This time around, for the 4th generation WRX and WRX STI, Subaru took everything a step further, save perhaps for exterior design. This is a question of personal taste, but I can see how, with a few tasteful modifications, this issue will quickly be forgotten.
Be that as it may, the new 2015 WRX and WRX STI are impressive and very important cars for the automobile manufacturing division of the Japanese transportation conglomerate known as Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI).
Here’s what you need to know about these affordable high-performance sports cars and the brand:
- Subaru sales continue to climb: there were 36,760 new deliveries last year or an increase of nearly 19% over 2012.
- The WRX and STI actually define the brand, its overall performance and product value. Toyota, for example, relies on the Corolla…
- Subaru is looking for a more mainstream buyer and not hiding behind the fact. They’re looking to expand beyond the enthusiast without ever abandoning them.
- There have been roughly 2,000 new WRX and STI sales per year over the last few years. Subaru Canada wants to increase that number to 2,400 for the 2014-‘15 calendar year. 20% of those new cars should be equipped with the new CVT.
- The crucial aspect in achieving this goal is the Sport Lineartronic CVT transmission. It offers eight virtual gears in “Sport Sharp” mode, six in “Sport.” What’s more, at more than 30% throttle, the tranny shifts like a conventional automatic. Under 30%, it works like a regular CVT.
- There are three key elements that define the new cars and they fall under: Pure power in your control. They include: steering response to maximize rear tire grip. The rear tires work as the pivoting foot. Lateral Gs are rated at 0.93 for the WRX, 0.98 for the STI; flat ride. Body roll is 20% less on the WRX, 16% on the STI.
- Sadly, no hatchback body will be offered. This is unlikely to affect sales (this may change sooner rather than later).
- In the “sports car” segment, Subaru has the highest market share. 11% of all roughly 25,000 sold carry a Subaru badge.
- Although the WRX STI’s powertrain is essentially a carryover from the 2014 car, the remapped engine ECU makes the STI far more responsive and infinitely more rewarding to drive.
- The most astounding improvements come from the car’s now stiffer chassis (lateral stiffness up by 14% and torsional rigidity is up by 40%), tighter and tauter suspension and quicker ratio steering racks. No out-of-the-box WRX or STI has ever handled this well.