 WRX STI model, which features a new flat-bottom steering wheel and whiplash-reducing performance-design front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints. The STI Launch Edition is distinguished by an exclusive cabin design treatment.

The leather bolsters for the Alcantara-covered seats are blue and black with black stitching rather than the red and black with red stitching in other STI models. The door trim panels are blue leather with black stitching, and the Alcantara-covered center console storage box lid features black stitching. Blue trim accents the carpeted floor mats that carry the STI logo.

Best-Equipped WRX STI Ever The 2015 WRX STI is the best-equipped version of this high-performance model ever. Standard features include LED low-beam headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, the All-Weather Package (dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer) and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with switches for audio and Bluetooth® control.

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.

A new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a standard rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio (on non-navigation models), Bluetooth® and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can also provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.

 

Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of TickTickVroom.com.

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