The all-new 2015 WRX STI Launch Edition was revealed at the Portland International Auto Show last week. Subaru will limit this edition to 1,000 units and exclusively feature WR Blue paint and gold BBS forged alloy wheels and unique interior trim. Dave Erickson was on assignment in Portland for a private media preview.
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.
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