Posts Tagged ‘wrx st-i’

Introducing the 2015 Subaru WRX STI – It’s Finally Here (Almost)

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, January 26th, 2014

It seems like every six weeks throughout 2013 we heard new rumors – both good and bad – about the range-topping Subaru WRX STI.

For those of you unfamiliar with the car, the Subaru WRX is the hipster Japanese brand’s single most highly-acclaimed vehicle, and it’s been a fan-favorite since its debut to the World Rally Cross in 1992. Then, in 1994 we saw the first Impreza WRX augmented by Subaru Technica International (STI). Even though the mechanically upgraded car was sold exclusively in Japan, it was a worldwide favorite among rally racers and street racers alike. Since then, Subaru has continued releasing limited runs of their WRX STI’s for each generation of WRX, and as of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, we now know what to expect from the next one.

Feast your eyes on the 2015 Subaru WRX STI:

Subaru WRX STi 2014 model

More specifically, this is the Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition, of which only 1,000 units will be manufactured. We’ll get into what makes the ‘Launch Edition’ so special in just a moment. For now, let’s talk about why you’ll want to drive the new Subaru WRX STI.

First, as you might expect, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is powered by the brand’s trademark Boxer engine, 2.5 liters and turbocharged, outputting 305 horsepower. For your information, this is the single most powerful engine in the car’s segment, at least according to Subaru.

But there’s more to the performance sedan’s mechanics than just the engine…

The WRX STI has also been built on a stiffer chassis with Active Torque Vectoring, as well as a highly responsive drivetrain designed from the ground up for agile racing performance. In fact, a new feature called Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential allows the driver to augment the torque transfer between wheels to ensure maximum control while you’re driving.

Of course, when you’re going really fast, you also need a way to quickly stop, so the WRX STI gets a Brembo Performance Brake System complete with Super Sport ABS.

Beyond performance, though, the WRX STI also boasts several new feel-good features for the interior. For example, the WRX STI gets new Alcantara seating with black and red leather and red stitching. The interior has also been slightly expanded to ensure the comfort of both drivers and passengers. And you’ll get to rock out while you’re driving to the crisp sounds of a world-class Harman/Kardon audio system.

Special features that will only be available on the Launch Edition include those spiffy gold wheels, a more refined interior, and an optional short-throw shift kit.

Was the 2015 Subaru WRX STI worth the wait? With rivals like the VW Golf R and BMW 1 Series around, the competition is certainly going to be stiff. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and come back next week for more Japanese car news.

Thanks for reading!


Subaru WRX Teased Ahead of its 2013 LA Motor Show Debut

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 15th, 2013

As you may know, the next-gen 2015 Subaru WRX is scheduled to debut at the 2013 LA Motor Show next Friday. Ever since the refreshingly aggressive Subaru WRX Concept from this year’s New York Auto Show, we and the rest of the automotive blog-o-sphere have held high hopes for the production model’s aesthetic.

For reference, this is the Subaru WRX Concept we saw earlier this year:

Subaru WRX Concept

However, our hopes were shaken a couple months ago when we found a disturbing story in which an unknown car made a television appearance on a Japanese news show showcasing Subaru’s new EyeSight technologies. The car looked very much like an Impreza with a hood scoop, but Subaru gave no name for the car on TV. This is what it looked like:

Subaru WRX prototype

That’s where we’re at coming into today’s story; we’re eager to see the new Subaru WRX production model, but we’re also nervous that it will share previous generations’ Impreza-ness. Especially because Subaru has specifically said that’s what they’re trying to avoid.

Fortunately, Subaru eased our fears earlier this week when it released an official front-clip-only teaser for the upcoming 2015 Subaru WRX, which is pictured below:

Subaru WRX

As you can see, the rendering looks muscular and sleek. Distinct body lines, an aggressive grille, a squared-off bumper, the signature hood scoop and new LED headlights all lead us to believe that Subaru has successfully translated the initial WRX Concept into an appealing WRX production model. If anything, it looks as if the upcoming Subie has even more musculature in production than it did in concept, which would be a rare feat.

But then, these front-and-back images were leaked online…

Subaru WRX front

Subaru WRX rear

And like a splash of ice-cold water, we were snapped back to reality. The Subaru WRX Concept was too much to hope for. The digital teaser was too much to hope for. It was all too much too hope for.

As you can see, the rear image in particular looks almost exactly like a regular Subaru Impreza. If not for the sculpted fenders and the slight rear spoiler, you wouldn’t notice a difference between the Impreza and the pictured WRX without extensive inspection.

There’s no doubt that the 2015 Subaru WRX will be significantly more attractive than its predecessors, but in the clear light of day, it simply doesn’t live up to our (admittedly) high hopes.

Fortunately, all hope is still not lost. As said earlier, these are unofficial, leaked images, which may mean they’re fake. Subaru has not released any confirmed teasers beyond the original front-clip-only image. So, if these are fake renderings, it would make sense for the rear shot to be unimpressive since Subaru’s official teaser only details the front half of the vehicle. Plus, even if they’re real, we can still hold out hope that the Subaru WRX STi will be more impressive; we should hopefully find out for sure at the beginning of next year.

Ultimately, it’s fully possible that we’re being too pessimistic. So, if you’re a Subaru fan, don’t let our cynicism ruin your excitement for the LA Motor Show’s WRX debut! The car will undoubtedly look better in the metal than in any rendering. Plus, there’s more to a car than mere design, and we’re sure that the 2015 Subaru WRX will be even more responsive and fun-to-drive than its well-loved Impreza WRX predecessors. Either way, we’ll find out for sure next week when the car officially debuts.

Until then, thanks for reading!


Subaru WRX and WRX STI Confirmed for Debut at the LA Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, August 31st, 2013

New Subaru WRX front

Earlier this week we heard some very interesting tidbits of automotive gossip from the folks over at Automotive News concerning Subaru’s plans for future vehicles. Among the various confirmations and possibilities put on the table, the most relevant by far is that the new Subaru WRX and Subaru WRX STI will make their debut at the 2013 LA Auto Show in November.

Looking Back to the Subaru WRX Concept

Regular readers will recall the Subaru WRX Concept that was shown in March of this year at the 2013 New York Auto Show. For the first time ever, we got a glimpse of a WRX without “Impreza” at the front of its name, and it was a very sweet glimpse indeed.

While Subaru specifically stated that the WRX Concept shown in New York was NOT close to production, the car looked undeniably appealing. Here’s an image of the WRX Concept, for those of you who either missed it the first time around, or otherwise want a reminder of what we’re dealing with:

Subaru WRX Concept

As you can see, the Japanese brand’s concept WRX sedan looks great. Flashy, aggressive, and sleek; clearly a car that was meant to burn rubber.

Sedan-Only WRX and WRX STI Coming in 2014

Unfortunately, while the WRX Concept sedan looked spectacular, we now know that the sedan is the only class of WRX we’ll be seeing from here on out. So, all our readers craving a new Japanese hot-hatch will just have to look elsewhere. The old Impreza WRX hatchback just didn’t get enough attention. After all, the “classic” WRXs are all sedans.

Fortunately, if the production WRX / STI is anything close to the concept, very few people will be crying over the lack of a hatchback option. As far as we know, the next-gen WRX/STI should feature goodies such as a lightweight carbon fiber roof, an integrated rear spoiler, the iconic WRX hood scoop, a slightly wider wheelbase complete with a lower and larger front fascia to increase engine cooling and decrease aerodynamic lift.

In addition, we can be fairly certain that the new Subaru WRX / STI is coming sometime in the first half of 2014 as a 2015MY. The production model will feature Subaru’s favorite 2.0L four-cylinder boxer engine (same as what’s in the BRZ), tuned up with direct-injection and turbocharging. The Japanese automaker has confirmed the WRX will output at least 265 horsepower, if not more. And that’s just in the standard version… The higher-performance WRX STI will get a high-performance engine capable of at least 305 hp.

Note that’s “at least”. The Golf R’s going to have 296HP and get to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Subaru will want to at least match that, for sure.

Subaru BRZ STI Still a Ways Off…

I confess, when I first read about the LA debut of Subaru’s WRX STI, for a split-second my heart jumped for joy because my mind read “WRX” as “BRZ”. As you may or may not know, Subaru fans have long been waiting for a BRZ STI. Earlier this month we thought we had it, thanks to a misleading teaser for the debut of Subaru’s BRZ tS. Which explains why the “BRZ STI” was so fresh in my mind.

Nonetheless, after that teaser I think it’s safe to say we were all hoping to see a BRZ STI by the end of 2013. But alas, it’s not meant to be. In fact, Automotive News’ reports only leads us in the opposite direction… Subaru is apparently not planning to “freshen up” the BRZ line until late 2015. That’s 2 more years!

Even if we’re not getting a BRZ STI anytime soon, though, the Subaru WRX and WRX STI definitely have the potential to steal a lot of press attention at the LA Auto Show. Of course, there are still several months between now and then, and Subaru could end up watering-down the WRX Concept more than they ought, but on the whole this is excellent news for Japanese car fans everywhere.


Subaru Unveils WRX Concept and XV Hybrid at 2013 New York Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 29th, 2013

The 2013 New York Motor Show is finally upon us, and with it a plethora of new and revised Japanese cars to ogle at. To kick things off, we thought we’d start with two of the most highly anticipated vehicles, Japanese or otherwise, to be unveiled in New York – the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid and the Subaru WRX Concept. As you continue reading, you’re going to get everything we now know about these two vehicles.

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

You probably know that the Subaru XV is not a new car… It’s been selling well for about a year now. However, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a big deal because it’s Subaru’s first ever hybrid vehicle.

The new XV Crosstrek Hybrid features the same 2.0L 148hp boxer engine that we’ve enjoyed in the standard version, but it’s been tied to a 13.4bhp electric motor and 100V nickel hydride battery. The whole configuration adds about 200 lbs to the XV’s weight, but it apparently has virtually no impact on the car’s storage capacity since it’s been carefully fitted into the rear of the car.

Subaru XV Hybrid

The hybrid configuration allows the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid to manage 31 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway. This is actually better fuel economy than a non-hybrid 2013 Honda Accord, by point of comparison. Additionally, Subaru tells us that the hybridized Crosstrek is capable of an electric-only mode at low speeds, although we don’t know very much about it.

Other than the hybrid powertrain, there are very few differences between the current Subaru XV and the hybrid version we’ve seen in New York. The dashboard panel has been improved and updated to give the driver information about the car’s power consumption, but other than that the biggest difference is a new paint job – Plasma Green Pearl. Subaru says their hybrid will go on sale in the US later this year.

Subaru WRX / STi Concept

As happy as we are to see a hybrid from Subaru, the car that really gets our heart pumping is the new Subaru WRX Concept. This is a car we can get giddy about… I mean just look at it!

Subaru WRX Concept

 

The new WRX Concept comes after much begging from Subaru fans for an updated version of the Subaru Impreza WRX. The Impreza has always been a great car, but the WRX and WRX STi performance editions have always felt… Forced. Like Subaru took the Impreza and simply jammed on some pronounced lips and a powerbulge. It just felt unnatural.

The Subaru WRX Concept, on the other hand, is enough to make you forget all about the Impreza’s past woes. You can tell that this concept was built from the ground up with performance in mind. Aggressive styling, massive 20 inch alloy wheels, a huge hexagonal grille, a rear diffuser and a powerbulge that actually looks needed all contribute to a performance concept that we can’t wait to see more of. Plus, the electric blue paint job with lime green accents is very appealing.

And did you see the carbon fiber roof? So sleek! And functional too – It allows the WRX to maintain a lower center of gravity.

Subaru is keeping quiet about when we can actually expect to see a production model of the new WRX…. apparently they want to see how customers react before they move forward. Well, I hope that you’re reading this Subaru, because I would love nothing more than to see this car on the road! Internet, you know what to do: Call your local Subaru dealer now!

As for you, my dear reader, I hope you’ll take some time to look through the available photos of the Subaru WRX Concept and XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Both cars look great, although they cater to two very different demographics. Either way, thank you for reading, and stay tuned tomorrow for more coverage of the 2013 New York Motor Show.

Sources: Carscoops, Carscoops


What’s The Deal With The WRX STi?

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I thought this was rather interesting: Just at the same time other car makers are warning about shortages due to the on-going effect of the tsunami in Japan, Subaru in the UK seems to be putting in some extra effort to push their models out the door. Not only do you get a free 20PS power upgrade developed in-house by Subaru UK (and, therefore, under warranty), but they will also throw in a free Pioneer navigation system to sweeten the deal further.

So what is going on at Subaru? The WRX has been a perennial favorite in the UK, so why all this extra effort to try to get rid of them when you would think supply would not be able to meet demand anyway? Does Subaru have some secret manufacturing base we do not know about? Or is this latest WRX iteration just not what the market really wants?

Source: Autocar