New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru’s global performance flagship model
· High-performance chassis with new Active Torque Vectoring
· 225 kW turbo Boxer® engine is most powerful engine in the segment
· Driver Controlled Centre Differential and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
· New STI to enter Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race in 2014
DETROIT, Jan 15, 2014 - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, yesterday introduced the all-new 2015 WRX STI, Subaru’s iconic performance flagship model, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Powered by the legendary 225 kW 2.5-litre turbocharged Boxer® engine, the 2015 WRX STI debuts a new four-door wide-body design, built on a stiffer chassis for even greater handling agility and precision. The WRX STI provides a rally-bred drivetrain and all-wheel drive handling that is unique to this model. Handling is enhanced with a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and faster steering (13.0:1 ratio).
New for the 2015 WRX STI, Active Torque Vectoring joins an arsenal of the model’s proven handling technologies which include Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD) with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, and a Brembo® performance brake system with Super Sport ABS.
The 2015 WRX STI carries its bold personality inside as well, where new Alcantara seating surfaces accented by red and black leather bolsters and red stitching set the tone for the upgraded and roomier cabin. A driver-focused interior remains integral to the WRX STI performance character, with the new model debuting a motorsport-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel and new whiplash-reducing performance-designed front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints.
Iconic STI design exclusively in sedan form
A bolder front design makes the 2015 WRX STI look ready to devour the road. The “nose-cone” configuration combines the grille and bumper cap into one unit ahead of the bonnet, which for the 2015 model is made from aluminium to reduce weight over the front of the car. Narrower headlights, designed to evoke a raptor’s stare, flank the hexagonal grille. It’s also a more powerful stare thanks to new standard LED low-beam headlights.
The special bonnet, fenders, doors and quarters, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters convey the WRX STI identity. As on previous WRX STI models, a functional bonnet scoop supplies the intercooler with fresh air, and in the 2015 model it is set more deeply into the bonnet to provide better forward visibility.
Other new performance-oriented details include fog light surrounds with a carbon fibre-like pattern and front fender vents that feature a mesh screen. A full aerodynamic body package includes the large boot spoiler that has always been a WRX STI signature feature. A rear diffuser, LED taillights and LED centre high-mount stop lamp leave a distinctive signature.
New, stiffer chassis for greater handling agility
The 2015 WRX STI body structure makes greater use of high-tensile steel than the previous model and features special stiffening elements at key locations. The stiffer chassis helps yield a super-quick steering response that was benchmarked against top-handling sports cars. The 13.0:1 steering ratio provides a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock compared to 14.5:1 and 2.8 for the standard WRX model.
As on previous WRX STI models, the 2015 version uses an exclusive inverted-strut front suspension system that provides higher levels of cornering agility. Aluminium front lower L-arms reduce unsprung vehicle weight. The STI-tuned suspension teams up with standard 18-inch wheels and 245/40R18 performance tyres.
225 kW turbo Boxer® engine
The 2015 WRX STI is powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder Boxer® engine that employs a Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS). The engine, which is exclusive to the STI model, produces 225 kW at 6 000 rpm and 393 Nm of peak torque at 4 000 rpm.
The WRX STI engine is teamed exclusively with a specially reinforced 6-speed manual transmission. Incline Start Assist can momentarily prevent the car from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
The Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) powertrain management system allows the driver to tailor the car’s driving characteristics by choosing from three selectable modes – “Intelligent,” “Sport” and “Sport Sharp” – using a rotary dial on the centre console. SI-DRIVE alters vehicle performance characteristics by regulating the engine control module and by fine-tuning the electronic throttle control system.
Multi-mode DCCD and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ with 3-mode VDC
The 2015 WRX STI is exclusively equipped with the Multi-mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD) version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™. This sophisticated system uses planetary-type centre differential gears with a nominal 41:59 torque split. A mechanical limited-slip type centre differential augments an electronically controlled centre differential to enhance torque transfer performance.
Sensor inputs that include steering angle, throttle position, RPM, lateral-g, yaw, brake, ABS and wheel speed govern torque transfer response. A helical-type limited-slip front differential and a TORSEN® torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential optimize side-to-side torque distribution. The DCCD Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ system features three automatic modes, each using varying degrees of centre differential locking to match different driving situations. In manual mode, the driver can select one of six centre differential locking levels to suit the driving situation.
Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The VDC system offers yet more driver choices, with three settings: “VDC Normal,” “Traction” and “Off.” Each provides respectively lesser degrees of system engagement, allowing the driver to tailor response for the driving situation. Active Torque Vectoring remains engaged for “Normal” and “Traction” modes.
A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX STI helps provide a roomier cabin in the new model. The windshield is more raked than before, with the A-pillar pulled forward nearly eight inches at the base for better forward visibility, aided by a lower dashboard and narrower A-pillars. Lower side sills and wider-opening doors make ingress/egress easier. Rear seat legroom is increased by nearly two inches, and boot capacity is now 340 litres, up from 320 in the previous WRX STI sedan. A standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat extends versatility. New welcome lighting responds to the driver approaching the car.
In the 2015 WRX STI, the driver grips a new flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel that integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth control. The STI-exclusive electroluminescent gauge panel gets a new 3.5-inch central LCD screen which displays various functions, including low-level warnings for oil and windshield washer fluid and the selected gear.
Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and centre console armrest. A new multi-information central display with 4.3-inch LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a standard rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio, Bluetooth and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can also provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.
Standard features for the 2015 WRX STI include dual-zone automatic climate control. The new standard audio system combines AM/FM stereo, a single-disc in-dash CD player, 6 speakers, MP3/WMA capability, Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, a USB port and an aux jack. Numerous compartments located in and around the centre console hold phones, USB drives and MP3 players.
The WRX STI adds the luxury of leather-trimmed upholstery, an 8-way powered driver’s seat and a powered moonroof that opens one inch farther than on the previous model.
Subaru’s renowned safety package uses the brand’s proven Ring-Shaped Reinforcement™ frame body structure, which has been shown to excel in the new small overlap test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the cabin, a driver’s knee airbag is added to the roster of safety features that includes front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
New STI to tackle the ‘Ring in 2014
The all-new WRX STI will participate in the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race (19-22 June 2014) for the seventh consecutive year, the new vehicle benefitting from development honed at the famous German race track. The STI will be aiming for its third victory in the SP3T class this year, following the previous win in 2012. Through participation in this race, which demands speed and stability along with endurance and reliability, Subaru stands to gain further engineering advantages which will filter through into its road vehicles. As in 2013, Hideharu Tatsumi will take responsibility for team operations as Team Manager, along with responsibility for vehicle development. Two European drivers will be joined by Japanese drivers Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki.
Subaru Southern Africa Marketing Manager, Ashley Lazarus, comments: “The all-new Subaru WRX STI subscribes to the hallmarks of Subaru performance and excitement, the new vehicle exhibiting classic and trademark Subaru design and performance elements to once again create a hero in our range of performance-oriented vehicles. The all-new STI will be retailed in South Africa in limited numbers, the launch date of which will be confirmed later in 2014, together with local model specifications and pricing.”