2015 Subaru WRX STI - Driven

2015 Subaru WRX STI - Driven Exterior
- image 580794
Mark McNabb had a week with the 2015 Subaru WRX. Check out what he thought of it at TopSpeed.com.
  • Subaru WRX STI - Driven
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    305
  • MPG(Cty):
    17
  • MPG(Hwy):
    23
  • Torque @ RPM:
    290
  • Energy:
    Turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    160 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front engine; All Wheel Drive
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

The Subaru WRX STI has enjoyed a rich history over the last 20 years here in the U.S., with the first model officially hitting our shores in 1994. The hopped-up version of the Impreza came from Subaru’s skunkworks division, Subaru Tecnica International and featured 250 horsepower from its flat four-cylinder and of course, all-wheel drive. Now while the Impreza sedan moved into a new generation in 2011, Subaru left the WRX STI stuck in the third generation through 2014. Essentially the automaker was building two generations of cars simultaneously, just for the STI crowd. As 2015 rolls around, Subaru has moved the WRX STI onto the new Impreza platform while keeping the same 2.5-liter, turbo flat-four as before, but adding all the welcomed improvements with the fourth-gen car. It also dropped the Impreza name, leaving just the Subaru WRX STI nomenclature on the window sticker.

I recently spent a week with the new and improved 2015 STI, flogging it around dirt roads and twisty tarmac, driving it as it should be driven. I also babied it down country highways and interstate jaunts to squeeze every last drop of fuel and treated it like a daily driver.

So does the new car live up to its rally heritage while giving owners more comfort and conveniences? Keep reading to find out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2015 Subaru WRX STI

33 photos / 2 videos

Latest Subaru WRX news and reviews:

2018 Subaru WRX Raiu Edition

2018 Subaru WRX Raiu Edition

It’s limited to just 100 units and will be exclusively offered in Canada

Subaru is releasing a new and exciting special edition version of the WRX in North America. One catch: the special edition WRX is exclusive to Canada, not the U.S. The model is called the WRX Raui Edition, which takes its name from the Japanese word that means “thunderstorm.” It carries a lot of exclusive features inside and out, but it’s also limited to just 100 units, making it a must-have item for our friends north of the border.

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8 Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans of 2018 Under $35,000

8 Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans of 2018 Under $35,000

You’re going to have a difficult time picking one from the others

There are no clear favorites when choosing the best all-wheel-drive sedan under $35,000. The important thing to remember here is to know what your preferences are. The Ford Fusion SE ($23,500), for example, is regarded for having a good amount of interior space to go with one of the most spacious trunk spaces — 16 cubic feet — among all sedans in its class. It also has a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. If you’re not particularly into cavernous trunk spaces and instead prefer sedans that are known for their power and handling, the two Subarus could be in your future. The WRX ($26,995) has the most powerful base engine — a turbo-four unit that produces 268 horsepower — of its class, and while its fuel economy ratings aren’t anything to write about — 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway — it’s still regarded as one of the most dynamic cars in its class to drive.

The Subaru Legacy ($22,195), on the other hand, doesn’t have as powerful of an engine as the WRX. It’s 175-horsepower, four-cylinder unit is uninspiring compared to the WRX, but that’s likely a product of the Legacy sitting below its fellow Subie on the automaker’s totem pole. Still, the Legacy has a pretty spacious interior and returns one of the best fuel economy ratings among all models in its segment at 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Then there’s the Kia Stinger ($31,900), a car many people consider as one of the future stars of its segment. Maybe it’s a byproduct of the Stinger being a new model that still gives it a fresh odor among buyers, but a big part of the Stinger’s appeal rests on its all-around quality. This model really is a star-in-the-making. Even with just the base version, you’re already getting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower at its disposal. Combine that with its own large cargo area — a whopping 23.3 cubic feet of space — and an engaging and athletic drive that’s pure fun for all of us, and it’s no wonder why the Stinger is one of the most sought-after all-wheel-drive models in the market today. All that despite the sedan only returning an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Four models in and the choices are about to get more difficult once you bring in Germany’s finest into the fold. The Audi A3 Premium and the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic may be visitors from the Old Continent, but you’re going to quickly realize how at-home they make you feel once you get either one of them. The A3 Premium ($31,950) is one of the cheapest compact luxury cars on the market. In fact, the difference in price between the Stinger and the A3 Premium is a measly $50. As promising as the Stinger is, there’s a big population of people who will prefer an established model over an upstart. The A3 Premium is the base unit of the family, but it doesn’t feel like one, thanks in large part to having its fair share of luxury amenities. From leather upholstery to a panoramic sunroof to a 10-speaker audio system, they’re all there as standard equipment. About the only downside of the Audi sedan is that the Quattro all-wheel-drive system doesn’t come standard across the whole lineup. You’ll need to upgrade to the Quattro to have the most fun in the sedan. Doing so comes at the expense of a lower fuel economy rating — 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway — but that’s ultimately a small price to pay for all the fun you’re going to have driving it.

If the A3 isn’t your cup of tea, the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic ($32,700 plus $2,000 to get the 4Matic AWD system) is a solid, albeit slightly more expensive option. Nobody needs to remind you what kind of model you have when you’re driving a Mercedes. The CLA 250 4Matic is teeming with luxury like only Mercedes can provide. It doesn’t have the same power figures as the A3 Premium — a four-cylinder turbocharged engine produces only 208 horsepower — but it does get some of its appeal back by how engaging it is to drive and by having one of the highest fuel economy ratings — 24 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway — of any sedan in its class. The last two sedans we’ll mention are both American bred, but like all the models we’ve mentioned, these two are special for entirely different reasons. The Chrysler 300 Touring ($28,995 plus $2,500 for an AWD version), for example, packs a punch with its 292-horsepower V-6 engine. It’s also one of the bigger sedans in its class, and that size comes into play in the spacious interior. Its fuel economy rating is average — 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway — but if you look past that, you’ll come to realize that the 300, despite all the negativity surrounding it, is a pretty fun ride, as well. Unfortunately for the 300, it’s still not as fun to drive as the Dodge Charger ($28,995). The meaty sports sedan packs a similar V-6 unit with an identical 292-horsepower output as the 300 Touring, but make no mistake; the Charger is a completely different animal when it comes to driving dynamics. Some people may not like it because it’s a little too wild for their capabilities, but those who have seen the Charger in action can vouch for what it’s capable of. Ultimately, choosing one sedan among these intriguing options is an exercise in futility. But if I were to choose one, my money’s going to the Kia Stinger. It isn’t as established as some of the other models here, but when you combine everything it has to offer with its starting price, there’s no better value for money than Kia’s new performance-oriented sedan.

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10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

When you gotta go fast for not much cash

Although it’s easy to get lost in the deluge of noise surrounding fully self-driving, electron-powered commuter bubbles, there’s still a strong number of gas-powered sports machines out there to enjoy. And we aren’t talking about six-figure unobtanium supercars either - nope, we’re talking about loads of driving goodness to be had in the far more reasonable $20k to $30k price range. As such, we put together the following list of the 10 Most Affordable Sports Cars on the market today.

Looking over the list, some of you out there will undoubtedly point out how several entries aren’t your typical “sports car,” whether it’s the body style, drivetrain layout, or both. Regardless, every single one of these models comes packed with maximum smiles per miles, and for a lightweight price tag to boot. As such, we’ve included a few hot hatchbacks, a rally car, and a few others that fall outside the traditional sports car spectrum. Of course, there’s plenty of RWD coupes in there as well, so fear not and read on.

Continue reading for the full list.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R

Japan’s getting another special edition WRX STI while the rest of us can only look at it

Though it’s true that most of them are found only in Japan, there are no shortages in special edition Subaru WRX STIs in the world. We all need to remind ourselves of that because Subaru is releasing another special edition version of its power-packed performance sedan, and it’s once again exclusive to the Japanese market. It’s called the WRX STI Type RA-R, and it’s essentially a lighter and more powerful version of the WRX STI Type RA, one of the few special edition versions that made its way in the U.S. market.

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2019 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Series.Gray

2019 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Series.Gray

Limited-edition package adds new paint and extra standard features

Having just celebrated 50 years in the U.S. with a batch of limited-edition packages for eight different models at the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru unveiled two more special-edition versions of the WRX and WRX STI at the 2018 Subaru Tecnica International Boxerfest in Washington D.C.

Much like the 50th Anniversary Edition, the Series.Gray comes with a special exterior paint, a sportier interior, and extra standard equipment. Only 1,000 units of the Series.Gray cars will be produced, with 750 WRX and only 250 WRX STI models to leave the factory. Besides being produced in smaller numbers, the WRX STI also gets a revised chassis for a sportier ride. Let’s find out more about both cars in the review below.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Subaru Announces Bumped WRX Pricing for 2019 to Go with Extra Juice for the STI

Subaru Announces Bumped WRX Pricing for 2019 to Go with Extra Juice for the STI

It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing

It’s not very often we can start out talking about any car with the words “it comes standard with a manual transmission,” but that’s how we’re starting today. This is fantastic news, considering previous rumors suggested that Subaru would kill off the manual because Eyesight isn’t compatible. (180284) Back to the real reason we’re here, Subaru has confirmed what we told you back on April 13, 2019 – the 2019 WRX STI will get a minor bump in power. It’s just five horsepower, and Subbie went to a lot to make it happen, but it’s there. It also comes with a bump to pricing across the line.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Subaru WRX STI

Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Subaru WRX STI

The WRX STI is the world’s resident street-going rally car is due to be replaced soon, yet we’re still madly in love with the current model. With 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque on tap from a 2.5-liter, Boxer, flat-four, this baby chews the payment at all four corners thanks to Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. It might be rally-bred, but it’s fast on the street too, hitting 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 160 mph. If all that makes you drool a little more than you would like to admit you can spruce up your desktop with one of our hand-picked wallpapers.

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It's Not Much but the Subaru WRX STI Will Get a Minor Bump in Power for 2019

It’s Not Much but the Subaru WRX STI Will Get a Minor Bump in Power for 2019

You can probably thank the STI Type RA for the bump

Subaru’s WRX and WRX STI models offer the kind of driver-focused, free-wheeling driving experience that few other sedans in the market can offer. Sure, the WRX and WRX STI have aged in some respects, but the two models, specifically the STI, have established a lot of equity with their fan base. That’s good to know because Subaru’s giving the people what they want by offering the 2019 WRX STI with more power for its fans to play with.

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Good News! The Next-Gen WRX Will Be Offered with a Manual Transmission

Good News! The Next-Gen WRX Will Be Offered with a Manual Transmission

But, it will be optional

As disappointing as it is to see the manual transmission fade into the sunset as more automakers lean on its automatic counterpart, there are some automakers who are keeping the dream alive. One of these manufacturers is Subaru, which coincidentally dropped hints a month ago that it was axing the manual transmission from its models. Turns out, not every Subaru model is completely ditching the manual transmission because the fun-tactic three-pedal setup will live on through the WRX performance line.

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Subaru Celebrates 30 Years of STI

Subaru Celebrates 30 Years of STI

AWD and turbo speed make for one helluva combo

On April 2nd, 1988, the Six-Star brand founded Subaru Technica International, establishing what would eventually become 30 years of high-performance both on and off the track. Now, Subaru is celebrating the birth of its go-faster racing division and three decades of awesomeness.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Subaru WRX

Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Subaru WRX

Yeah, it really is wallpaper material

There’s just something about the current-gen WRX that just stands out among other sedans on the market. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s one of few performance sedans with true, on- and off-road capability or maybe it’s just the attractive look and sheer dependability. Either way, it’ll certainly be a nice addition to your desktop, so give your screen a fresh look with the wallpaper selections below.

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Subaru Will Probably Kill Off Its Manual Transmission Because Eyesight Isn't Compatible

Subaru Will Probably Kill Off Its Manual Transmission Because Eyesight Isn’t Compatible

Will the Six-Star brand put its third pedal to bed?

In a bid to make its cars safer, Subaru will look to double down on its high-tech Eyesight suite of features. Unfortunately, that could mean the death of its manual transmission offering, which so far is not compatible with Eyesight.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Latest Videos:

2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition

2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition

Celebrating 50 years on America’s shores

Subaru is celebrating its 50th anniversary of selling vehicles in America by offering a special 50th Anniversary Edition on all its models, including the 2018 WRX. There are no mechanical updates, so don’t expect any horsepower or handling improvements. This special edition is for appearances only. However, Subaru is only building 600 WRX 50th Anniversary Editions, so rarity is a big attraction factor.

The 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the WRX’s highest trim, the Limited, as to include all the desirable features. Items include the StarLink infotainment system, keyless access and push-button starting, LED steering responsive headlights, 10-way power driver’s seat, and the EyeSight safety system.

As for what sets the 50th Anniversary Edition apart, the details are all listed below.

Continue reading for more information.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition

2018 Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition

Wanna make a splash at the local Scooby meet?

Subaru made its first foray into the U.S. market in the late ’60s, and now, it’s celebrating that momentous occasion with a slew of special edition models. Introduced in a blitz of debuts at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the six-star brand is calling it the 50th Anniversary Edition, and it includes revamped iterations of just about every model in the lineup. Chief among these is the rip-snortin’, extra-wing-havin’, hood-scoop wearin’ WRX STI, the quickest of Subaru’s lineup, which gets new exterior paint, a unique wheel finish, and new badges to mark half a century of the Six Stars in the States.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition special.

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Valentine's Day Special – A Love Letter To The Subaru WRX

Valentine’s Day Special – A Love Letter To The Subaru WRX

Let me count the ways...

Welp, it’s Valentine’s Day, and as most of the country reaches for the champagne and chocolates, us car enthusiasts are a little too busy with the engine oil and spark plugs. And that makes it the perfect time to reflect on that one special model, the car that lit the fires of passion in your auto-loving bosom. For me, that car was the Subaru WRX.

Continue reading for the full story.

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The Subaru STI 50th Anniversary Edition Is the Rarest WRX You Can Buy Today

The Subaru STI 50th Anniversary Edition Is the Rarest WRX You Can Buy Today

And it’s not that expensive either!

Unlike other Japanese automakers, Subaru needed only a few years since it established itself as a company to start selling cars in the United States. Founded in 1953, Subaru crossed the pond to North America in 1968, when Subau of America was born in Philadelphia. That’s an impressive feat and it’s not surprising that the carmaker is celebrating its 50th American anniversary with limited-edition versions for all its cars. Launched at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the new lineup also includes a special WRX STI that’s limited to only 200 units, making it the rarest WRX you can buy in 2018.

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Subaru Unveils Big Batch of Not-So-Special Limited-Edition Cars in Chicago

Subaru Unveils Big Batch of Not-So-Special Limited-Edition Cars in Chicago

Celebrates 50 years in the U.S. with boring lineup

Placed right between Detroit and Geneva, two of the year’s most important automotive events, the Chicago Auto Show is rarely something to write home about. And in recent years it has become the venue where automakers launch many special-edition and limited-edition models. The 2018 even is no exception from this rule and Subaru just showcased eight limited-edition models to celebrate its 50th anniversary on U.S. soil. The lineup includes all but the recently unveiled Ascent crossover: the BRZ, Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, WRX, and WRX STI.

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2020 Subaru WRX

2020 Subaru WRX

When will Subaru finally unveil its next-gen rally star?

Ever since its introduction in 1992, the Subaru WRX has promised enthusiasts a thick slice of the high-flying, sideways-sliding, gravel-spraying antics that made the six-star brand famous in the World Rally Championship. Thanks to its turbocharged flat-four engine, stout suspension set-up, speed-oriented interior, and wing-heavy exterior styling, the WRX has cemented its reputation as a machine capable of competition-style performance, but at a price that keeps all your internal organs inside you, rather than going to the highest bidder. Over the years, we’ve seen four generations of the ’Rex, with U.S.-based consumers getting their first taste in the early 2000’s with the second-gen “bug eye” iteration. These days, though, the WRX is considered a bit long in the tooth. While still a solid performance buy, the alternatives are plentiful, while the WRX’s updates mostly just spin the tires. In truth, enthusiasts are clamoring for an updated next-generation WRX capable of besting much fresher offerings from the likes of Ford and Honda.

Luckily, it appears as though Subaru is working on exactly that, as previewed by concepts like the Viziv Performance sedan that dropped at the Tokyo Motor Show back in 2017. But we’re impatient, so we decided to create a rendering, put on our thinking caps, and write up a speculative review on what we think the next-gen WRX could bring to the table. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Subaru WRX.

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Latest Wallpapers:

Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon!

Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon!

Have wing, will travel

While we’re just a few short days away from the official sheet pull at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, Subaru is teasing us with a few shots of its upcoming Viziv Performance STI, giving us a sneak peek at what the six-star brand might have planned for the upcoming WRX STI. Boy racers and vape enthusiasts, take note – this is your new icon.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Video of the Day: Jeremy Clarkson Tries His Hand at Gymkhana: Video

Video of the Day: Jeremy Clarkson Tries His Hand at Gymkhana: Video

"Farmkhana" is not what it looks like

Jeremy Clarkson is good at many things. He’s good at talking about cars. He’s good at driving some of them. And he’s good at pissing a lot of people of. He also claims to be good at drifting, something he showed in the last episode of The Grand Tour when he decided to have a go at recreating Ken Block’s famous Gymkhana stunt videos.

Of course, this is Jeremy Clarkson we’re talking about. A lot of his bombastic claims should be taken with a grain of salt. His stunt video, called “Farmkhana: Ultimate_Country_Playground,” is a perfect example of that. Watch it on a surface level, and you might even be convinced that Clarkson’s run across the playground is legitimate. He even makes faces while performing those intense burnouts. But take the time to study the video. Look at it closer, and you’ll start noticing how carefully edited it is. The shots from inside the Subaru STI show him mostly stationary — the face-making served as good distraction — while the shots of his feet slamming the pedals are far from conclusive since we don’t know if it’s actually doing it.

I will admit that Clarkson does know how to do a proper drift. He’s done it in front of a camera many times. But he’s nowhere near Block’s level when it comes to this kind of horse-playing. The latter is on another level. Fortunately, Clarkson and the show are in on the joke too when they released a short “Behind-The-Scenes” video of the stunt. It turns out; there was a lot of editing and failed stunts involved in the making of Farmkhana, including one scene where Clarkson failed to drift into a sheep pen, hitting and destroying its wooden enclosures every time.

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Subaru Announces Pricing for WRX STI Type RA and BRZ TS

Subaru Announces Pricing for WRX STI Type RA and BRZ TS

They’re not as expensive as we thought they’d be

Those of you who have been waiting with baited breath to hear the price figures of the Subaru WRX STI Type RA and the BRZ tS can all breathe a sigh of relief now. The Japanese automaker has officially gone public with the pricing of the two new models, and in a stroke of good fortune, they’re not as expensive as we thought. The track-focused WRX STI Type RA, for example, will cost $49,855 with delivery. Meanwhile, the Subaru BRZ tS will carry a price tag of $34,355. They’re pricier than their standard models, but that’s to be expected for two models that are limited to just 500 units apiece.

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“The City Rallyist” Attacks The Night In A Subaru WRX STI: Video

“The City Rallyist” Attacks The Night In A Subaru WRX STI: Video

A glorious short film shot on the streets of Seoul, South Korea

When the sun sets, the city comes alive. The pedestrians are in bed, but street lamps and neon glow provide the backdrop as growling internal combustion monsters begin their nightly prowl. If that’s the sort of stuff you’re into, then this 2-minute, 16-second video from TeamRoad Studio is sure to delight. Shot in the South Korean capitol of Seoul, the video features the high-speed exploits of a modified blue GDB “peanut eye” Subaru WRX STI, complete with gold wheels, a massive rear wing, and a rumbling exhaust note. The Scooby looks amazing blasting around the city, flashing between the shadows in a flurry of atmospheric blow-off valve chirps.

Granted, some of the footage is sped up, and it doesn’t look like the production team broke any laws to capture the shots (maybe that little bit at the very end is an exception). Regardless, the editing really gives you a sense of speed, and the Six Star icon we all know and love is glorified to satisfaction. Good stuff, no doubt about it. We can’t wait to see what TeamRoad Studio comes up with next.

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Batteries and Motors: Even the Subaru WRX STI is Gonna Get ‘Em

Batteries and Motors: Even the Subaru WRX STI is Gonna Get ‘Em

Is it a good thing or a bad thing, though?

Evs and hybrids are slowly taking hold and, wouldn’t you know it, an exec from Subaru just hinted that the next Subaru WRX STI could go hybrid as well. That’s the word from David Dello Stritto – Subaru’s Sales and Market Manager in Europe – who told Autocar that the current 2.5-liter, whistling, boxer-four just “can simply not exist in the future.” He didn’t go into detail other than that, really, but did say that “Subaru is looking at market developments” and will “make its future plan with this information in mind.” Does it mean that the Subaru WRX STI as we know it will perish after the end of its current lifecycle? Nope; and all of this hybrid talk could be a very good thing.

See, that 2.5-liter, turbocharged mill is just kind of old school and a little dirty. To put it simply, it can’t keep up with emissions regulations that are getting stricter by the minute (not literally, but they might as well be.) This has caused a number of cars to be axed altogether, and if that happened to the WRX and STI, then you know they would probably come back as an SUV as Mitsubishi has done with the Eclipse name. Thank God that’s not going to happen here. Instead, rumor has it that the next WRX STI, which will be built on the same Global Platform that supports the new Impreza, will get its go-juice from a 2.0-liter boxer engine up front (turbo of course) and a motor-driven axle out back, something that would allow Subaru to maintain its all-wheel-drive setup and keep up with those pesky regulations to are just determined to kill anything and everything that we find fun and enjoyable. Keep reading for more of the good stuff.

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Subaru S208 WRX STI Limited Edition up for grabs!!

Subaru S208 WRX STI Limited Edition up for grabs!!

The Subaru WRX has been on the market for about 25 years now, and Subaru has made constant updates to the model over the years. This time, Subaru has launched the Subaru S208 WRX STI Limited Edition at the Tokyo Motor Show. Will it be enough to take on its chief rivals - the Honda Civic Type-R, VW Golf GTI, and Ford Focus RS? Let’s find out:

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2018 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition

2018 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition

The facelifted STi goes to the U.K. as the Final Edition model

The Subaru WRX Sti has a long, storied history which is part of the reason why Subaru chose to bring a facelift to the car just a few years after the fifth-gen model hit dealers. If you were over in the U.K., on the other hand, you probably felt shafted when the U.S. got to lay eyes on the new WRX – after all, you got stuck with the design that debuted for 2016. Well, as it turns out, the U.K. isn’t getting the facelifted model and, in fact, there won’t be a Subaru STi at all after this year, leaving you just enough time to snag one of these last 150, Final Edition models. And, if you do happen to get your hands on one, well guess what? You actually get the facelifted version that’s on sale in the U.S. right now. That’s right; the “Final Edition” STi in the U.K. is really nothing more than the facelifted model that we received for 2018.

Sounds pretty sketchy, right? Well, it really is, but it’s not exactly Subaru’s fault either. According to various sources, the company that’s responsible for importing the WRX STi has chosen not to import it anymore. It was even up to that company, which goes by the name IM Group, whether or not the final edition models were brought over there. So, while they are the reason why you can’t get a 2018 model (outside of the 150 final editions, anyway) you might want to thank them as they were at least kind enough to import 150 more to give the car a proper send-off. With that said, you probably already know what you’ll get with the Final-Edition STi since it’s already on sale here in the U.S. as a 2018 model, but let’s go over the details just to refresh your memory a bit.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI Final Edition.

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Add Some Boost To Your Pumpkin With This Subaru WRX STI Carving Pattern

Add Some Boost To Your Pumpkin With This Subaru WRX STI Carving Pattern

Show your Six Star pride this Halloween

So then, it’s Halloween. What’s your costume gonna be? Does it happen to be a blue and gold jump suit and helmet combo with the name “Solberg” or “McRae” printed across it? If that describes you, then this is what your pumpkin should look like. Offered as a free downloadable and printable PDF from SubaruPartsPlus, this carving design will turn that boring orange squash on your porch into a turbocharged rally star, announcing to the whole neighborhood your undying allegiance to the Six Star brand.

Granted, that rumbling aftermarket exhaust you installed probably does the same thing, but either way, this is a great way to inject your spooky holiday with a little AWD goodness. We recommend adding a rooster tail of pumpkin seed “gravel” shooting out the back for extra artistic bonus points. That said, if you really wanted to scare your fellow Subaru enthusiasts, maybe a carving of a head gasket would be more appropriate…

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Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

A hopeful preview of the new WRX… maybe

Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

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Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000

Bargain Buys: Performance Cars That You Can Score For Less Than $50,000

You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy these performance cars

Times like this, picking a sports car can get a little tricky, especially when money is no object. The range of options cuts across different segments and if you really want to make an impression, the cost of getting one could run up in the seven figures. But for those who don’t have the proverbial “unli-funds” at their disposal, buying a sports car becomes a little bit more difficult. For one, a large number of options are pulled off of the table because of their costs. Then there’s the prospect of availability.

But there is some good news. Just because money’s tight, doesn’t mean that the market becomes slim pickings. Far from it actually. Just lower those expectations, and you might find themselves having more than enough options to consider. And, since we’re in the business of helping others out, we’ve put up a list of some sweet performance rides that buyers can score for less than $50,000. I’m purposefully leaving out performance hatchbacks out of this list because they’re an entirely different category of their own. So we’re going with coupes and sedans, some of which can go as cheap as $20,000 while others can max out at or near the $50,000. The point is that they’re affordable and can put buyers one step closer to finally scoring that long-awaited performance car purchase.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI S208

2018 Subaru WRX STI S208

Special edition WRX STI follows in the footsteps of the S207

Subaru is going all-out at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. It’s bringing three “concept” cars to show off design plans for the future. It’s bringing a special edition BRZ that’s been infused with STI know-how. It’s also bringing the WRX STI S208, a special edition version of the performance sedan that’s dripping in aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades. It, too, is limited to just 450 units and will be only be sold in Japan, but that’s ok because we do have something of similar ilk in the form of the WRX STI Type RA.

Most of the improvements featured in the S208 revolve around the goal of making the sedan lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, the S207 that Subaru released in limited quantities (only 400 units) back in 2015. It does look like the automaker accomplished that goal because it’s touting the S208 as having an “improved engine output” compared to the S207, among other notable features. As far as a release date is concerned, there’s been no indication of that from Subaru, though we can at least expect to hear more details about the new performance sedan when it makes its debut in Tokyo next month.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Subaru WRX STI S208

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Quick Highlight – Subaru Impreza Gravel Express

Quick Highlight – Subaru Impreza Gravel Express

Keep your miserable SUV, all aboard the Gravel Express!

I think at this point, Subaru is well established as one of the primary movers and shakers in the world of rough, rally-tough performance, mostly thanks to the turbocharged, all-four-driven, race-bred WRX. But while this mainstay of the import enthusiast culture first hit U.S. shores in the early 2000’s, older overseas slideways fans have known the joy of boosted Scoobys for much longer. Probably the most famous old school ‘Rex is the wide-hipped, be-winged 22B, a true icon in and of itself. But I’m not here to sing the praises of the 22B, at least not this time around. No, instead I want to raise awareness of something a little… weirder. Say hello to the Gravel Express, a JDM-special WRX rocking two-tone paint, a raised ride height, a giant bull bar on the nose, and a spare wheel on the hatch.

All you really need to know about this thing is right there in the name. Indeed, this odd Impreza is rocking WRX-levels of power from a carryover turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine and the traditional high-performance symmetrical AWD system. Unfortunately, Subaru axed the Gravel Express after just one generation, because apparently, this tasty slice of automotive awesomeness just didn’t sell as well as hoped. But the fact it was made at all is reason to celebrate, no?

On these shores, we got the much-less-interesting Impreza Outback Sport, which neglected boost in favor an all-atmosphere 2.2-liter four-cylinder, but the bones are pretty much the same. Your job, dear enthusiast, is to find an old Outback Sport, drop in a turbo 2.0-liter, lift it up, mount a bull bar up front, and put a spare wheel on the hatch. Once your task is complete, let the gravel be your guide…

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Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Goes Sub-7 Minutes At The ‘Ring: Video

Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Goes Sub-7 Minutes At The ‘Ring: Video

Six-star speed at full throttle

While some have protested that a fast Nurburgring lap time is inconsequential in the grand scope of performance standards, it remains more or less the benchmark. And for good reason – with a mix of high-speed and low-speed corners, huge elevation changes, and plenty of opportunities to get it completely wrong, the Nurburgring is one of the most technically challenging and dangerous race tracks in the world. But that didn’t stop Subaru from building a race-ready WRX STI specifically for domination at this iconic track, and now, we’ve got some onboard footage of its record breaking run from the driver’s perspective, complete with data.

Subaru announced that it broke the ‘Ring record for sedans a few months back, besting the previous record set by the Porsche Panamera Turbo by a whopping 41 seconds. However, this is no ordinary STI – as you can see in the video, the interior is completely gutted with just a single race bucket, digital gauges, and a roll cage in place to keep it safe. Making the go is 2.0-liter turbo boxer four-cylinder at full WRC-spec, pumping out in excess of 600 horsepower. So it’s not exactly production status, but either way, watching this thing attack the ‘Ring from the hot seat is a delight all the same.

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Subaru Sets Nurburgring Record for Sedans with Beefed-up WRX STi

Subaru Sets Nurburgring Record for Sedans with Beefed-up WRX STi

Type RA NBR Special race around the Nordschleife in less than seven seconds!

Subaru has just set a new record on the Nurburgring using a special version of the WRX STi. While the Japanese firm didn’t break the all-time record, now held by the NextEV Nio EP9 electric supercar, it did set a new benchmark for four-door sedans. Specifically, the Prodrive-built WRX STi Type RA NBR Special completed the Nordschleife course in 6:57.5 minutes, smashing the previous record, set in 2017 by the Porsche Panamera Turbo, by almost 41 seconds. The beefed-up WRX STi was driven by Richie Stanaway, known for his 24 Hours of Le Mans stints with Aston Martin, and the benchmark was verified by Nurburgring officials.

While not a production model, the Type RA NBR Special is based on the stock sedan. The extra performance comes through weight reduction and suspension and engine upgrades, the latter in the form of a WRC-spec 2.0-liter boxer unit. The sedan also received a full roll cage for added strength and stiffness. Engine output is rated at "more than 600 horsepower," and Subaru claims that the car reached a top speed of 179 mph at the ’Ring. The company also offers a limited-edition WRX STi Type RA model, but the production car uses a stock engine, with upgrades including a carbon-fiber roof, spare tire delete, carbon-fiber wing, and lightweight, 19-inch BBS rims wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sports tires. So technically speaking, the Type RA NBR Special doesn’t qualify as a production car record.

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Drive Takes A Look At Building High-Horsepower Subaru Engines: Video

Drive Takes A Look At Building High-Horsepower Subaru Engines: Video

Wanna make four-figures with your flat-four? Just press play to learn how

Prior to the release of the FA, the mainstay for performance Subaru builds was the iconic EJ powerplant. First seeing an introduction in 1989 on the Subaru Legacy, the EJ has seen a variety of configurations and output levels, with both naturally aspirated and turbocharged applications utilized over the years. The most famous of the EJ’s are those that came mounted in the nose of Subaru’s much-loved rally machine, the WRX and WRX STI. For the past two decades, tuners have tweaked this flat box of power for ever-greater levels of performance, and modern builders are pushing some serious horsepower these days. One such builder is Vince “Built” Griffin from Prime Motoring, who gave our friends over at Drive the lowdown on what it takes to turn the EJ into a total beast in this 19-minute, 32-second video.

The video covers just about everything you need to know about building an EJ, including advantages of the platform, common problems and their solutions, intercooler selection, exhaust selection, common mistakes, block reinforcement, and a whole lot more. If you’re into tuning, or you’re simply a fan of the WRX, this video is sure to provide some interesting and valuable insight into what’s going on behind that classic boxer rumble.

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Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Is Now The Fastest Four-Door Sedan Around The Nürburgring

Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Is Now The Fastest Four-Door Sedan Around The Nürburgring

Race-version of the WRX STI Type RA owned the ’RIng

When Subaru revealed the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special back in June 2017, it brought a lot of attention back to the Japanese automaker’s resident performance crown jewel, the WRX STI. Not that it needed to because we all know what the WRX STI is capable of. Still, the Type RA NBR Special isn’t a standard race car even in the traditional sense. It’s capable of a lot more and it proved as much when it lapped the Nordschleife track at the Nürburgring in a staggering 6:57.5 minutes.

Not only did the 600-horsepower sedan racer go under the seven-minute barrier, it did so quite handily, turning in a time that easily eclipsed the previous lap time record held by the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, which posted a lap time of 7:32 in the same course last year. For comparison’s sake, the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special’s pace is almost equivalent to the lap time posted by the Porsche 918 Spyder. The record-breaking lap time will probably not stick in the record books for the simple reason that the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special isn’t a production model the way the Giulia Quadrifoglio is, but let it be said that when talking about the fastest four-door sedan to ever lap the 12.9-mile Nordschleife track at the Green Hell, the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special just made the Giulia Quarifoglio look like a tortoise.

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Travis Pastrana Sets Mt. Washington Hill Climb Record

Travis Pastrana Sets Mt. Washington Hill Climb Record

Subaru driver clocked in a time of 5:44.72 seconds, 24 seconds faster than the old record

Travis Pastrana has accomplished a great many things in his illustrious motorsports career. He’s a motocross champion, an X-Games gold medalist, and a four-time Rally America champion. It’s fitting then that for a man who has accomplished a lot in his career, Pastrana added yet another feather to his cap by claiming the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb record in staggering fashion. With a specially-prepared Subaru WRX STI rally car acting as his stead, Pastrana sped up the 7.6-mile track in 5:44.72.

Pastrana’s record ascent to the summit of Mt. Washington didn’t just break the old record set by David Higgins in 2014. It shattered that 6:09.09 lap time by 24 seconds in one of the most incredible displays of hill climb rallying you’ll ever see. For his part, Higgins also competed in the event and was determined to eclipse his own mark. Unfortunately, his own attempt was derailed after his car went off the road, forcing him to abandon his lap time. It’s easy to feel Higgins’ disappointment in not only failing to finish the climb, but in seeing his record fall. Then again, it still took someone with the skill and experience of Pastrana to lay claim to the lap record of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb. It’s hard not to see Higgins return next year to try to reclaim his record. For now, though, it’s Pastrana who deserves the shine, as well he should considering his latest accomplishment.

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The Highs and Lows of Subaru's 2018 WRX STI

The Highs and Lows of Subaru’s 2018 WRX STI

Thoughts after spending a week with Subaru’s newest rally racer

Subaru has given the WRX STI a mild refresh for 2018 – with a strong emphasis on mild. The press materials contain bullet points like, “optimized suspension, revised styling, and bigger brakes.” But how do these changes actually affect the car? Well, after spending a week with the latest STI, I’m separating the wheat from the chaff. Which of these updates should Subi fans be happy about and which don’t really matter?

I’ve already given a full account of these updates, along with my thoughts behind the wheel, in my Driven Review. But for the sake of time, here’s a quick run-down on what’s new for 2018. The front fascia is new, with a slightly larger lower grille and more pronounced faux air intakes to either side. The fog lights are gone, sadly, but Subaru added adaptive headlights that turn with the steering wheel. The main grille is new, too. Larger, 19-inch wheels are now standard, as are bigger Brembo brakes. Subaru updated the suspension for “better handling and ride comfort.” There’s also a new, fully electric center differential that’s said to more quickly distribute torque between the front and rear axles. Interior mods include a larger vehicle information screen in the center dash and better sound insulation for a quieter ride.

Continue reading for more.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven

2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven

The rally racer for everyday errands

Those television commercials say Subarus are made from love. That’s only the case if we’re talking about the love of motorsports and rally racing. See, generations of Subarus, most notably the Impreza WRX and WRX STI models, have taken home World Rally Championship trophies from events around the world. Thankfully, Subaru injects this racing pedigree into the production version of its WRX models, making them some of the best performing, all-weather and terrain racing machines on the planet. And now for 2018, the WRX and WRX STI receive a slight cosmetic refresh paired with a handful of mechanical upgrades.

I recently spent a few days with a 2018 WRX STI Limited painted in that lovely WR Blue Pearl hue. At first glance, the acid-green brake calipers and tall rear wing command the eye’s attention. But looking deeper, you’ll see the front grille is ever so slightly more aggressive than before. A new set of 19-inch, Y-spoke wheels are new, as are those bright brake calipers and the larger rotors they squeeze. Things inside change little, too, through the small changes make big improvements in comfort. A larger information screen atop the dash has new graphics, the StarLink Infotainment system now measures 7.0 inches, the rear seat gets a folding center armrest with cup holders, the door panels have new grab handles, and road noise is hushed thanks to thicker side glass and added insulation. Mechanically, Subaru gave the STI a new fully electronic center differential that’s said to work faster than the previous mechanical and electrical DCCD. Sadly, Subaru chose not to completely rework the WRX STI onto the Impreza’s new-for-2017 chassis. Even the 2.5-liter Boxer engine remains untouched at 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. But does this dull the rally-inspired driving experience. Hardly. Keep reading to find out more.

Continue reading for the full review.

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What's The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?

What’s The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?

Mixing business and pleasure at a reasonable price

The sport sedan – talk about a hotly contested segment. Almost every major automaker out there has one, but as you might expect, not all are created equal. And that’s where we come in, armed with a boatload of facts and figures to help rank the various entries from best to worst. Of course, more attentive TopSpeed readers out there are sure to point out that this is a topic we’ve covered before, most recently in a comparison piece looking at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But unlike that last article, which focused on luxury cars with a sporty flavor, this piece will instead focus on cars that place a greater emphasis on performance, with luxury as a secondary priority. As such, we’re picking apart the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volvo S60. Sure, there’s overlap, but in this crowd, the effort is made more for grins behind the wheel than backside coddling.

That isn’t to say these cars aren’t comfortable – indeed, each offers a fair amount of upscale treatment, some more so than others. That said, we weighed performance much more heavily this time around, giving otherwise more spartan models a shot at the top of the list. So how do we place these five four-doors? Read on to find out.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA

If you want one, move quick – there’s only 500 being built.

Subaru has been throwing Type RA badges on cars since 1989 when a special Subaru Legacy clocked 62,000 miles in just 18 days while hitting a 138 mph top speed, ultimately breaking the FIA Word Speed Endurance Record. Over the years, there have been a number of Type RA vehicles, all of which are usually lighter, and tuned to deliver better performance than their base-model counterparts. Typical modifications included a revised gearbox, manual winders, air conditioning delete, reduced soundproofing, and ABS delete to go along with various chassis and suspension enhancements as well. Fast forward to today, and we’re looking at the latest WRX STI Type RA – a model that promises to be quicker and more nimble on the track, or just a blast to drive altogether. All told, only 500 units of this Type RA will be sold, all of which feature weight reduction, engine upgrades, and suspension enhancements.

If you’re a little skeptical, we can’t blame you. The special edition market has been rather disappointing lately, with most SE models featuring some random paint and fresh wheels with little else to write home about. But, this isn’t the case here. In fact, we’re talking about all kinds of upgrades that include things like a carbon fiber roof, high-performance intake and exhaust, heavily modified suspension, and Subaru even went so far as to install stronger pistons inside the engine block. Now that’s how you put together a special edition. But, that isn’t all there is to talk about, so take a minute to learn all about it in my detailed review below.

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Subaru Unveils Beefed-up WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS for 2018

Subaru Unveils Beefed-up WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS for 2018

Still no BRZ STI unfortunately...

Subaru has just announced two new special-edition models for the 2018 model year, and both are engineered by the performance-focused STI division. If you were looking to buy a WRX STI or a BRZ in the near future, you can now look into the more capable Type RA and tS models, respectively. Each vehicle is limited to 500 units and carry unique features that improve performance on and off the track.

Exact specifications and pricing are not yet available, but more information will be released closer to their market launch, which is scheduled for early 2018. Updates for each model include exterior modifications, new interior trim, and upgrades to the drivetrain and the chassis. Find out more about both cars below.

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Subaru Reveals Hardcore STI Type RA NBR Special Edition: Video

Subaru Reveals Hardcore STI Type RA NBR Special Edition: Video

Six-star speed just got a whole lot faster

Don’t look now, but there’s a go-faster Subaru WRX STI just over the horizon. Per usual, the Japanese superhero is labeled with a string of letters that promise more speed than the standard model, rocking the moniker Type RA NBR. The Subie faithful will be quick to recognize the name – the last time we saw it was in 2013 with the tS Type RA, a model limited to the Japanese market. Prior to that was the original Type RA from the ‘90s, a tuned-up, hardcore iteration of the GC8 WRX. This latest version is framed as an all-out time attack racer, and you can preview its AWD turbo goodness in the above-featured 2-minute teaser video.

By the look of it, the new Type RA won’t be street legal, but word is it will be coming stateside. Cue fan boy happy dance. Subaru also says it’s gearing up for a run at setting a new record at the Nurburgring for four-door sedans later this year. The automaker has yet to give us an official spec sheet, but more info is expected to drop next week. In the meantime, read on for a little speculation on what this thing is packing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Edition.

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Motor Trend Reviews Subaru Impreza 22B STI, Fanboys Go Bananas: Video

Motor Trend Reviews Subaru Impreza 22B STI, Fanboys Go Bananas: Video

Getting behind the wheel of a gravel-churning icon

These days, the Subaru WRX has a pretty hardcore following in the U.S., but the legendary boxer bad boy we know today didn’t start with the “bug eye” second-gen model that hit these shores in the early 2000’s. To find the WRX’s true genesis, you’ve gotta go back to the ‘90s, when Subaru started building its rally-inspired hero using the older GC8 Impreza platform. Those first-gen WRX’s came in a variety of flavors, including stripped-down rally-ready iterations and even a few wagons, but the most impressive of the lot was the remarkable 22B. This lust-worthy AWD monster has an almost mythical air about it, with just over 400 units produced, none of which were slated for the U.S. That makes it exceedingly rare to find one in the states, but luckily, our friends over at Motor Trend managed to track one down for a thorough road test, and the result is this engaging nine-minute video.

Introduced in 1998, the 22B celebrated the Six Stars’ 40th anniversary, as well as its impressive triple consecutive manufacturer’s titles in the World Rally Championship. As such, the 22B came equipped with a high-strung 2.2-liter turbo engine, wide body exterior, World Rally Blue paint job, and gold 17-inch multi-spoke wheels. Upgraded aero, Bilstein suspension bits, and high-spec brakes completed the performance package. Just a single glance at this thing reveals its intentions, and one could argue that the be-winged sport compacts of today owe much to the 22B’s success.

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2018 Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX

A mid-cycle update brings improved suspension and other little bits of happiness

The Subaru WRX is one of those sporty sedan rally cars that every enthusiast should drive at least once in their life. It went through a generational shift for the 2015 model year that made it even better, bringing new exterior looks, a longer A-Pillar, LED exterior lighting, a roomier interior, better outward visibility, and a new 2.0-liter four-banger that was 0.5-liters smaller than the outgoing unit but offered three extra ponies and 14 extra pound-feet which really helped to offset the 50+ pound weight gain than came with the new-gen model. It’s only been a couple of years since the new-gen model hit showrooms, and Subie has been busy putting together some minor revisions for the 2018 model year. There’s no power gain to speak of, unfortunately, but there is some minor exterior styling updates, improved suspension setup, updated manual transmission, and a new optional Performance pack – the latter of which you really want to know about if you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with a new WRX.

So, while there isn’t a lot of big news in the aesthetics department, the mechanical bits under the metal got some serious reworking, and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus there are upgraded interior materials, a new rear-seat armrest (with cup holders,) and a few updates to help cut down on unwanted noise bleed through from the road For those of you into technology, the infotainment display has grown up a bit as well, with the screen size in base trims growing by 1.5 inches while the screen in the Premium trim grows by 0.8 inches.

For a mid-cycle update, there’s actually quite a bit to talk about when it comes to the WRX. Oh, and before I forget, the WRX STI also got some significant updates, so if you’re looking to get your hands on one of those, our man Jonathan Lopez has all of the details in his full review of that 300-horsepower beast here. Anyway, let’s scroll down and see what the 2018 Subaru WRX has to offer!

Update: 4/20/2017: Subaru has announced pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX. Check out the prices section below to learn just how much it’ll cost you to roll out in a brand-new Subie!

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI

2018 Subaru WRX STI

Better stoppers and a quieter cabin top the list in this refresh

Forged in the fires of competition at the World Rally Championship, the Subaru WRX first appeared in 1992 bearing all the makings of a hoon-ready enthusiast’s wet dream. Packing a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, oodles of AWD grip, and a name that alludes to its competition origins (some say it stands for “World Rally Cross,” others say it’s “World Rally Experimental”), the WRX was an immediate hit, prompting the Six Star Brand to offer up an even hotter STI variant two years later. STI is the signature of Subaru Tecnica International, Subaru’s high-performance tuning arm, which translates as more power, more aggression, and more speed, and with four generations of hot rod Suby’s now on the books, the WRX STI deserves a refresh. Enter the 2018 model year, which gets tweaked exterior styling, a quieter, more comfortable cabin, sharper handling, and better brakes.

At its core, the 2018 Subaru WRX STI is more or less identical to the outgoing model. Even though Subaru released the new fifth-generation Impreza last year at the New York international Auto Show, the WRX and WRX STI variants remain stuck in the past, with fans anxiously awaiting the inevitable evolutionary changeover from the current fourth-gen model. Nevertheless, Subaru continues to sell its rally-bred superstar in droves, so you can’t really blame the automaker for taking its sweet time.

For now, the STI enters the 2018 model year with “performance, comfort, design and safety enhancements for a more rewarding driving experience.” Read on to learn what that means, and whether or not it’s enough of an update to warrant your performance dollar.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

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The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models

The Best Get Better As Upgrades Dominate Subaru WRX And STI Models

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.

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2017 Subaru STI WRX S4 tS

2017 Subaru STI WRX S4 tS

So near, yet so far

Like any other automaker, Subaru isn’t averse to making special edition models if the right situation calls for it. In recent memory alone, the Japanese brand has gifted us with beauties like the Subaru WRX STI 207 Limited Edition and the Subaru Series.Hyperblue BRZ. Sure, the WRX STI 207 LE never made it to the U.S., but that’s not the point here. The point is that Subaru has once again launched a special edition model – the Subaru STI WRX S4 ts – and just like the 207 LE, it’s only available in Japan. Ouch.

Hurt feelings notwithstanding, the STI WRX S4 ts is a thing of beauty. Like the 207 LE before it, the S4 ts was built to commemorate Subaru’s successful victories in the SP3T class at the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race in the past two years. And as special edition models go, it comes with a bevy of enhancements of the cosmetic and functional varieties. There are upgrades on the exterior, interior, and suspension. On top of all that, it also features an NBR Challenge Package for interested customers who need an extra spray of “special” to this already limited edition sports sedan.

Everything about the STI WRX S4 ts looks great. Sadly, there is that sobering reminder that the limited edition car won’t be available in the U.S. It’s a Japan exclusive with models available in a “limited basis” from October 4, 2016 to March 12, 2017.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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Mark Higgins Smashes Isle of Man Record

Mark Higgins Smashes Isle of Man Record

James Bond’s stunt driver sets sub-18-minute benchmark

Rally driver Mark Higgins has set a new lap record at the Isle of Man TT course, smashing the previous benchmark with a 17:49.75-minute lap and an average speed of 126.971. Higgins drove a highly modified Subaru WRX STI and improved his previous record by a whopping 1:26 minutes and 9.461 mph, respectively.

Unlike last year, when Higgins used a WRX STI closer to production specification, the Prodrive-prepped sedan uses a higher revving, 600-horsepower engine, numerous weight-reducing components, and a WRC-spec gearbox. Also, the beefed-up WRX rides on a bespoke suspension system with Exe-TC dampers and uses a fully flat underfloor, a drag reduction system, and medium-compound Dunlop Sport Maxx slick tires borrowed from a British Touring Car Championship racer.

All told, Higgins’ new Suby is more of a professional rally car than a standard WRX STI, which makes the new record less than surprising.

"I think 125 mph was the dream before the start. I’ve only had one practice run so I’m over the moon to do that on only my second lap and there’s a little bit more to come – definitely from me because I’m learning all the time I go around the track - and there is a little bit more to come from the car as well," Higgins told Manx Radio at the end of his record-breaking, 37.73-mile lap.

The British pilot is set to make two more attempts this week, meaning that the benchmark is likely to see an improvement before the team calls it a day.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Subaru WRX STI Time Attack

2016 Subaru WRX STI Time Attack

The WRX STI Time Attack finally gets its livery just a month ahead of the Isle of Man TT event

Earlier this month we brought you news that Subaru was hoping to break the Isle of Man TT record again this year by putting record holder, Mark Higgins, behind the wheel once again. He last broke the record in 2014 using a U.S.-spec 2015 Subaru WRX STI, which shaved 41 seconds off his 19 minute and 56-second run in 2010. For the attempt this year, Subaru is doing something different in hopes that it will give Higgins the ability to tackle the motorcycle track in less than 19 seconds.

The collaboration between Prodrive and Subaru ended back in 2008, but for this record attempt, Subaru has looked to Prodrive once again. This time, the two worked together to build a car specifically for conquering the Isle of Man TT track. When we first dropped this news, the special-made WRX STI had yet to receive its livery on the outside, so it was finished in a boring shade of white. Now, a little over a month before the Isle of Man TT kicks off; we’re finally getting to take a peek at the car with its full livery package.

We’re still betting Higgins will run the course in 18 minutes and 57 seconds, but we’ve still got a little while before we get to see how things really go down. Until then, let’s take a look at the car Subaru hopes to set a new record with and its new livery.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI Time Attack.

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Prodrive And Subaru Build Special WRX STI For Isle of Man TT Record Attempt

Prodrive And Subaru Build Special WRX STI For Isle of Man TT Record Attempt

The new WRX STI from Prodrive might help Mark Higgins break another record at the Isle of Man TT

If you’re a fan of Subaru or rally racing in general, you probably know about the 18-year collaboration between Subaru and Prodrive that lasted from 1990 to 2008 and yielded creations like the Prodrive P2 and the 2010 Prodrive Subaru Impreza N2010 WRC. Now, Subaru and Prodrive have teamed up to make a new monster out of a Subaru WRX STI that will be driven by Mark Higgins in an attempt to break the current Isle of Man TT record for cars.

Back in 2010, Higgins ran the 37-mile Isle of Man course in just 19 minutes and 56 seconds, then in 2014 he beat his own record, hitting the stretch in 19 minutes and 15 seconds with a production, U.S.-spec 2015 Subaru WRX STI. This year, Higgins will be driving the purpose-built WRX STI that you see in the photos.

It has been extensively modified and is equipped with a roll cage, an extreme aerodynamic kit, and a large rear spoiler. With any hopes, Higgins will break his previous record and even dip below the 19-minute threshold. His run in 2014 would have been better, but he approached one curve a little too fast, ran out of braking time and had to use the emergency brake to keep from losing control.

This year the Isle of Man TT event will take place between May 28th and June 10th, so we’re definitely looking forward to seeing Higgins behind the wheel of this new WRX. We’re betting that he’ll run the course in 18 minutes and 57 seconds, but what do you think? Will he drop below the 19-minute mark on this run and break his previous record?

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Subaru Considers Hybrid Version For The Next WRX STI

Subaru Considers Hybrid Version For The Next WRX STI

The next-generation Subaru WRX STI is slowly coming into shape, and a report from Motoring Australia indicates that Subaru’s got a few surprises up its sleeve for the performance-oriented sedan when it makes its debut in 2017.

The report follows an announcement made by Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga at the Tokyo Motor Show, pertaining to the use of the company’s new Subaru Global Platform for the next WRX STI. That’s not all that surprising considering that the new platform is already being prepared to be used by other Subaru models, including the sedan and hatchback versions of the next-generation Impreza. The real eyebrow raiser are the reports saying that the next-gen WRX STI will be using a hybrid powertrain.

Yep. Subaru’s all-conquering, power-packed, performance model will go hybrid. According to Motoring Australia, the Japanese automaker is preparing to take this step in an effort to hit two birds with one stone, which in this case would be to radically improve the sedan’s fuel economy while also maintaining its renowned performance capabilities. As such, Subaru is reportedly working on a new powertrain that will feature a modified version of its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and an electric motor, incorporated together to power the new WRX STI. The resulting output of the new engine setup would be around 322 horsepower, close to 20 ponies more than the current WRX STI. The next-gen model will also reportedly get a dual-clutch, six-speed automated manual transmission, which, when combined with the hybrid powertrain, would be able to post fuel economy figures of around 36.2 mpg. If that number proves to be accurate, that would come close to doubling the 19mpg combined fuel mileage of the current model. It would even post a better number than the combined 30-mpg rating of the CVT-equipped Impreza sedan.

Other than this admittedly revealing revelation pertaining to the possible powertrain of the next WRX STI, the new model is also expected to get a dramatic cosmetic makeover. Apparently, the new WRX STI will receive a sportier look, highlighted by heavily flared fenders and a large rear wing. Carbon fiber air ducts and a new rear diffuser are also believed to be part of the new design.

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2016 Subaru WRX STI S207 Limited Edition

2016 Subaru WRX STI S207 Limited Edition

Let me just get this out there immediately – I’m a bit of a WRX fanboy. That said, I’m sure anyone reading this right now has somewhat similar interests. If that’s the case, then greetings, six-star brothers and sisters, and prepare yourselves, because you’re about to feel the want in a big, big way. Before you is a pumped-up STI that offers more power, tighter handling, and exclusive styling touches inside and out. It’s a modern rendition of the same formula seen in previous-generation special editions, such as the S206 and R205, and once again, it’s only available in Japan.

As is, the WRX STI is hugely capable right out of the box, with a scooped hood housing a sizable dose of turbo power, plus tenacious grip from Subaru’s omnipresent AWD system. The S207 takes all those racy characteristics and simply adds more everywhere. The result is a claim to “the ultimate in road driving” and “the world’s most enjoyable vehicle.”

Sounds good, right? Keep reading to find out how good.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI S207 Limited Edition.

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2015 Subaru Series.HyperBlue WRX STI

2015 Subaru Series.HyperBlue WRX STI

Subaru is no stranger to special-edition models that are based on the color of the vehicle, and now we introduce you to another limited-run Subaru, the WRX STI Series. HyperBlue. Can you guess where it gets its name?

That’s right, that North Carolina Tarheels blue hue coating this all-wheel-drive performance sedan is dubbed Hyper Blue. This rig joins the 2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue to form a duo of models that Subaru will limit to a total of 1,200 units (500 BRZs and 700 WRX STIs).

Its flashy new paint job isn’t all the Series.HyperBlue WRX STI has going for it. It also has a few upgrades inside the cabin and a set of exclusive wheels to set it apart.

So, the big question is whether or not this limited-run WRX will actually be worth the extra money that Subaru will most certainly ask for it?

Updated 09/03/2015: Subaru announced prices for the special edition Series.HyperBlue WRX STI which will arrive at local dealerships this fall. It will be priced from $39,790, including $795 destination and delivery.

Continue reading my full review to get the answer to this and more.

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Volkswagen Golf R Vs. Subaru WRX STI: Video

Volkswagen Golf R Vs. Subaru WRX STI: Video

With all-wheel-drive and a new 292-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine, the seventh-generation Golf R has filled the performance vacuum left open by the Mitsubishi Evo’s demise. Traditionally the fastest of the hot-hatches, the Golf R’s newfound firepower means it has graduated to the rally-car-for-the-road club — a club of which the Subaru WRX STI is a founding member.

So, the guys Everyday Driver pitted the two against each other on the twisting canyon roads of Southern California. Despite the STI’s similar price point and performance numbers (305 horsepower from its 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine), it’s definitely the more uninhibited of the two. We found the same to be true when we drove it in late 2014. It’s differential wizardry and lively chassis give it unmatched agility and there’s still plenty of space for four adults.

As you might expect, the Golf R is the more grown-up (Germanic) of the two. It needs to be worked a bit harder to access its full potential, but thanks to its DCT transmission and vastly superior interior, it’s the one you would want to take on longer journeys. Check out the full video to get Everyday Driver’s verdict.

Also, it you’re thinking about buying either of these cars, maybe wait a few months. This segment is due for a serious shakeup in the form of the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

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2015 - 2016 Subaru WRX STI

2015 - 2016 Subaru WRX STI

This morning at the Detroit International Auto Show, Subaru has officially unveiled the car that every enthusiast has been waiting for, the next-generation WRX STI.

Unfortunately, it appears that Subaru has not fulfilled all the dreams of the Internet masses. The new car makes no major strides in terms of engine output or design, and a wagon variant is still nowhere to be found.

What the latest STI forgoes in engine changes, it more than makes up for in chassis redesign. With a stiffer chassis and a new Active Torque Vectoring system, this latest STI should set a new a benchmark for how a bargain hoonmobile should handle. As an added bonus, the new STI looks to change perceptions on interior build quality and refinement.

Does this new AWD rocket really have what it takes to make the faithful fans of this rally-bred machine happy?

Updated 04/23/2015: Subaru announced prices for the 2016 WRX STI, which will arrive at dealers this summer. The model continues unchanged from the previous year, except the addition of the new STARLINK™ multimedia system.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI.

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2015 - 2016 Subaru WRX

2015 - 2016 Subaru WRX

Ever since 2011, rumors have been swirling that once the new-generation Impreza hits the market, Subaru will separate the Impreza and WRX models. Of course, both will share the same platform, but the WRX and the WRX STI versions will be radically modified and each part on it will be unique.

As no surprise, shortly after the WRX Concept was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show, our spy photographers caught the production version testing around the Nürburgring race track. Now, after many testing sessions, teasers and speculations, the 2015 WRX made its world debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The model offers a new design language, a powerful four-cylinder engine — not as powerful as hoped though, as it was rumored it will deliver more than 300 horsepower — and, for the first time, the choice of two gearboxes: a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

Updated 04/23/2015: Subaru announced prices for the 2016 WRX, which will go on sale later this summer. The only updates for the 2016 model year include the addition of new technologies, including Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the new STARLINK touch screen infotainment systems. Prices will start at $26,595 for the standard model equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

Hit the jump for more details on the new Subaru WRX.

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