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First Drive: 2015 Subaru WRX STI
The same song, still sounds pretty sweet

2015 subaru wrx sti lede

The more things change, the more the stay the same, right? That is how that particular saying goes, and it’s one that could easily be applied to the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI. The lines of the body have changed, the interior has received a few upgrades, and the only body style being offered is the sedan. Still, under the hood sits the familiar 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine, there’s a large wing out back, and the upgraded interior will not be confused with that of a luxury car.

So is the newest STI just a refreshed all-wheel-drive burble monkey? Sort of… but in a delightful way.

Yes, the engine is the same. The chassis, however, has been stiffened up considerably, which means the STI rolls through corners more flatly, and this means you are a quicker burble monkey through your favorite section of twists. Additionally, the upgrades to the interior bring it in line to the realm of a far more livable cabin space for daily commute purposes. An optional (standard on the Limited) Harman Kardon sound system brings delightful noise if you tire of the unequal length headers doing what they do. The flat-bottom steering wheels lends, however, keeps the sporting notions firmly in you face. That’s good though, because that is what STI buyers want.

Do they want it enough to shell out $34,495 (+ $795 D/H) for the car? I’m going to say yes, since that’s exactly what the old one cost. Should you desire the Limited version, you’ll need another four grand. The real one to get, however, is the Launch Edition, which costs $37,395, and comes only in World Rally blue paint, is shod with the delightful BBS Forged Alloy gold wheels, and gets a short-throw shift kit to boot. Subaru are only building 1,000 examples, so you’d better hurry if that is the one you want. Gold wheels won’t be an option either, so loyal Subie lovers need to raise their hands quickly.

Still, no matter which version you get, it’s certainly an amount of money best classified as More Than A Little Bit. You do wind up with a car that stares all sorts of terrain types in the face, snorts, burbles, and then attacks. The Volkswagen Golf R offers a more premium environment, and the Mitsubishi EVO is more manic. Neither of them, however, have stars in their grilles, and a combination of World Rally and Nürburgring wins in their hearts.

[Disclaimer: Subaru flew me to Northern California to check out the new WRX STI. The automaker put me up in lovely hotel, and fed me delicious food. They also had to rip my hands from the wheel to get me to leave the race track.]

  • I think I have made my peace with Subaru not offering the WRX or STI in wagon form. I think enthusiasts were spoiled when they were offered, considering the cost to Subaru to actually produce both. I think that by offering sedans only, they were able to keep the cost increase limited, or the same as with the STI.

    • They stuck with the sedan because it made up 2/3 of the prior sales mix between sedan and hatch. Focusing on just one body style certainly helped with costs.

      • I Think Not

        I'd be curious to see a matrix of with the parts changed from the Impreza to WRX/STi on one axis and the parts changed between the wagohatch and sedan on the other axis.

        It'd be telling with regards to how much actual cost was saved by not offering the WRX/STi in wagohatch guise.

  • Wow, this is the first I'm hearing of this having unequal length headers. I thought they'd go equal length, like they did in the regular WRX. Definitely sounds louder than what I've heard of the new regular WRX, which is a good thing.

    • There is also a sound generator, but it's piping in real noise into the cabin – not fake.

      • That's interesting. Insulate out the bad noises and keep the good noises in, in a way.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    Nice. Not that I'll see many of them, since it was launched I've seen maybe three of the previous gen STI's.

    And apparently it's like in games, corkscrew is relatively easy once you get the breaking point and turn-in dialed in, but 9 is tricky in a car with any sort of power.

  • I Think Not

    The STi sounds like a heart-stopping performer, and all things being equal, I'd take one over a supercar any day. Still, I find myself much more interested in the extensability potential of the platform of the GT86/BRZ/FRZ/freezybreezemadethesethreefreefleassneeze.

    Now that Subaru no longer touts The Beauty of AWD in its marketing materials (thanks in part to aforementioned RWD-only platform, but more likely due to the short-lived nature of any given marketing campaign), can we please have a compact RWD sedan with a real backseat? Essentially, an updated, modern version of one of the holiest of holies of hoon cars — the E30.

    Minus the cost and complexity of a modern compact BMW, of course. Truly — a four-door GT86.

  • thomasmac

    Have you driven the 2015 WRX Jeff? Curious how they compare.

    • Actually, I have not – and I really want to because everyone says it's the true deal of the family at the moment (WRX/STI family)

      • thomasmac

        Those were my thoughts as well Jeff. In Canada they have taken $2,500 off the price of the base WRX which has me thinking I should find a new home for my current 2010 2.5i Impreza.

  • skitter

    Especially nice job shooting/editing/commentating on this video.