A new 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged flat-four sits thumping away under the hood, its top-mount intercooler getting force-fed air by a rather prominent hood scoop. Power output sits at 268 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque, accessible between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm. While the new car only has a three-horsepower advantage on the current Impreza WRX, it delivers 14 more pound-feet of torque and delivers peak output across a much wider swath of the rev range (the old car netted 244 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm). All this extra grunt comes at a negligible weight penalty - a 2015 WRX with the six-speed manual is just 59 pounds heavier than a 2014 model.
As we said, a six-speed manual is will be available, and as a bonus, it packs one additional cog over the current, 2014 WRX's five-speed DIY transmission. So equipped, the WRX will scamper to 60 in just 5.4 seconds. As for the previously-confirmed continuously variable transmission, it will come with both six- and eight-speed manual shift modes, but will take half a second longer to get to the magical 60-mile-per-hour mark.
Interestingly, the CVT is actually projected by Subaru to get worse fuel economy than the manual. The 6MT is projected to return 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the CVT can net just 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Depending on which transmission you opt for - remember, the CVT is slower and less fuel efficient... - you'll be getting a different all-wheel-drive system. The 6MT will use a continuous AWD setup and feature a 50:50 torque split, while the CVT variant will use Subaru's Variable Torque Distribution, with a 45:55 split.
The new shape, which despite the WRX now being its own model, separate from the Impreza, looks a lot like we'd expect an Impreza WRX to look. That is to say it's businesslike, if not a bit conservative. As for the interior, traditionally one of the weakest points on the WRX, it looks like a massive improvement over the 2014 model.
A thick-rimmed, flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel is the center piece, while the central stack features a pair of displays, with the top-most showing what we're guessing is performance data while the lower screen shows the more mundane information. It looks like there's also a display in the instrument cluster. Overall material quality looks notably improved, as well.
We'll have more on the 2015 WRX as it becomes available. Until then, hop down to take a look at the official Subaru press release.
LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru global performance icon
New torque-vectoring system reduces understeer
New 268-hp 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine
New standard 6-speed manual transmission
New Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual modes
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2013 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2015 WRX, a more powerful and better handling version of the brand's iconic high-performance model, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model's first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic CVT with two manual modes.
With its bold new wide-body sedan design and expanded performance envelope, the 2015 WRX marks a major evolutionary step for the rally-bred performance car that has become a global automotive legend. For 2015, the Subaru WRX employs a new torque-vectoring system that supplements the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Torque vectoring allows for improved cornering speeds and handling. The new and stiffer chassis, larger brakes, performance-tuned suspension and a driver-focused interior remain integral to the WRX performance character. The new powertrain also yields higher fuel efficiency than the previous model.
At the same time, a roomier interior, upgraded cabin comfort and materials and a wide array of new user technologies give the new WRX a more refined feel. A harman/kardon® premium audio system is offered for the first time in a WRX.
The 2015 WRX design deftly blends an aggressive stance with a sophisticated sport sedan theme. The new WRX features a much bolder front design with a deep front spoiler and unique grille. The wide-body stance seen on the previous model is enhanced with new, standard 17-inch wheels. The hood, front fenders, rear doors and quarters, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters are all unique to the 2015 WRX.
Specially designed for the 2015 WRX, the rear doors and fenders continue the model's wide-body stance in a rakish new profile. The Subaru hexagonal grille is flanked by narrower headlights designed to evoke a raptor's stare. The functional hood scoop, which supplies the intercooler with fresh air, is now set more deeply into the hood to provide better forward visibility.
Other new performance-oriented details include foglight surrounds with a carbon fiber-like pattern and vertical front fender vents that feature a bright garnish and a mesh screen. Higher-grade models use new LED low-beam headlights; halogen lights are used on other models. The side sill spoilers that help to visually lower the car also help protect the doors from rock chips.
New standard 17-inch wheels feature a more aerodynamic design. At the rear, LED taillights, a diffuser, LED center high-mount stoplight (CHMS) and an available lip spoiler leave a distinctive signature.
The new WRX body structure makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel than the previous model and features special stiffening elements at key locations. Combined with the new Electronic Power Steering system, specially tuned suspension and 235/45 R17 94W Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tires, the stiffer chassis yields steering response that was benchmarked against top-handling sports cars.
The new WRX 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder BOXER engine uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (D-AVCS), a twin-scroll turbocharger and an intercooler to achieve outstanding performance and high efficiency. The engine produces 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 258 lb.-ft. over a 2,000-5,200 rpm engine speed range.
Based on the engine used in the new 2014 Forester 2.0 XT, the WRX version uses different cams and higher-rate valve springs, among other enhancements, to extend the performance envelope. The new 6-speed manual transmission provides a wider ratio spread than the previous 5-speed and incorporates several performance and durability improvements for this high-performance application, including carbon synchronizers on first and second gears.
New Sport Lineartronic CVT
The 2015 WRX introduces the option of a new automatic transmission engineered to enrich the performance-driving experience. The new Sport Lineartronic CVT combines the benefits of a continuously variable transmission (high fuel efficiency, ultra-smooth driving character) with the choice of stepped automatic shifting eight pre-selected ratios (when in Sport Sharp mode) and also 6-speed and 8-speed manual shifting modes using steering wheel paddle switches.
Models with the Sport Lineartronic CVT also feature Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), a powertrain performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle's driving characteristics by choosing from among three selectable modes – "Intelligent," "Sport" and "Sport Sharp" – using a switch on the flat-bottom steering wheel.
Two Versions of Symmetrical AWD
When equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the 2015 Subaru WRX uses the brand's Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking center differential nominally distributes torque 50:50 front to rear, and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) provides stability and traction control. Should slippage occur, this system transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction.
The new Sport Lineartronic CVT is teamed exclusively with the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. Under most conditions, VTD splits the torque 45:55, with the rearward torque bias contributing to handling agility. The VTD system continually optimizes torque distribution in response to driving conditions and input from steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors.
A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX is a factor in providing a markedly roomier cabin in the new model. The windshield is more raked than before, with the A-pillar pulled forward nearly eight inches at the base for better forward visibility, aided by a lower dashboard and narrower A-pillars. Higher seating hip points, lower side sills and wider-opening doors make ingress/egress easier. Rear seat passengers gain nearly two inches of legroom, and trunk capacity is increased. A standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat extends the WRX sedan's versatility.
The high-performance feel starts as soon as the driver enters the 2015 WRX and grips the new flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments. The wheel integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth® control.
Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console hold all manner of personal items, such as phones, USB drives and MP3 players. The available power sunroof opens one inch farther than on the previous WRX.
The dual gauge instrument layout features a 3.5-in. LCD central screen to display various functions, including oil level, remaining washer fluid and selected gear ratio. A new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio, Bluetooth and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.
Whiplash-reducing front sport seats, covered in a new high-grip fabric, feature separate tilt- and height-adjustable head restraints, a change from the seats with integrated head restraints used before. Leather is available, as is an 8-way power driver's seat.
Amenities that reflect the 2015 WRX's refined sport sedan positioning include standard automatic climate control and available Keyless Access with Push-button Start, heated front seats, power driver's seat, and a 440-watt, 9-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system and navigation with Aha® smartphone integration.
Subaru's renowned safety package uses the brand's proven Ring Shaped Frame Reinforcement body structure, which has been shown to excel in the new small overlap test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the cabin, a driver's knee airbag is added to the roster of safety features that includes front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car.
About Subaru of America, Inc. Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.