2015 Subaru WRX STI and 2002 Subaru WRX
Denis Flierl's picture

Racing pedigree points to best 2015 Subaru WRX STI yet

The all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI is set to be unveiled and we are anticipating the best performance Subaru from STI yet.
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Sometimes the best way to see the future, is to look at what has happened in the past. The 2015 Subaru WRX STI will be launching this year and we look back to see what will make the new 2015 WRX ST the best performance car from STI yet. WRX and WRX STI roots run deep and that’s where the new-generation WRX STI will grow from.

Subaru has released three new Vintage Subaru videos that explain why the WRX STI is one of the best performance vehicles on the planet. Many “muscle cars” are very popular around the globe, but the WRX STI has racing roots that have shaped the brand, and more importantly have shaped a performance culture. All three of the vintage WRX STIs play a key role in the development of the WRX/STI cars that are wildly popular. They have a following from Japan, Europe, Australia and the U.S.

The Subaru WRX STI has a rich racing history and was born on the race track. One of the most iconic Subaru WRX STIs was the legendary "Impreza 22B-STi version" and was first released in 1998. This Subaru Impreza 22B STI is one of the rarest & most sought after Subarus of all-time. Only 424 of these vehicles were ever produced and there aren’t many around today. They were snapped up by enthusiasts in just 24 hours. Subaru transferred the technology from the rally cars in 1998 to this first STI street version.

Subaru had been offering Rally-prepared Subarus in Japan and Europe for several years. WRXs were sold in Europe and Japan for $30,000 to $40,000, depending on the year and model, but Subaru said the added cost of certifying the cars to meet U.S. standards would make the car too expensive for the U.S. market. Subaru had launched the Impreza 2.5RS (an Impreza with all the WRX styling cues but without the turbo motor) and saw the incredible response here in the U.S.

That made the Japanese automaker realize there was enough interest in the car to warrant the cost of certifying it. The first WRX arrived on U.S. shores in 2001, and the 2002 WRX was able to meet U.S. emissions requirements. The car was wildly successful and snatched up as fast as Subaru could produce them. Car and Driver test drove the car for one year, and in their follow-up story a year later said, “Remember how we drooled over the WRX?, Now we are slobbering more than a St. Bernard.”

After the 2002 WRX success, Subaru knew the WRX STI would sell like crazy here the U.S. and the first model arrived as a 2004 model. The STI for 2004 received some major updates for its U.S. debut in Detroit in 2003. Subaru wanted to trump Mitsubishi’s performance model, the 271 horsepower Lancer EVO, and needed to come out with something very special. The all-new 2004 STI came with a new powerplant that was developed just for this car. It was an all-new 2.5-liter turbo engine that developed 300 horsepower. Immediately after it came out, it was one of the fastest cars available. Needless to say, it was an incredible hit with performance fans.

Next we jump to the 2011 Subaru WRX STI driven by Mark Higgins that set a record at the Isle of Man TT course. In 2011, Higgins took the U.S. production spec Subaru WRX STI for an incredible ride. The car came with the 305 hp Boxer engine, Symmetrical AWD and a top speed of 162 mph with a 0-60 time in less than 5 seconds. Subaru made some modifications to the car so it would be safe for these incredible speeds. Higgins achieved speeds of 162 mph and a lapped time of 19 minutes 37 seconds over the 37-mile track, navigating more than 200 corners.

The Subaru WRX and WRX STI has deep racing roots and the new WRX STI has an incredible pedigree in which to draw from. We are anticipating the new-generation 2015 Subaru WRX STI will be the best performance Subaru from STI yet. Stay tuned to Torque News for the latest 2015 WRX STI news.

Watch the three WRX STI videos below and see for yourself.


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