2015 WRX STI: 227KW, MANUAL ONLY
Subaru's all-new WRX STI performance sedan has made its official world debut today, following a series of leaked images and details published in recent weeks.
Unveiled at this week's Detroit Auto Show, the new WRX STI debuts less than two months since the international reveal of the 'regular' WRX sedan.
As expected, the 2015 STI is again powered by a turbocharged 2.5 litre four-cylinder boxer petrol engine, producing 227kW and 393Nm of torque - matched exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission. No auto this time.
Compared to the outgoing WRX STI, the new model's figures mark a 6kW increase in power, but a 14Nm slip in torque.
We'll have to wait to see how (if at all) the change will improve on the outgoing model's 4.9 second sprint to 100km/h, with Subaru still yet to deliver acceleration details.
The new model's performance will undoubtedly improve on its predecessor though, thanks to a higher percentage of high-tense steel and new stiffening features in key locations, promising sharper handling and steering response.
As before, the new STI's suspension package features an inverted-strut setup up front, with aluminium lower L-arms designed to reduce unsprung vehicle mass.
The multi-mode driver-controlled centre differential (DCCD) version of Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is again featured, with a 41:59 torque split. The system sees a mechnical limited-slip centre differential supplementing an electronically controlled setup.
Subaru's new Active Torque Vectoring is also on board with the multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control system, designed to apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel in cornering.
Drive modes include Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp, selectable via a rotary dial in the centre console. The SI-DRIVE system works by adjusting settings in the engine control module and throttle control system.
As with the WRX sedan, the new STI measures 4595mm long, 1795mm wide and 1475mm tall, riding on a 2650mm wheelbase.
This makes the new model 15mm longer and 5mm taller than its predecessor, with a 25mm longer wheelbase.
On the styling front, the new STI builds on the look of the regular WRX model, adding bigger tail pipes and a large wing across the rear deck.
But, while past generations of the STI have brought greater differentiation through unique bumpers, a larger bonnet scoop and meatier guards, this coming 2015 model is a more subtle upgrade on the look of the new WRX.
In the cabin, there's a new flat-bottomed steering wheel in front of a red-lit instrument cluster and a 3.5-inch multi-function display, along with a larger 4.3 inch display atop the dash.
A larger 6.1 inch screen can be optioned, and it is this unit only that adds satellite navigation.
Subaru says rear legroom in the STI sedan has increased by 50mm, and boot capacity is up 20 litres to 340 litres.
A special Launch Edition model will also be offered, limited to 1000 units (unclear if this is a global distribution) and adding the iconic WR Blue paint, gold BBS forged alloy wheels and a unique cabin trim.
Expect the new WRX STI to hit Australia in April, just after the March launch of the regular WRX model.
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