The 2015 Subaru WRX STI cranks out 305 horsepower from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer (pretty much the same engine as last year’s model) and it makes 290 lb-ft of torque. Other than its output, it is a completely different animal – one that is remarkably quick and amazing to drive through ANY corner. With a starting price of $34,495 – it completely justifies its price premium over its little brother, the Subaru WRX.
It is a cheetah among gazelles – a hungry one.
Once upon a time, the WRX STI was but a step more driver-centric than the cheaper WRX. Automotive journalists used to tell people that, realistically, buying the STI over the WRX only made sense if you were going to the track all the time and you weren’t in the mood to upgrade your WRX. The former STI was good, but it was not much fun on regular roads and the drive settings were confounding.
Now, Subaru has gone and created a proper road car that can hack it at just about any track in any weather. The Active Torque Vectoring which works with the (VDC) Vehicle Dynamics Control seamlessly. In the correct settings, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI always felt planted, secure and easy to control. It makes bad drivers good and good drivers great.
Just an FYI: Subaru says the 2015 Subaru WRX STI can do a 0 to 60 mph time in about 5.1 seconds… The Fast Lane Car got 5.5 seconds with TWO people in the car! Cheetah power!
It claws the tarmac like a cheetah too: “Experience razor-sharp response and reduced understeer with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) with Active Torque Vectoring. The redesigned, stiffer unibody provides a solid feel and improved reflexes, while 0.96g of lateral acceleration means tremendous cornering force is always at the driver’s command.” – Subaru
Subaru has graced the 2015 Subaru with a 13.0:1 steering ratio (with a 67% faster steering response) and a 16% reduction in body roll – yet the overall ride is better than the older STI. The 2015 Subaru WRX STI has a power-steering pump rather than use an electrically assisted system. It feels analogue, natural and reassuring… unlike many electrically assisted systems.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI comes with beefy Brembo performance brakes that were remarkably fade resistant during track driving at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – one of the most punishing tracks in the West. Despite being track-friendly, the brakes felt solid and easy to modulate on regular roads.
This car is so balanced, so proficient at ripping into corners – it’s better than many German performance sedans costing two to three times as much.
A short-throw six-speed manual is available for the 2015 Subaru WRX STI and comes standard on the 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition. On the track, the short-throw six-speed worked like a dream; however, on the road, it was unnecessary and was easy to misplace a shift in traffic. The standard six-speed manual was more than adequate on the track and was easier to use on the road – it’s the one to get.
To summarize the 2015 Subaru WRX STI – it’s:
- Faster and easier to drive
- More comfortable and utilitarian with a 12 cubic foot cargo space when the rear seats are folded
- Has a better interior with a kick-ass stereo system from Harman Kardon and nine-speakers
- Sounding awesome with the classic Boxer burble while providing a awesome growl at high revs
- A blast to drive on nearly any surface in any climate
- A performance bargain considering what you get for the money
- That wing!
Negatives for the 2015 Subaru WRX STI? Yep – there were a few:
- It’s only available as a sedan, just like the regular WRX
- The tire and wind noise was incredible
- It looks a bit too mellow for many people. Many folks were hoping for something as slick looking as the concept version of the WRX and were let down
- Options are limited and it’s still too much car for many in its demographic
- That wing…
The Fast Lane Car needs to get the 2015 Subaru WRX STI up to Colorado for a proper evaluation. Until then, enjoy this first drive review of the Subaru Cheetah!
Enjoy the video!