Los Angeles, CA – Subaru generously invited me to the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, where they unveiled two groundbreaking vehicles. The first is the Legacy Concept, which provides insight into what the next-generation midsize sedan will look like. The second car the one I personally have been anticipating for the past couple years; the 2015 Subaru WRX.
Based on the compact Impreza, the WRX is the car that verifies that Subaru’s team of designers and engineers still believe in their racing and rally pedigree. Ever since the unveil at the show, I have been seeing time and time again on social media outlets that the car isn’t what was expected. I’ve even seen people comparing its face to that of the new Toyota Corolla. One thing people need to understand is that the WRX has never been a pretty car. It has always been about function over form, and after seeing the specifications of the new car I have no doubt in my mind that it will blow the doors off anything else in its class. I will say one thing though, and I hope my readers will take my word on it – photos do not do this car justice. It looks far, far better in person.
The WRX’s one true competitor has always been the Mitsubishi Evolution. The two cars are known for their Japanese sporting heritage, their boosted 4-cylinders, and all-wheel-drive. Rally? No problem. Snow? Bring it on. Last winter, I drove the 2013 Subaru WRX through a severe snowstorm and came back flabbergasted. The thing was incredible, and the new one will be even better. The 2015 car is powered by a 2.0L flat-four with a turbocharger on it. Power output is 268 at 5600 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 5200 rpm. Subaru has not released fuel economy numbers for Canada yet, but they promise it will be more efficient as well as better on the environment.
Another noteworthy feature is that the WRX is no longer solely offered with a manual transmission. The car can be had either with the new 6-speed manual transmission (finally) or with a Sport Lineartronic CVT transmission. While I know that enthusiasts and purists like myself would prefer this car be catered exclusively to the manual transmission lovers, Subaru believes (and rightfully so!) that this will help target a more mainstream market while maintaining their loyalty within the enthusiast community.
In my eyes, a weak point on the previous model Impreza and WRX was the interior. While adequate, the interiors looked particularly spartan and straight out of the early 2000s. The cockpit on the new car is significantly improved. One thing that immediately caught my eye was the new steering wheel. It’s not only great to hold, it’s about the same size as the perfect wheel in the Honda Civic Si.
Subaru also promises that while being absolutely incredible to drive, the 2015 WRX will be a class-leader in the safety department. Along with improving the already-excellent Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system, the geniuses in Japan have lightened the body, improved structural rigidity and strengthened joints throughout the car based on their theory of “all-around safety”. Just by looking at the materials on the car both inside and out, it’s obvious that no shortcuts were taken.
We recently drove the 2014 Subaru STI Tsurugi Edition, which is a Canadian-exclusive model aimed as a final hurrah to the outgoing WRX. While the car did plant a smile on the face of every single member of our team, it had its drawbacks. While Subaru strayed away from the ravishing WRX concept released earlier this year, I’m pretty confident that the new car will shatter expectations in regards to the smile-for-dollar factor. I have zero doubts that this will be one of the most satisfying cars I drive this upcoming year.
2015 Subaru WRX Gallery