Our spy shooter has caught one of the first 2015 Subaru WRX STI sedans out testing. If you were hoping that the rally-inspired sedan would mimic the outlandish concept from the New York auto show last month, you may be disappointed.
Despite previous reports saying that the WRX would move away from being a tarted-up Impreza, these spy shots tell another story. No low-slung coupe or racy sedan here, just a more powerful and aggressive-looking Impreza. We can clearly see that much of the bodywork for the 2015 WRX carries over from the Impreza almost unchanged – the profile, in particular, has seen little change with its acres of flat sheetmetal and big greenhouse. We're hoping this is just a mule, as we loved the show car's shape and were told it is a strong indication of where the WRX is heading, but then again, there's also the chance that concept car previews a generation of WRX that's still several years away.
This car's nose and tail receive a bit of an overhaul compared to a stock Impreza. Where old WRX models gained sportier trim, diffusers, and the like, the 2015 WRX looks to be gaining different front and rear fascias when compared with its more-plebian donor. Here is where we can see the influence of the fantastic New York concept car: the front clip wears an almost-identical hexagonal grille, trapezoidal lower intakes, and LED-encircled xenon headlights. Around back, the diffuser has similar ribbing to the concept car. Since this is a WRX STI, there is the requisite giant rear wing. Other changes include larger wheels, LED taillights, and a hood scoop.
Powertrain details still remain murky, but it's expected that the 2015 Subaru WRX will make around 270 hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four derived from the BRZ's engine, while the hotter STI will again exceed 300 hp. For a point of reference, the current WRX and STI use a turbo 2.5-liter boxer-four good for 265 hp in the former and 305 hp in the latter. Of course, we assume Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive will be de rigueur, as will be a manual transmission.
Stay tuned for more information, as we expect to see the final 2015 Subaru WRX STI within the next 12 to 18 months.