New-generation 2015 WRX STI vs 2011 WRX STI: Who wins? [video]
How does the new-generation 2015 Subaru WRX STI compare to the previous generation 2011 WRX STI? Mark Higgins will attempt to find out at the end of this month on the Isle of Man. We knew British rally champion Mark Higgins will attempt to break his own record on the Isle of Man TT course in the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI, but will he be able to beat his record run in the 2011 STI?
Just like at the original record run in 2011, the new U.S. spec 2015 WRX STI will have minimal modifications to the production performance sports car. The performance sedan will come with the same 2.5-liter boxer engine producing 305 horsepower that the 2011 model had. It will come with factory brake callipers and road-legal tires.
The only modifications made to the 2015 STI will be the springs and dampers will be adjusted slightly to minimize any potential damage when the car encounters the many bumps and jumps that will occur at the at high speeds along the TT course. The 2015 WRX STI is also equipped with safety features that include a roll-cage, race harness and fire suppression system. These are the same mods that the 2011 STI received.
Can Mark Higgins pull it off and beat his 2011 record run? His record stands at 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds. Higgins achieved an incredible average speed of 115.36 mph around the famous TT Mountain circuit in a production-spec 2011 WRX STI. For those who haven’t seen the iconic record run, we’ve included it below for your viewing pleasure. But hold on, it’s an incredible ride.
Higgins is four years older, but the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is newer and will come with upgrades over the previous generation STI. The new-gen WRX STI gets a completely “remastered track-tuned suspension, a tighter steering ratio and still comes with a 305 horsepower turbocharged boxer engine. Subaru chose not to bump up the horsepower in the new-generation STI. It keeps the same 2.5-liter powerplant, but gets substantial upgrades underneath to improve handling and performance.
The 2015 WRX STI also gets Active Torque Vectoring for more dynamic handling and that includes Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), SI-DRIVE powertrain control system and a Brembo Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS.
The new-generation 2015 Subaru WRX STI with the suspension upgrades should be able to better handle the extreme speeds, bumps and jumps better than the 2011 STI. The car is better, but the question is, will Mark Higgins be better than his 2011 version? Subaru will complete three timed runs under closed road conditions on Saturday May 31, Monday June 2 and Wednesday June 4. It will be an incredible ride when Higgins puts on his helmet and straps himself into the new STI. Stay tuned to Torque News.
Watch Subaru Isle of Man TT Record Attempt video from 2011.