Power levels remain the same, but performance should improve

On the surface, the Subaru WRX and STI models at the 2017 North American International Auto Show look the same. But that’s the tricky thing with looking at these cars without perusing through all of its contents. Examine a little closer though and you realize that the WRX and STI are at the auto show for a reason. Both models actually received extensive updates, ranging from cosmetic upgrades, tech additions, and performance improvements.

There’s a whole list of new digs for both models as Subaru attempts to give would-be customers more reason to go with these all-weather performance sedans. On the aesthetic front, both the WRX and STI models are the beneficiaries of new a revised front fascia that features a larger front intake, steering-responsive LED headlights (exclusive to the WRX Limited trim and all trims of the STI), and new roof-rack mounting brackets, a particularly noteworthy addition for those who prefer taking their sedans on the outdoor trails.

Likewise, the interior of both models now has a larger multi-function display, growing in size from 4.3 inches on the previous model to a more respectable 5.9 inches. Slightly less significant but no less functional are the new door pulls and the improved cup holders in the rear seat armrest. Big and small, both the WRX and the STI models received these updates.

As useful as these updates are, the real highlight for both the WRX and STI is the work Subaru put in to improve their performance and handling characteristics. The WRX, for example, has new front and rear suspension tuning, an improvement that will give drivers better stability and riding comfort. Just as important is the new synchro design for the model’s six-speed transmission. That not only makes for smoother shifting between gears, but it also helps maximize the car’s 268-horsepower output.

Speaking of improved performance capabilities, don’t sleep on the updates made to the STI, which includes similar suspense improvements on the WRX, as well as significantly upgraded brakes, and a modified DCCD AWD system that now makes use of electronic control, a major step up from its past iteration, which utilized a combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control. It’s a little technical, but the gist is that the new DCCD AWD system bring improvements in handling and performance.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

A lot to like with these updates on the Subaru WRX and STI models

The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models High Resolution Exterior
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The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models High Resolution Exterior
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Compared to previous years, the 2017 NAIAS may be considered as a disappointment for the simple fact that there aren’t that many cars making their debuts this year. I know it’s easy to get spoiled by major auto shows, but this year’s show in Detroit has been relatively subdued as a handful of automakers chose different venues to showcase their new technologies. Yes, I’m talking about you, Consumer Electronics Show.

Fortunately, not everything is doom and gloom in Detroit. A handful of updated models all got their shine in Detroit, including Subaru’s pair of all-wheel drive performance sedans, the WRX and STI. To be clear, both models aren’t all-new in the sense that we use it in the industry. Both are updated though and the upgrades they received are significant enough to warrant a lot of attention, not because they look better, but because they should be able to perform and handle better. That’s a big deal because both models are already considered as two of the best-handling sedans in the business today and with these upgrades, it’s safe to say that both the WRX and STI are fixing to get even better.

The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models High Resolution Exterior
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The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models High Resolution Exterior
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If those aren’t enough, the WRX, or at least the WRX Premium trim, also received a new optional Performance Package that includes, among other things, eight-way Recaro power seats, red-painted brake calipers, upgraded JURID brake pads, a new double-spoke design on the 18-inch wheels, and the elimination of the moonroof in an effort to cut down on the sedan’s total weight.

And just to make it known that the STI was also in on the fun, the sedan’s 19-inch wheels are actually a first for the model.

But don’t just take my word for it. My colleagues, Robert Moore and Jonathan Lopez, have already lined up reviews for both the WRX and WRX STI models, respectively. Those are definitely worth your time.

Read our full review on the Subaru WRX here.

Read our full review on the Subaru WRX STI here.

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