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Subaru WRX STI premieres at the Detroit auto show

Tue, 14 Jan 2014

Today at the Detroit Auto Show Subaru unveiled the new WRX STI. Last year's model got a bit of a lukewarm reception, as a lot of fans wanted to see something closer to the WRX Concept that was revealed at the 2013 New York Auto Show. It appears that Subaru has listened, and this year's WRX STI debuts with an all-new exterior design.

Subaru has completely reworked the exterior, to the point where longtime Subaru owners might have trouble identifying this car as a Subaru. Gone are the oval shapes and the smoothed out surfaces, having been replaced by horizontal lines with an emphasis on sharp angles. The hexagonal grille is now much wider and the surface of the hood is flatter, with a nicely integrated hood scoop that doesn't clash visually with the rest of the front fascia. The front apron has been reworked completely with integrated fog lights at the corners, once again with an emphasis on horizontal lines leading to sharp angles. This treatment seems to work quite well, especially if you've always secretly wished that the Subaru WRX STI looked more like a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.The headlights have also been redesigned, becoming slightly more boxy in the process. Overall the redesigned front fascia is well executed, and we think a lot of Subaru fans will be happy with this restyling after years of front fascia designs that for every new generation seemed to come from different manufacturers.

Under the hood, there is a 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine making 305-hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels courtesy of a six-speed manual transmission, which will be the only transmission available in the WRX STI. Subaru is using its new Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential version of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which features a 41/59 torque split in addition to torque vectoring. In manual mode, it will allow the driver to select one of six center differential locking levels. Handling has been tweaked with stiffer springs and a quicker steering with a 13.0:1 ratio. The brakes on the WRX STI are the Brembos, with Super Sport ABS.

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI only comes in sedan form, but keeps the famous wing.

Out back (no pun intended), the WRX STI has received a new rear fascia as well, similar to that of the Impreza with boxy tail lights and angular lines that are quite a bit of a contrast to previous versions of the Impreza and the WRX. The tail lights are not identical to those of the 2013 Impreza as it may first seem, but they do look quite similar, right down to the manner in which the trunk lid wraps around them. The rear bumper on the new WRX STI is quite boxy, with rather sharp angles at the sides, and features a large rear diffuser with quad tail pipes at the corners. Then there's the wing, which is one of the more ambitious ones we've seen.

The WRX STI shown at the Detroit Auto Show sits on BBS wheels and wears WR Blue paint, both of which will be a part of the STI Launch Edition which will also include some unique interior trim. Subaru says that the STI Launch Edition will be limited to just 1,000 units.

About Detroit Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show, known to most as the Detroit auto show, continues to serve as a barometer for the entire industry. This year, we'll expect to see the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the 2015 Ford Mustang and the BMW M3 and M4. The 2014 Detroit auto show is held at Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI and is open to the public from January 18-26.

By Jay Ramey