2015 Subaru WRX Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show
Subaru has officially won the road-going rally-car war. With Mitsubishi retiring the Lancer Evolution after the Evo X’s run is finished, the Subaru WRX (and WRX STI) is the undisputed king of the hill. So, think of the new 2015 Subaru WRX just unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show as a victory lap.
It seems almost sad the the best Subaru WRX thus far is losing its sparring buddy. But, be that as it may, the 2015 Subaru WRX isn’t pulling any punches. Better looking, more powerful, the new WRX is all new and completely redesigned.
Power comes from a 268 horse, 258 pound-feet of torque, turbocharged, intercooled, direct-injected, 2.0 liter flat-four-cylinder engine. Up three horses and fourteen pound-feet from the current WRX, the 2015 Subaru WRX has a much wide power-band. All of those gravel-running ponies are accessible between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm.
Ooh, and guess what… the 2015 WRX gets a-whole-nother gear. That’s right, the WRX now has a six-speed manual transmission. For those who don’t like to row their own gears, Subaru is offering an option continuously variable transmission in both six-speed and eight-speed modes.
Slightly more grunt and an additional gear means more weight. Don’t fret… the 2015 Subaru WRX is only 59 pounds heavier than the current model. So, that means almost all of the upgrades go to better performance. The manual transmission WRX runs from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds. The CVT model takes a surprisingly long 5.9 seconds.
Subaru is known for the all-wheel-drive (BRZ not withstanding). The 6-speed Manual Transmission WRX will use continuous AWD with a 50:50 torque split. The CVT WRX will come fitted with Subaru’s Variable Torque Distribution and a 45:55 torque split.
Inside, the 2015 Subaru WRX seems to have grown up a bit. There seems to be a marked improvement in build quality and finish. The center stack seems to be a wealth of information with screens and dials galore. I’m always a sucker for a flat-bottom steering wheel, and, guess what, the 2015 WRX has one. Yay!
I have to say I really like the way the 2015 Subaru WRX looks. It is rather a lovely car. I can’t wait to see what the next WRX STI will be like. For more info, check out the press release below.
2015 Subaru WRX Press Release
2015 SUBARU WRX® MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru global performance icon New torque-vectoring system reduces understeer New 268-hp 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine New standard 6-speed manual transmission New Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual modes
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2013 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2015 WRX, a more powerful and better handling version of the brand’s iconic high-performance model, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model’s first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic CVT with two manual modes.
With its bold new wide-body sedan design and expanded performance envelope, the 2015 WRX marks a major evolutionary step for the rally-bred performance car that has become a global automotive legend. For 2015, the Subaru WRX employs a new torque-vectoring system that supplements the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Torque vectoring allows for improved cornering speeds and handling. The new and stiffer chassis, larger brakes, performance-tuned suspension and a driver-focused interior remain integral to the WRX performance character. The new powertrain also yields higher fuel efficiency than the previous model.
At the same time, a roomier interior, upgraded cabin comfort and materials and a wide array of new user technologies give the new WRX a more refined feel. A harman/kardon® premium audio system is offered for the first time in a WRX. The 2015 WRX design deftly blends an aggressive stance with a sophisticated sport sedan theme. The new WRX features a much bolder front design with a deep front spoiler and unique grille. The wide-body stance seen on the previous model is enhanced with new, standard 17-inch wheels. The hood, front fenders, rear doors and quarters, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters are all unique to the 2015 WRX.
Specially designed for the 2015 WRX, the rear doors and fenders continue the model’s wide-body stance in a rakish new profile. The Subaru hexagonal grille is flanked by narrower headlights designed to evoke a raptor’s stare. The functional hood scoop, which supplies the intercooler with fresh air, is now 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 vertical front fender vents that feature a bright garnish and a mesh screen. Higher-grade models use new LED low-beam headlights; halogen lights are used on other models. The side sill spoilers that help to visually lower the car also help protect the doors from rock chips.
New standard 17-inch wheels feature a more aerodynamic design. At the rear, LED taillights, a diffuser, LED center high-mount stoplight (CHMS) and an available lip spoiler leave a distinctive signature.
The new WRX body structure makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel than the previous model and features special stiffening elements at key locations. Combined with the new Electronic Power Steering system, specially tuned suspension and 235/45 R17 94W Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tires, the stiffer chassis yields steering response that was benchmarked against top-handling sports cars.
The new WRX 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder BOXER engine uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (D-AVCS), a twin-scroll turbocharger and an intercooler to achieve outstanding performance and high efficiency. The engine produces 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 258 lb.-ft. over a 2,000-5,200 rpm engine speed range.
Based on the engine used in the new 2014 Forester 2.0 XT, the WRX version uses different cams and higher-rate valve springs, among other enhancements, to extend the performance envelope. The new 6-speed manual transmission provides a wider ratio spread than the previous 5-speed and incorporates several performance and durability improvements for this high-performance application, including carbon synchronizers on first and second gears.
New Sport Lineartronic CVT
The 2015 WRX introduces the option of a new automatic transmission engineered to enrich the performance-driving experience. The new Sport Lineartronic CVT combines the benefits of a continuously variable transmission (high fuel efficiency, ultra-smooth driving character) with the choice of stepped automatic shifting eight pre-selected ratios (when in Sport Sharp mode) and also 6-speed and 8-speed manual shifting modes using steering wheel paddle switches.
Models with the Sport Lineartronic CVT also feature Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), a powertrain performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s driving characteristics by choosing from among three selectable modes – “Intelligent,” “Sport” and “Sport Sharp” – using a switch on the flat-bottom steering wheel.
Two Versions of Symmetrical AWD When equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the 2015 Subaru WRX uses the brand’s Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking center differential nominally distributes torque 50:50 front to rear, and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) provides stability and traction control. Should slippage occur, this system transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction.
The new Sport Lineartronic CVT is teamed exclusively with the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. Under most conditions, VTD splits the torque 45:55, with the rearward torque bias contributing to handling agility. The VTD system continually optimizes torque distribution in response to driving conditions and input from steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors.
Premium Cabin A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX is a factor in providing a markedly 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. Higher seating hip points, lower side sills and wider-opening doors make ingress/egress easier. Rear seat passengers gain nearly two inches of legroom, and trunk capacity is increased. A standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat extends the WRX sedan’s versatility.
The high-performance feel starts as soon as the driver enters the 2015 WRX and grips the new flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments. The wheel integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth® control.
Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console hold all manner of personal items, such as phones, USB drives and MP3 players. The available power sunroof opens one inch farther than on the previous WRX.
The dual gauge instrument layout features a 3.5-in. LCD central screen to display various functions, including oil level, remaining washer fluid and selected gear ratio. A new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio, Bluetooth and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.
Whiplash-reducing front sport seats, covered in a new high-grip fabric, feature separate tilt- and height-adjustable head restraints, a change from the seats with integrated head restraints used before. Leather is available, as is an 8-way power driver’s seat. Amenities that reflect the 2015 WRX’s refined sport sedan positioning include standard automatic climate control and available Keyless Access with Push-button Start, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, and a 440-watt, 9-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system and navigation with Aha® smartphone integration.
Subaru Safety Subaru’s renowned safety package uses the brand’s proven Ring Shaped Frame Reinforcement 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.
About Subaru of America, Inc. Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.