The WRX STi is back

Ever since Subaru announced the newest WRX line, car enthusiasts have been waiting with baited breath for the WRX STi, arguably the world’s most bare-bones and fun to drive sedan. And at the Detroit Auto Show, the newest iteration of that legendary vehicle was unveiled, as Subaru introduced the 2015 WRX STi.

For the most part, the vehicle is an extremely exciting improvement over the last STi. But the one confusing, and arguably disappointing aspect is the engine, which is a carryover from the previous STi. The 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine cranks out 305 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more than enough for the lightweight sedan but still . . . it’s a little odd in this day and age to unveil a performance vehicle that hasn’t made any power improvements. That said, Subaru has made an improvement to the drivetrain, as the 6-speed manual gearbox has been reinforced.

Still, the car is a noticeable upgrade from its predecessor. The already incredibly stiff chassis is stiffer, the springs are firmer, and the steering has been upgraded to a 13.0:1 ratio. As a result, the STi now achieves 2.5 turns lock-to-lock, as opposed to the previous mark of 2.8. It’s clear that Subaru thought the STi already had ample power, and it was time to perfect the handling.

Heading to the interior, the STi – known for its beautifully barren, minimalist approach – both got more and less bare bones. The Alcantara seating now features whiplash-reducing seats, and a race-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel. On the other hand, a Harman/Kardon premium audio system is available for the time ever.

To mark the newest iteration of a wonderful vehicle, Subaru is creating the WRX STi Launch, a commemorative edition limited to 1,000 models, all in the traditional STi paint scheme of WR Blue Pearl with gold-painted 18-inch BBS alloys. The Launch will also feature a short-throw shift kit, unique interior colors and trim, and a keyless start system which is an option on the standard model.

There’s some good and some  bad, but it ultimately boils down to one thing: one of the most fun cars in the world is finally back.

Photo Credit: Subaru

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