Road and Track recently put the 2015 Subaru WRX and the 2015 WRX STI through a battery of dyno tests to find out not only how much difference there is between their two engines, but what kind of differences there are. The WRX gets the company's new FA20 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine with features like a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and variable valve timing on its two cams. The WRX STI stands pat with the older EJ-Series motor, meaning a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder with port fuel injection and carryover turbo lag. Subaru pegs the $26,295 WRX at 268 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque and an "extremely conservative" 0-60 mile per hour time of 5.4 seconds. The $34,495 STI clocks in at 305 hp and 290 lb-ft with a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds. Ok, fight.

R&T's dyno runs sussed power numbers at the wheel of 223 hp and 245 lb-ft for the WRX, 247 hp and 243 lb-ft for the STI, then went on to demonstrate in numbers what everyone knew: that the WRX consistently puts out more of its torque earlier than the STI and achieves full boost almost three seconds quicker. On the other hand, on the track, the STI was also shown to have a conservative official 0-60 mph time, stopping the timer at 4.8 seconds compared to the WRX's 5.2 seconds.

The mag says it has comprehensive results coming from its "complete battery of tests," but for now, you can scrutinize their dyno charts and let the battle continue about which one you'd rather put your money down for.


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  • 63 Comments
      Kumplour Kinny Smash
      • 9 Months Ago
      10K worth of differentials, drivetrain and suspension tuning plus an detuned engine. STI owners get why this matters. They pay for the package - the hp numbers are what they are. The engine has lots of aftermarket support. It's a good platform. The WRX is more a car than a platform. As far as looks.. well that can be addressed with time and effort - frankly - reproducing the work of a factory .. not easy and would cost me way more than 10k. I'd rather spend my money on driving.
      Jazzor
      • 9 Months Ago
      "Subaru WRX and STI meet at the dyno with meh results" There, fixed it for ya!
      WindsWilling
      • 9 Months Ago
      Between the concept car debacle, the hatchback fiasco, to putting that old troubled engine in the sti, and allowing the WRX to get closer to STI performance, Subaru dun goofed. How could they have screwed up the STI this much? Listen. I'm all about performance. I understand WHY the STI costs more. I understand the differences. But even I am having a hard time justifying the $8000 premium of the STI when the WRX is good enough, and if not, for a couple grand you saved buying the WRX, you'll create a car that'll beat that STI in every performance metric. Subaru let this car go stagnant. Granted different cars, but they're both "performance bargains" for enthusiasts, the Mustang will destroy the STI in all performance aspects. I know about "weather" and stuff, but I'm strictly talking performance value. And the STI sucks here. The Mustang will become the performance value king.... Thanks Subie and Mitsu for failing so hard to allow this to happen.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 9 Months Ago
        @WindsWilling
        The WRX and STI has had pretty similar levels of performance since 2006, when the base WRX got the 2.5 engine. From 2011 and on- even the bodies looked identical. I agree though that this new WRX breaks absolutely no new grounds in terms of performance.
      Gorgenapper
      • 9 Months Ago
      Hey Subaru. Look, its very simple.... FA25 Hatchback And I'm in.
      yyz
      • 9 Months Ago
      Soooooooooo............. when will the new FA25 be available for the STi?
      Justin
      • 9 Months Ago
      ok, this needs my insight. i owned a stage 2 tuned 2011 WRX with numerous suspension/shifting/drivetrain mods. liked the car a lot, but didn't love it. traded it in for a 2011 STI (got a great deal), & put my downpipe on & tuned the STI to stage 2, as well. all this "for $8k, i can make a WRX destroy an STI" talk- have any of you driven both???? sure, the STI isn't THAT much faster- actually 1st & 2nd gear in the WRX may be just as fast. but if my WRX raced my STI from rolling/highway speeds, the STI would leave it. several more points...... 1. transmission. WRX's sucked. STI's is AMAZING- truly amazing. 2. suspension. even after all my mods, the stock STI still handled noticably better 3. drivetrain. numerous differentials, incredible shifter/clutch, 1000x better than the WRX 4. feel. the WRX felt like a cool car to ride in. the STI is an experience that you "drive" 5. DCCD/Si Drive. sure, on my test drive i said ahhh this stuff is just to sell the car. after owning the car for a few months now & knowing how everything feels- the controls are AWESOME. you can make the throttle response feel like a sluggish old v6 (perfect for traffic), and S# throttle response is like a Ferrari's (I've driven an F430 recently to know) 6. brakes. NO FADE. i can drive as hard as i want, for as long as i want, & those Brembos still bite like no other. the WRX? one or two hard brakings, & they felt like crap 7. looks. sure, u might just think oh it just has a bigger wing. i went from once every few weeks- oh cool WRX... to almost every single day- what kind of car is that?... yo sweet STI, im dying to get one... awesome car!... and girls actually notice/like this one. the WRX only guys cared about. maybe it's the wing, maybe it's the 18's, maybe it's the lower height, who knows 8. self-content. i used to drive the WRX around & see 335i's, M3's, Evos/STIs, muscle cars, etc. & wonder about them. now? i wouldn't trade my STI for any of 'em, unless i was gonna profit significantly. now i see those cars, & wonder how my tuned STI would do against them. i've had a couple great pulls too- only lost to a 911 Turbo & a Nissan GT-R. everything else has seen my tail lights. My opinion after owning both?? Sure, the WRX is a rock-solid car for $25k. but if you were to spend the $ for a loaded version (aka a WRX for 30+), you should've just bought a CPO one-owner STi with low miles for the same $ & never look back. i know i haven't! & for those who say the Evo is better. NO. the Evo is the better performer, NOT the better car. doing 75mph highway at 4500rpm turned me off the Evo instantly, even though it's definitely sharper than the STI. & the RUMBLE!!!! the Evo can sound great. the Subie rumble sounds epic. all the time people ask me if it has a V8. so, like i said- if youre spending 25k new, the WRX is great. If you can shell out a little more, test drive a WRX then hop in an STI, be sold, & don't look back! unless u like the Evo =)
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      Basically with the smaller DI engine you're picking up roughly 5mpg combined? You can do some pretty amazing things with DI & full variable cams tuning wise, I'm willing to bet squeezing another 40 or so hp will be fairly easy. That'll put you in-line with the STI power levels pretty quick, with better MPG to boot. Unfortunately the thing looks like a Prius gone bad to me.
        Mike Fernandez
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        Totally agree. It's a shame the Sti hasn't received any serious performance love in years. While it's still a quick car, it can't hang with the competition like it used to and has literally been the same power train in different wrappers since 2004.
          Mike Fernandez
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Mike Fernandez
          I still like the 2007 body style the best
          superchan7
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Mike Fernandez
          What is the competition that it can no longer hang with? What is the selection of 300hp AWD compact 4-doors, besides the Evo and STi that have always been a class of two?
      Design1stCode2nd
      • 9 Months Ago
      Go with the 2.0 engine, the 2.5l is the same one they have used for a while now, Google sti ringland failure if you want more info.
      Nate
      • 9 Months Ago
      What you are paying for with an sti is less about the motor and more about the other components. Big Brakes, inverted struts, higher spring rates, stiffer bushings, better steering, tougher transmission, dccd, limited slip diffs, better wheels, larger anti-roll bars, sti interior, HID, etc. The fact is for $8k you could not turn a WRX into and STI if that is what you wanted.
        WindsWilling
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Nate
        The other fact is that probably for $4000 in parts for the WRX, you'll put out better numbers all around than an STI.
        Gorgenapper
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Nate
        You're right. For $8k, I can have a ticking time bomb of an engine under the hood right out of the showroom.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Nate
        All of this is true, but it's no excuse to keep using an ancient motor.
      Phlegming Liberal
      • 9 Months Ago
      So...wait until the STi has a new DI engine and don't buy this one?
      antacid
      • 9 Months Ago
      just when you thought the Camry couldnt get any uglier
      Matt
      • 9 Months Ago
      AWD turbo 0-60 times are mostly a function of how much you are willing to abuse your clutch, so they don't mean much to me. The dynos are interesting, but the WRX vs STi debate will probably boil down to the same thing it always has; if you want a fast/sporty car for the street, get a WRX. If you plan to track/rally/autox/etc your car, you want the race-caliber components in the STi.
        rsholland
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Matt
        Exactly. I'm far, FAR more interested in these vehicles as daily drivers. Hands down the WRX wins. I'm sure the STI's engine is just a placeholder until a new and proper state-of-the-art engine is ready.
        macutty
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Matt
        Less than 1% of all STIs sold will ever see any form of competition. Much like Boss 302 LSEs. These are both street cars just one is more rich-teenager-esque
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