Tested: 2015 Subaru WRX STI

2015 Subaru WRK STI | Shaun Keenan
2015 Subaru WRK STI | Shaun Keenan

A Wolf in Wolf Clothing

My chance to drive the 2015 WRX STI finally came during a Subaru Canada club event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park earlier this year. It wasn’t a full day of flat-out, white-knuckled lapping, but it was a great opportunity to get some seat time, feel out the changes and preview the new DDT.

First is the steering. Wow! What an improvement! The hydraulic-assisted rack boasts an improved ratio (now 13:1 from 15:1), which translates into crisp, direct and responsive direction changes with excellent feedback. The play in the wheel is gone, and even the slightest feedback is felt through the smaller, meatier flat-bottom sport steering wheel. Dare I say it is better than the M3 or M4? Yes I do, and yes it is.

2015 Subaru WRX STI
2015 Subaru WRX STI

The suspension and chassis have been stiffened too. Everything from the crossmembers, stabilizer bars, bushings and the addition of stiffening plates have had a big impact on performance. Front and rear spring rates are up by 22 and six percent respectively, which has improved the suspension’s lateral stiffness by 14% in the front and 38% in the rear. Roll stiffness is up 24%, and this is still just the suspension.

The chassis itself is significantly stronger thanks to increased use of high-strength steels. Torsional rigidity and bending rigidity are both up approximately 40% and 30% respectively, and the new engine also sits lower and further back for better balance. Combined with a 24 mm longer wheelbase and active torque vectoring, the car handles like its on magnets. It is flatter through corners, to the tune of 16% less body roll, and boasts 0.97 Gs of road-holding ability.

The fact the car now only comes in one body style might have something to do with it. No, it has everything to do with it. Not having a hatchback meant that engineering and development efforts didn’t have to be split down the middle.

Continue reading my experience review of the 2015 Subaru WRX STI, trace its lineage and learn more about Subaru Technica International on the IGNITION LUXURY & PERFORMANCE website!

Watch our companion video on the 2015 Subaru WRX STI below.

And don’t forget to check out my review of the 2013 WRX STI if you’re shopping for a used, but still awesome car. You can get it in a hatchback too!41