It’s hard for automakers to keep wraps on their new global introductions, but here is some new details on the 2015 WRX STI. We have learned from Motoring.com.au in Australia, that the next-gen 2015 Subaru WRX STI is headed for the NAIAS in Detroit, January 13-26, 2014. But that isn’t the biggest news leak. Motoring.com.au has uncovered some of the key specs related the new-generation WRX STI from their sources down under.
It starts with a new chassis configuration that will give the performance model better handling, balance and stability over the outgoing 2014 WRX STI. Subaru has told us that this new WRX and WRX STI will appeal to a wider audience and and be charged with bringing new buyers to the brand. It looks like it will start by getting a much more refined ride.
WRX STI gets a new suspension layout
According to the report, Subaru has designed the new suspension layout and it will be called their new “Axle Forward Layout” (AFL). But the new layout isn’t really that new. Subaru originally unveiled it on the Exiga concept car at the 1997 Tokyo show. Subaru has had the new design in the works for over 15 years. And the new WRX STI chassis will get some major revisions for 2015.
How will effect driving dynamics on the new WRX STI? The Motoring.com.au report went on to say that the primary difference between Subaru’s current all-wheel drive layout and the new AFL, is the positioning of the clutch and front differential. Subaru engineers were able to relocate the front axle and it’s now positioned further forward effectively allowing the clutch and differential to switch places.
Improved weight distribution
Subaru has always had very good weight distribution because of the Boxer engine in the WRX STI, but this new positioning allows the engine to sit lower and further back in the chassis, making for even better front-rear weight distribution than before. This should give the new performance model even better handling in the corners.
A longer wheelbase and braking system
This modification has allowed Subaru to lengthen the wheelbase which also helps improve driving dynamics with a revised suspension and will also enhance space inside the cabin. The new 2015 WRX STI will also get a new torque distribution function. It will come fitted with an additional torque distribution set-up that independently adjusts brake pressure on all four wheels.
The Australia source says the new braking system electronically manages and restricts torque being fed to the inside tires when turning into a corner. This will effectively reduce understeer by pulling the car into the corner and improve the WRX STI’s cornering ability.
New WRX STI with less power?
What will power the new 2015 WRX STI? According to Motoring.com.au, the new performance Subaru will come with a revised version of the current 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine. It will get some tweaks to give the new 2015 WRX STI a power output of 224kW (300 hp) and 393Nm (290 lb ft of torque). Yes, that’s less than the current models 305 hp, but with the new chassis and suspension, it looks like Subaru will primarily improve performance with the new setup underneath.
Subaru has also given the STI extra underbody rigidity enhancements that will also improve the STI’s cornering ability and take it to new levels not seen in the outgoing model. They are also likely trying to meet new emission standards with the revised, and likely more efficient 2.5-liter boxer engine.
Look for the new-generation 2015 Subaru WRX STI to get a more aggressive body kit over the WRX, including a more prominent rear wing and wider body panels. Stay tuned as we’ll have to wait until January to get more details on the 2015 WRX STI.
Come back tomorrow and we'll reveal why Subaru is dropping the WRX/STI in Europe and bringing a new performance wagon to take its place.