An all-new version of Subaru's fastest sport compact debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Completely redesigned, the new WRX STI four-door sedan gets a longer platform, more interior room and new standard features.
Setting itself apart from the WRX, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI uses a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and quicker steering, the latter of which is still controlled hydraulically, unlike many contemporaries that are switching to electromechanical systems.
Design details include a large, functional hood scoop that's more deeply set to aid with outward visibility, revised foglight surrounds and, of course, the STI's giant rear wing. Inside, there's a new, thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel along with standard leather and Alcantara upholstery in a two-tone, red-and-black theme. A new 4.3-inch LCD comes standard.
Other upgrades include standard dual-zone climate control, heated seats, satellite radio capability, rearview camera and LED headlights. Harman/Kardon audio is optional.
A limited Launch Edition WRX STI comes with blue leather interior trim, pushbutton start, a short-shifter and gold-painted BBS wheels.
Disappointing to some, however, is that the 2015 Subaru WRX STI keeps the same engine as the outgoing model, a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat four-cylinder that makes 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. As before, the sole transmission choice is a 6-speed manual.
That's not to say this is the same old STI in new packaging. Along with revised steering and suspension, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI uses a new Active Torque Vectoring system on the front axle, which helps to improve balance and performance when accelerating through a corner. These updates promise to make what just might be the best-handling STI to date.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is available only in a four-door sedan model. Subaru says it has no immediate plans to give hatchback enthusiasts any love with a five-door variant. The sedan goes on sale in April 2014 with a base starting price of $34,495.