Tommi Makinen tests 2015 Subaru WRX STI on the Nurburgring [video]
The all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI was tested extensively before it ever made it to production. This is how they improved the performance on the new STI. Subaru wanted the new-generation 2015 STI to be better than the previous model and tested the car using engineers and race driver Tommi Makinen. They focused on improving steering response and better stability in the corners.
The 2.5-liter engine in the STI produces 305 horsepower and has been proven in motorsports like the Rally America car and Global RallyCar series. Subaru upgraded the the Brembo brakes and the inverted strut suspension on the new STI. All the upgrades combined to create a new version of the STI that is faster and a more capable track performer.
Subaru’s goal was to create a new STI that had better control and high-speed agility on the track. Many STI buyers will take the performance sedan to the track on weekends, and the new car needs to perform. The cars strong link to its motorsport heritage gives it the perfect platform in which it was built.
Subaru first tested the 2015 STI prototype car on their own course in Japan. They wanted to be able to reduce understeer in the new model and did extensive testing on the road course using their own drivers and engineers. They tested the performance cars ability to hold a straight line and not lose traction in the rear during high speed cornering.
After the initial testing of the prototype STI, they were ready for the final stage in its development. What better place to test the new sedan than on the famous Nurburgring test course. They took the car up to high speeds to test the cars performance capabilities. They needed to know what final tweaks needed to be made before the car reached production.
Subaru has one in-house “top gun” test driver who is charge of testing the STI, and a team of engineers who all took turns driving the new performance car. But for the final test, they called upon world-class driver Tommi Makinen to take the car up to extreme speeds for final testing. They asked the race driver to tell them if the new car was worthy of its racing heritage and the STI badge. Did it perform with the degree of performance it needed to at ultra high speeds?