We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition. Subaru’s performance sedan is arguably the best performing sedan under $40,000. If you like performance cars, Subaru’s new-generation sedan is a real treat to drive. We had one fun week with this WR Blue Pearl Rally-bred sports car. STI stands for Subaru Tecnica International and they are the motorsports and performance division of the Japanese automaker. They performed their magic on the new sedan and it’s their best creation yet.
The Subaru WRX STI gets completely redesigned for the 2015 model year both inside and out. The new WRX STI four-door sedan gets a longer platform, more interior room and new standard features. The STI gets a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and quicker steering (13.0:1 ratio).
2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition
The new 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition will only be offered for a limited time with 1,000 examples making it to U.S. showrooms. This special edition comes with a few goodies that make it stand apart from the base STI. 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition gets special WR Blue Pearl exterior paint and Gold 18-inch BBS wheels that pay tribute to the cars racing heritage that helped develop the car into what it is today. This is an iconic color combination long associated with Subaru Rally cars.
Launch Edition also gets a special interior featuring blue highlights and comes standard with the STI Short-Throw Shifter for the six-speed manual gearbox. Other extras include a Keyless Access & Start system, offered as an option on WRX STI Premium and Limited models. STI Launch Edition is priced at $37,395 plus $795 destination.
New upgrades inside WRX STI
All new WRX STIs get a new thicker flat-bottomed steering wheel with integrated audio and Bluetooth, standard leather and Alcantara upholstery and new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen. We could tell the WRX STI grew an extra inch in its wheelbase. The cabin feels roomier and there is more legroom in the back for passengers. The performance car also gets more soft-touch materials on the dash and door trim. Upgrades over the previous generation model include standard dual-zone climate control, heated seats, satellite radio capability, rearview camera and LED headlights.
The performance-design front seats are extra comfortable in the STI. Even after a full day in the car, my right leg did not cramp up from keeping my foot buried in the gas pedal. And the performance seats kept us firmly planted during some hard driving in the corners this week.
STI performs like a true rally-bred car
Subaru has been involved in Rally racing around the globe for decades and they put that technology into the STI. This cars chassis/engine combination is better than anything else out there. It’s designed for the road, but it can really only be thoroughly tested on the track. That’s where its full potential can be enjoyed. This writer lives in the mountains west of Denver and its the next best place other than the track to test the STI. Colorado’s mountain terrain with its curvy mountain roads is the ideal testing ground.
Here’s a few examples from our week with new 2015 STI that will give our readers an idea of what this sports car will do. As we were driving the car down I-70, I noticed a Ford Mustang GT in my rearview mirror approaching fast. He blew by me and looked over and I could see him laughing as he flew by me. This was very curvy section that most cars slow below the speed limit to navigate safely. I sped up to catch and pass him and flew by him on the inside lane. I looked down as I hit 100 mph. He caught up with me after the road straightened and gave me a thumbs up.
On one section of road getting off Hampden onto C470, the off ramp has a sketchy design flaw with two tight curves and needs to be taken at 40 mph max. If you don’t, the average car will end up in the ditch. As I approached the off ramp, I slowed from 70 to 65 and took the two corners at highway speeds without slowing down. The STI carved through the corners like they were nothing.
On another mountain road, we took the multiple tight corners over a three mile stretch at high speeds and the STI felt like it was on rails. It hugs the road like nothing else out there. With its all-wheel drive system, it’s hard to break the 245/40R18 summer performance tires free. We were traveling at speeds 20 mph over the speed limit and this STI felt stable and the new chassis performed as advertised by Subaru.
The same 2.5-liter boxer powerplant
The one thing Subaru and STI didn’t change was the 305 hp 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine. But coupled with the new stiffer chassis and big Brembo brakes, STI offers superior handling agility and precision on the road. The 2015 STI also gets a new Active Torque Vectoring advanced handling technology that includes Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), and SI-DRIVE powertrain control system.
STI is a performance car that is designed for true performance enthusiasts. Many Subaru WRX STI owners will take their cars to the track on weekends to fully enjoy this cars driving dynamics. Many will also make modifications to get even more power from the stock 2.5-liter engine. But in stock form, the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI is the best-performing STI ever to come out of Japan. The new suspension upgrades make a world of difference in its handling characteristics, and I was only able to barely try it out on the roads we tested in on. The 2015 Launch Edition is ultra-exclusive and will likely be a collectors car for true STI loyalists.