Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX STI car previews auto shows 2014detroit 2014 auto shows
Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX STI car previews auto shows 2014detroit 2014 auto shows
Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX STI car previews auto shows 2014detroit 2014 auto shows
2015 Subaru WRX STI. Click image to enlarge

Preview and photos by Jeff Wilson

Originally published January 15, 2014

Detroit, Michigan – The more things change, the more they stay the same.  At least that seems to be true with the 2015 Subaru WRX STI.

Subaru of America’s President and COO, Tom Doll introduced the 2015 STI amidst the fanfare and celebration that very much reflected on past successes of the highest-performing version of the brand’s Impreza lineup.

Video footage of WRC competition versions of past Imprezas jumping, crashing and winning races reinforcing that Subaru has had a lot of “mud, sweat and cheers” over the generations.  All this to warm up the crowd for the latest iteration of the performance legend and flagship of the Subaru product line.

Based on the current Impreza platform introduced for the 2012 model year, the new STI is now 25 mm (one inch) longer in its wheelbase, enabling a more spacious interior.  Despite being longer, the new Impreza is said to be more nimble thanks to a stiffer chassis.

Firmer springs and a faster 13.0:1 steering ratio with only 2.5 turns lock to lock (quicker than the standard WRX’s 2.8) also contribute to a more agile-handling car.   Wheels remain 18 inches.

Indeed much of Subaru’s promotion of the new STI revolved around its greater dynamic capabilities in handling and braking.  Tom Doll hinted at a lighter overall mass for the new car, which would contribute to improved handling and braking, but final curb weight specifications are not yet available.

One final addition to the handling improvements comes from the introduction of Active Torque Vectoring, which works in concert with the Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Controls (VDC) stability and traction control system.  Active Torque Vectoring applies brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral handling, but can be turned off with the VDC if desired.

The 2015 WRX STI’s powertrain is carryover from the previous generation.  It remains a 2.5-litre turbocharged and intercooled Boxer four-cylinder.  Power output remains 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Re-using last year’s powertrain is likely to disappoint some STI fans hoping for even more power, but Subaru is quick to point out that this output is still top of the class, as is the reportedly improved power-to-weight ratio of this new car.

A six-speed manual transmission continues to be the only gearbox choice for the STI and both the Three-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (centre differential controller) and the Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) powertrain management system are also back.

Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX STI car previews auto shows 2014detroit 2014 auto shows Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX STI car previews auto shows 2014detroit 2014 auto shows
2015 Subaru WRX STI. Click image to enlarge

The other point of pride in Subaru’s launch presentation on the STI is the improvement to the interior.  In addition to the aforementioned increase in passenger space, the cabin has moved upscale, befitting its flagship model.

The steering wheel is a flat-bottom, leather-wrapped unit that both tilts and telescopes.  The steering wheel frames a new electroluminescent gauge panel with a 3.5-inch LCD screen to display various warnings and functions.

Related Articles:
Preview: 2015 Subaru WRX
Test Drive: 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition
Preview: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2014 North American International Auto Show (Detroit) Coverage

Manufacturer’s Website:
Subaru Canada

Photo Gallery:
2015 Subaru WRX STI

A 4.3-inch LCD is added to the centre dash with standard rear camera functionality, plus boost-gauge displays.  Navigation remains optional and the stereo is said to be improved – long an STI weak point in the past.

Greater use of soft touch materials are now found on the dashboard, door trim and centre-console armrest.

The media introduction of the 2015 WRX STI also featured a special “Launch Edition”.  This model features the classic WR blue paint, gold BBS forged alloy wheels and STI short-throw shifter.  Only 1,000 units will be made available, but alas, this version is exclusively for US customers.

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI will be available for purchase in the first half of 2014.  Pricing has not yet been announced but is expected to be in line with current models.




About Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson is a Hamilton-based automotive journalist and accredited member of AJAC. When not pursuing his automotive passions, he divides his time between being a dad, husband and television producer.