Subaru – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Wed, 24 Aug 2016 02:49:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 2015 Volkswagen Golf R vs. 2016 Subaru WRX STI Series.HyperBlue http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-r-2016-subaru-wrx-sti/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-r-2016-subaru-wrx-sti/#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2016 10:00:16 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=966995 The new 2017 Volkswagen Golf R is a hell of a car, and we because of that, we awarded it one of our coveted All Stars spots this year. Its slick AWD system, sticky tires, great suspension, and excellent chassis tuning convinced me to buy one for my personal fleet and had the rest of...

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The new 2017 Volkswagen Golf R is a hell of a car, and we because of that, we awarded it one of our coveted All Stars spots this year. Its slick AWD system, sticky tires, great suspension, and excellent chassis tuning convinced me to buy one for my personal fleet and had the rest of our crew head over heels.

As for the 2016 Subaru WRX STI, I had driven one before and was left unimpressed. It felt too much like a normal passenger car despite the horsepower and giant rear wing. It also didn’t feel as buttoned up as the Golf R or as sorted as previous STIs. However, that feeling didn’t return after a fresh week in the driver’s Recaro.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 01

One for Alpine Highways
The Golf R’s nature is very Teutonic; everything has a reason. Turn the wheel and you’re met with immediate and urgent turn-in response. Shifts from the DCT are blistering, body roll almost undetectable. This car is fixed to the road as if it were set in stone and will have you turning faster and faster laps in a relatively short time.

I’ve spent the last year and a half evaluating my Golf R, putting in plenty of time on local canyon roads. Whenever I get behind the wheel, I feel at one with the car, a feeling helped along by the car’s near perfect seating position and sublime sport steering wheel. Though the numbers tell a different story, the Golf R’s nature makes it feel tighter, faster, and more proficient on the street.

2016 Subaru WRX STI front three quarter 02

And One for the Rally Stage
Whereas the Volkswagen is a digital road-racing attack dog, the Subaru’s character is purely analog. Instead of being bred as a pure tarmac car, Subaru’s STI is rooted in the company’s rally heritage. You accept that it’s not going to behave like the surefooted Golf R, grab the car by the scruff, and chuck it into a corner

Manual shifts are crisp, steering is precise, and the tachometer will run to 7,000 rpm. It’s an unruly car, one that shouldn’t be driven hard by the inexperienced. It is completely opposite of the character of the Golf R, which is exactly what makes it great.

The Subaru’s suspension feels properly old-fashioned. Even on super sticky Dunlop Sport MAXX tires, the STI groans under hard gravitational forces. Don’t be fooled by this apparent complaining, this WRX is still hugely impressive on asphalt, it just begs for a different challenge, one involving less traction.

2016 Subaru WRX STI side profile 1 2016 Subaru WRX STI rear spoiler 1 2016 Subaru WRX STI front three quarter 01 1 2016 Subaru WRX STI rear three quarter 1

Rough Patch
There’s one particular canyon road near my house I don’t normally test on. It leads from the base of a mountain to a peak where a fire rescue unit is stationed. There isn’t much traffic and as such, the roads aren’t as well maintained. Gravel and debris litter the road as the mountain consistently calves off portions of its face. Further aiding in the road’s rally-esque nature, it features cliffs that drop between 2,000 and 5,000 feet. It was the only location that made sense to stretch the Subaru’s legs.

On that pockmarked and pitted mountain road, with sporadic layers of rock, sand and debris, the STI came into its element. The all-wheel drive clawed at the grit-strewn pavement, hunting for grip. The Subaru’s higher ride height made easy work of the road as the suspension loaded up predictably every time. Here, the car’s true character came alive.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R front end 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front end 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02

Road vs. Rally
Subaru didn’t build a Golf R competitor. Subaru built what it knows how to build: a street-legal rally car. The companies built cars that played to their strengths. Thus, while the two manufacturers built two cars aimed at the same audience that appear similar after a cursory glance, they become unsurprisingly different when you get into the details.

Subaru’s WRX STI is a brilliant and competent car. It’s superbly quick in acceleration, agile when thrown into a corner, but it’s not a road racing competitor to Volkswagen’s Golf R as everyone believes. Whereas the Golf R loves smooth tarmac, the Subaru begs for a looser surface.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter

2015 Volkswagen Golf R Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $35,650/$39,910 (base/as-tested)
Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4/292 hp @ 5,400 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD hatchback
EPA Mileage: 23/30 mpg (city/highway)
L x W x H: 168.4 x 70.8 x 56.5
Wheelbase: 103.5
Weight: 3305
0-60 MPH: 4.5 sec
Top Speed: 155 mph

2016 Subaru WRX STI Series.HyperBlue

On Sale: Now
Price: $35,195/$39,790 (base/as-tested)
Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-valve H-4/305 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan
EPA Mileage: 19/28 mpg (city/highway)
L x W x H: 180.9 x 70.7 x 58.1
Wheelbase: 104.3
Weight: 3,391
0-60 MPH: 4.7 sec
Top Speed: 159 mph

 

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-r-2016-subaru-wrx-sti/feed/ 0 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2016 Subaru WRX STI front three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter 02 2016 Subaru WRX STI front three quarter 01 1
2017 Subaru BRZ Pricing Starts from $26,315 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-pricing-starts-26315/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-pricing-starts-26315/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 15:49:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=967853 Subaru has announced pricing for the refreshed 2017 BRZ sport coupe. The base Premium model starts at $26,315 including destination, representing a $125 increase compared to the outgoing 2016 model. Standard features include Subaru’s Starlink multimedia interface with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, LED headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights, a...

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Subaru has announced pricing for the refreshed 2017 BRZ sport coupe. The base Premium model starts at $26,315 including destination, representing a $125 increase compared to the outgoing 2016 model. Standard features include Subaru’s Starlink multimedia interface with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, LED headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, hill start assist, 17-inch alloy wheels, and steering wheel-mounted audio, cruise control, and phone controls.

Moving up to the Limited trim adds LED fog lights, heated front seats, keyless entry, push-button start, seats upholstered in Alcantara and leather, and a 4.2-inch LCD display. A Performance package is now offered on the Limited trim when equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission, which adds Sachs performance shock absorbers, 17-inch black alloy wheels, and Brembo brakes on all four corners. A six-speed automatic is optional on the BRZ but only on the Limited trim starting at $29,565.

Finally, the BRZ Series.Yellow will be the range-topping variant but it will be limited to only 500 units. The Series.Yellow comes standard with the Performance package and features unique touches such as a yellow BRZ logo, yellow contrast stitching, and a bright yellow exterior color.

Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-four but it now makes 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Automatic-equipped BRZs, however, don’t receive the upgraded engine and can’t be had with the Performance package. Despite the presence of the dead spot in the middle of the car’s rev range, Subaru says that there’s 7 percent more torque between 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. The car’s final drive ratio is also shorter at 4.3:1, which should yield slightly better acceleration. Thanks to a new steering calibration and a revised suspension, the BRZ now handles better than ever.

2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 17 2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow special edition front three quarter 01 2017 Subaru BRZ wheel 2017 Subaru BRZ instrument cluster 2017 Subaru BRZ interior 02 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 23 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 07 2017 Subaru BRZ shifter 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 03 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 11 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-pricing-starts-26315/feed/ 0 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02 2017 Subaru BRZ engine 02
2017 Subaru BRZ First Drive http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-first-drive/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-first-drive/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:00:15 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=964097 Beads of sweat trickle down my neck as I barrel down the straight at Fuji Speedway, spraying a fine mist in my wake. I cannot see a damn thing. I’m on the wrong side of the car, shifting with my left hand. The empty grandstands on either side of my peripheral vision blur into streaks,...

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Beads of sweat trickle down my neck as I barrel down the straight at Fuji Speedway, spraying a fine mist in my wake. I cannot see a damn thing. I’m on the wrong side of the car, shifting with my left hand. The empty grandstands on either side of my peripheral vision blur into streaks, bookending the gray oblivion ahead of me. All I can do is tune in to the feedback I’m getting from the 2017 Subaru BRZ. As usual, amidst the sound of my heart pounding, the car is talking my ear off.

The BRZ has always communicated well. Right out of the gate in 2012, the BRZ nailed a trait every sports car strives for — that elusive feeling of connection. Cars with double its power weren’t close to as lively because the BRZ was light, simple, and most of all, balanced. Subaru engineers still believe that at the time, the car was perfect. But competitors have upped their game, and Subaru took a long hard look at the things it could work on. Of course, the hard part about getting it right the first time is that it’s hard to know where to really yank up weeds and where to simply let things be.

Walking around the 2017 BRZ under the cloudy skies at Fuji, it’s easy to see that Subaru’s exterior designers opted for the latter strategy. It barely even looks like a refresh at first glance, but a keener eye will notice a few subtle tweaks. The car’s stance is a touch lower and wider, and the front bumper pieces now extend into the foglight housings. LED headlights and taillights are now standard, the more aggressive-looking 17-inch wheels are new, and the functional rear spoiler (once optional for Limited models) is now standard. Nobody will have any trouble identifying the latest BRZ, but like a smart new haircut and a shave, the car looks cleaner and fresher without resorting to a ridiculous mohawk or man-bun.

2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 07

It’s much the same story on the inside, though it’s really the BRZ Limited that gets most of the upgrades. All models now come with a multifunction steering wheel that’s 0.1 inches (3mm) smaller in diameter (which is something Porsche charges $320 for in the 911, by the way) and wrapped in softer and higher-quality leather. The interior for the Premium model is essentially carry-over, but the Limited arrives with a new 4.2-inch LCD data screen next to the tachometer, as well as improved dashboard materials and embroidered seatbacks. It’s still a far cry from the Ritz-Carlton, but at least Subaru made an effort to spruce things up for its not-so-Motel-6 trim.

On hand are the current 2016 BRZ, the base 2017 model, and the new Performance Pack variant. Immediately, the original BRZ charms us all over again. After all, we’re talking about a wet track in a tail-happy, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe. But the key difference between the old car and the new car manifests almost immediately after I nearly clip the wall exiting an off-camber left-hander. Traction control comes in much later even with all of the nannies on, and when the electronics do swoop in, it’s more like a friendly kindergarten teacher rather than ruler-toting nun, guiding you safely through the turn rather than quashing the fun outright with a noisy groan of the brakes. The BRZ’s new Track mode, updated from the old Sport mode, dials back intervention even further, goading you to test the limits of the car’s newly revised suspension.

2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 08

On Fuji’s full circuit, bathed in harrowing swaths of foggy blur, the BRZ’s immediacy is on showcase. Fast, sweeping turns seem to spawn suddenly as the course reveals itself, demanding precise inputs, quick chassis response, and hyper-vigilance. I can’t help but feel like I’m in the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix as the wet track and complete lack of visibility conspire to make keeping pace incredibly difficult. I don’t need to bullishly pound every apex like James Hunt, but I’m not about to bow out like Niki Lauda, either. The best I can hope for is to keep up with the other cars ahead of me, chasing their fuzzy brake lights lap after lap for fear of losing my guide through the misty Japanese labyrinth.

With the BRZ’s retuned springs and dampers, as well as its larger rear stabilizer bar and chassis reinforcements, Subaru engineers managed to heighten the car’s already rewarding handling virtues. Turn-in is more fluid and crisp, but what stands out most is improved body control and grip. Thanks to a slightly firmer front suspension and softer rear, I carve a path along the relentlessly demanding course feeling much more planted to the pavement, while the rear end is even more eager to drift around corners. The BRZ pitches and rolls noticeably less than its predecessor, and the car is not as easily upset over rough curbing. New electronic power steering tuning, paired with the new suspension setup, yields a snappier turn-in that builds weight more smoothly off-center. If anything, the refreshed car gives you a subtle confidence boost, and not at the expense of feedback. Ultimately, it’s the dialed-back electronics that make the biggest difference, putting even more control in the driver’s hands.

2017 Subaru BRZ rear wing

Especially with the new Performance Pack, which adds Sachs ZF shocks, 0.5-inch wider wheels, and bigger brake rotors with Brembo four-piston front calipers, the BRZ is still king when it comes to cheap and joyous kicks around a road course. Although the package might not be worth the extra cash on the road, those who plan on visiting the track would do well to tick this box. The larger brake rotors, now 12.8 inches wide up front and 12.4 inches wide at the rear, are the same size as used in the WRX STI. Let that sink in for a second.

What has me puzzled, though, is all the fuss Subaru has made about its updated engine. Exclusive to manual-transmission models, the 2017 Subaru BRZ’s 2.0-liter naturally aspirated boxer four-cylinder now cranks out an additional 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque for a total of 205 hp and 156 lb-ft. That improvement comes only at 7,000 rpm, so the boxer-four remains an engine you need to wind out to make the most of it. The glaring dead spot in the middle of the rev range remains, but the saving grace of this update is seven percent more torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. There’s a bit more oomph off of the line, and if you’re really working hard, Subaru says that in concert with the new final drive ratio (from 4.1 in the old car to 4.3 in the new), acceleration from 0-60 mph is somewhat swifter. When asked about the nasty and persistent dip in mid-range torque, a Subaru engineer could only offer up that it’s a limitation of such a small naturally-aspirated engine. A part of me questions whether a more significant limitation is the Tier 2 emissions rating that Subaru must have been eager to retain.

2017 Subaru BRZ front interior seats 2017 Subaru BRZ steering wheel 02 2017 Subaru BRZ shifter 2017 Subaru BRZ instrument cluster

All told, the BRZ still isn’t fast, and that’s OK. Subaru insists the engine is stronger and more durable thanks to friction-reducing polishes for the camshaft and valves and a revised direct-injection system. The biggest tweak is a new aluminum intake manifold to replace the old plastic unit, allowing for greater efficiency as well as a wider exhaust manifold. These updates will at least endear the revised engine to thoroughbred engineering nerds, and at most fuel the rumor mill that Subaru is beefing up the engine in preparation for a turbocharged STI variant down the line. Either way, you won’t notice a compelling difference compared to the outgoing engine, which carries over for automatic-transmission models.

The BRZ’s engine output was never as important as its position and low center of gravity, and that hasn’t changed. In an odd way, it’s sort of a blessing in moments like this, whereas I’d be scared stiff driving blind on a slippery, unfamiliar track in a right-hand-drive car with tons of power. The beauty of the BRZ is that you don’t need to be driving at blazing speed to enjoy or understand what it’s all about. I should be more terrified than I am, but the refreshed 2017 Subaru BRZ reassures and excites even more directly than its predecessor. And, wisely, with a pure sports-car voice that will continue to capture our attention for years to come.

2017 Subaru BRZ front end headlight 03

2017 Subaru BRZ Specifications

On Sale: September 2016
Price: $26,000 (est)
Engine:

2.0L DOHC 16-valve H-4/205 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 156 lb-ft @ 6,400-6,600 rpm (manual);

2.0L DOHC 16-valve H-4/200 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 151 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm (automatic)

Transmission: 6-speed manual; 6-speed automatic
Layout: 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA Mileage: TBD
L x W x H: 166.7 in x 69.9 in in x 50.6 in
Wheelbase: 101.2 in
Weight: 2,785-2,835 lb
0-60 MPH: 6.2 sec (est)
Top Speed: 140 mph (est)
2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 13 2017 Subaru BRZ front end in motion 02 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 09 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 04 2017 Subaru BRZ front end 03 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 19 2017 Subaru BRZ front end headlight 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 06 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 12 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter 05 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter 03 2017 Subaru BRZ front end in motion 03 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 06 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 14 2017 Subaru BRZ front end in motion 2017 Subaru BRZ rear end in motion 02 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 20 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 07 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 08 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter 04 2017 Subaru BRZ rear end 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 05 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 12 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 11 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 18 2017 Subaru BRZ taillights 02 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 10 2017 Subaru BRZ wheels 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 2017 Subaru BRZ taillights 2017 Subaru BRZ headlamp 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter track 2017 Subaru BRZ headlamp 02 2017 Subaru BRZ taillight 2017 Subaru BRZ foglight 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 02 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 09 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 10 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 11 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 15 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 23 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 20 2017 Subaru BRZ track lineup 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 22 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 21 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 17 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 16 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter lineup 02 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarters 2017 Subaru BRZ interior 02 2017 Subaru BRZ interior seats 2017 Subaru BRZ interior 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 02 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 03 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 04 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 02 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 03 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 04 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 05 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 06 2017 Subaru BRZ side in motion 19 2017 Subaru BRZ steering wheel 2017 Subaru BRZ top view track Subaru BRZ STI Race Car engine Subaru BRZ STI Race Car front end garage Subaru BRZ STI Race Car front end Subaru BRZ STI Race Car rear end Subaru BRZ STI Race Car rear three quarter pit Subaru BRZ STI Race Car rear three quarter Subaru BRZ STI Race Car rear wing Subaru BRZ STI Race Car top view Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-first-drive/feed/ 0 Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround 2017 Subaru BRZ side Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarter in motion 07 Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround 2017 Subaru BRZ front three quarter in motion 08 Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround 2017 Subaru BRZ rear wing Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround 2017 Subaru BRZ front end headlight 03 Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround Subaru BRZ STI Race Car walkaround
Watch a 600-hp Subaru Tackle Isle of Man TT Course For New Record http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-600-hp-subaru-tackle-isle-man-tt-course-new-record/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-600-hp-subaru-tackle-isle-man-tt-course-new-record/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:34:33 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=960609 ISLE OF MAN—If you’ve seen videos of the Isle of Man TT, you know about the 1,000-cc, 200-horsepower, 200-mph Superbikes. About how they come leaping off a descending road surface, straight-line a squiggling street lined with cottages, and lean their way through a hairpin corner. Now imagine rally driver Mark Higgins cutting a lap of...

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ISLE OF MAN—If you’ve seen videos of the Isle of Man TT, you know about the 1,000-cc, 200-horsepower, 200-mph Superbikes. About how they come leaping off a descending road surface, straight-line a squiggling street lined with cottages, and lean their way through a hairpin corner.

Now imagine rally driver Mark Higgins cutting a lap of the daunting 37.7-mile open-road circuit in a car, though certainly not your average carriage. Instead, Higgins pilots a 600-hp, 2,590-pound Subaru WRX STI.

Banbury, England, home to Prodrive, is where the car was created. Building both pro rally cars and Aston Martin road racers meant the company could develop a machine that has to be a bit of both. At first glance, the WRX STI looks like a rally car, but then you notice the tires are Dunlop racing slicks that fill the flared wheel wells. The four-door sedan looks to sit a bit lower than a rally car—and is that an articulated wing out back?

Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 03

 

Prodrive began with a WRX STI, stripped it and fitted the expected safety cage. The suspension is based on World Rally Championship links, struts, and dampers. There’s a low front spoiler (made of wood of all things) that likely wouldn’t last long on a rough rally stage.

Where the Subaru TT Challenge Car diverts wildly from rally cars is up front. WRC racers have 1.6-liter turbo engines with about 318 hp and about 317 lb-ft of torque, crucial for squirting out of corners.

By contrast, the flat-four engine in the WRX needed high rpm for the TT course. Displacement is 2.0 liters, and the block and heads are production-derived. Everything else is, as the Brits say, bespoke: crank, rods, pistons, gaskets, etc. There’s a single Garrett turbo and custom radiator and intercooler designed to allow for cooling on the slow corners, but minimal drag at high speed. Horsepower comes out to 600 with a redline of 8,500, though for reliability Higgins was shifting at 7,750 (about 550 hp).

Richard Thompson, a rally engineer guru from Prodrive, explains, “Around 600 horsepower the big problem is keeping the heads on the block. What we see is the heads lifting due to cylinder pressure. We don’t have a head gasket but two Wills compression rings, which is a very effective means of sealing the head on the block.” The team can read the pressure between the rings to know when the heads are lifting, which tells it to back off slightly on the turbo’s speed to settle the heads back down. And to think of all those Offy Indy engines and Testa Fissa Alfas in which the block and head were one piece to prevent blown head gaskets. Ain’t progress wonderful?

Prodrive took an unusual approach to the transmission, which works like a sequential gearbox but isn’t one. Instead it is an H-pattern ’box by Prodrive Xtrac with left-right, fore-aft actuators to do the shifting. And still manage 24-25-millisecond shifts via a paddle.

That’s the hardware side of the WRX STI TT Challenge Car, while the human factor is an Isle of Man native. Higgins is a three-time British Rally champ, and he sat in for James Bond being chased through Rome in his Aston Martin DB10 in Spectre. Higgins explains there was a time when racing around the TT circuit was for motorcycles only.

Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 10

“We’d been told by the government that categorically there will never be a car on the TT course. It just wouldn’t happen,” he said. “It’s a bike event and we don’t need the hassle of it all. But then Subaru came along and made it happen. We probably upset a few people, but I think we’ve now established a nice relationship with the organizers, which has allowed us to go to the next level of car.”

He points out that this WRX “is similar to rally cars I’ve driven before apart from the power, which changes everything. The big thing here is the speed. I rally at 120-130 mph and that’s no problem. You don’t even think about it. But when you start to get into the 150s-160s-170s, there’s no way to prepare for that on any course other than here.”

That’s because there is no other circuit like the 37.7-mile TT track. Subaru was allowed three laps to go for a record, but weather plays a big factor, with no racing when it’s wet or even if the fog keeps the rescue helicopters from landing. So, Higgins explains, “You always have to go for it because you might not get another run.

Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 05

“At that speed, when you turn-in [to a corner], is it flat or is it not flat? You’ve got two chances. You get around it or you don’t. And that’s the reality of it. And when you’re given three laps in total to get around the course you’ve got to take calculated risks because you haven’t got the time to build up to it. On a racetrack you can go around 10 times, but you’d never get around here 10 times.”

He continues, “The car is just beautiful to drive. The first time I got out all I could say was, ‘wow.’ It does everything I want it to do, it feels like it’s part of me. I don’t steer it around corners, I think it around corners because there’s that much movement going on. The pedals, the braking … a total pleasure to drive.”

As for that articulated wing, “I’ve a little blister on my finger because I’ve been using it so much, getting braver and using it more. When I get out of a corner, just getting on the exit and I know the car is stable, I hit the button to reduce the drag. When the wing flattens you can feel the car move a little bit, but it’s not dramatic.”

He can then hit the button again to deploy the wing for added downforce, but a hard stab on the brakes will also change the wing’s angle. But really, what’s the most difficult part of driving the WRX around the TT circuit?

“I think getting used to the speed and focus,” Higgins replies. “Where the bikes are able to go flat because they’ve got more road to choose from, I’m pretty restricted. I have to be on line and there are certain bumps I’m hitting which the bikes can avoid.” And there’s also the crown of the road to consider.

“It’s like driving down a tunnel, you’re looking so far ahead and thinking about the ballsy corners. There’s probably about six of those around the circuit.”

So is driving the super Subaru on the TT course scary? Higgins smiles again. “It’s not scary when you’re doing it … you’re in the zone,” he says.

Being in the zone got Higgins around the circuit at and average speed of 128.73 mph on his second run this year. Weather scrubbed the third run, but that speed put him in the top 10 of the fastest motorcycles in the real TT, the Superbikes.

Just wait until next year.

Photos courtesy of Marc Urbano

Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 01 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 12 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 07 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 11 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 13 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 08 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 04 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 09 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 02 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 19 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 18 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 17 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 16 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 15 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-600-hp-subaru-tackle-isle-man-tt-course-new-record/feed/ 0 - Automobile Isle of Man—If you’ve seen videos of the Isle of Man TT, you know about the 1000-cc, 200-horepower, 200-mph Superbikes. About how they come leaping off a descending road surface, straight-line a squiggling street lined with cottages, and lean their way through a hairpin corner. Now imagine rally dri Isle of Man Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 03 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 10 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 05 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 06 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14
2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow Revealed, Limited to 500 Units http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-series-yellow-revealed-limited-500-units/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-series-yellow-revealed-limited-500-units/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:01:38 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=954433 Subaru revealed the 2017 BRZ Series.Yellow at this year’s Wicked Big Meet, which is one of the largest Subaru enthusiast events in the U.S. and is held at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT. Only 500 examples of the BRZ Series.Yellow will be built in total and no, the car still doesn’t have that...

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Subaru revealed the 2017 BRZ Series.Yellow at this year’s Wicked Big Meet, which is one of the largest Subaru enthusiast events in the U.S. and is held at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT. Only 500 examples of the BRZ Series.Yellow will be built in total and no, the car still doesn’t have that turbocharger everyone’s been asking for.

Based on the Limited trim level, the 2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow comes standard with full LED headlights and taillights, a 4.2-inch LCD display, a rearview camera, the Starlink multimedia interface with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, keyless entry/start, dual-zone climate control, and LED fog lights.

2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow special edition cabin

The Performance package, which is optional on the Limited trim, comes standard on the Series.Yellow and adds Sachs performance shock absorbers, Brembo brakes in all four corners, and black 17-inch alloy wheels. In addition to the unique yellow exterior color, the 2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow adds yellow accents in the interior, yellow stitching on the door panels, steering wheel, knee pads, floor mats, and dash panels, and a yellow embroidered BRZ logo on the seatbacks.

Updates to the refreshed 2017 Subaru BRZ include a retuned suspension, a lower 4.3:1 final drive ratio, and a larger rear stabilizer bar. The 2.0-liter flat-four is now rated at 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox while automatic-equipped BRZs retain the old rating of 200 hp and 151 lb-ft.  The BRZ’s stability control sysem has also been updated and the “Sport” mode has been changed to Track mode.

2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow special edition front three quarter 02

 

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-brz-series-yellow-revealed-limited-500-units/feed/ 0 Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow special edition cabin Isle of Man Subaru WRX STI 14 2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow special edition front three quarter 02
Watch the Subaru WRX STI Obliterate Isle of Man TT Lap Record http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-subaru-wrx-sti-obliterate-isle-man-tt-lap-record/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-subaru-wrx-sti-obliterate-isle-man-tt-lap-record/#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:46:04 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=953431 The Isle of Man TT course is not for the faint of heart. It’s a rather terrifying blast through two-lane roads, slicing into tiny towns, mountains, and sweeping pastures. The surface is uneven, the roads are claustrophobic, and the competing vehicles are extremely fast. This nerve-wracking environment didn’t discourage Subaru, however, who just announced a...

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The Isle of Man TT course is not for the faint of heart. It’s a rather terrifying blast through two-lane roads, slicing into tiny towns, mountains, and sweeping pastures. The surface is uneven, the roads are claustrophobic, and the competing vehicles are extremely fast. This nerve-wracking environment didn’t discourage Subaru, however, who just announced a highly-modified WRX STI broke the course record by an astounding two minutes.

Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front

As you might expect, the STI used in the record run is far from stock. Not much technical info was provided, but Subaru claims the weaponized WRX STI packs 600 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four engine, not the 2.5-liter engine U.S.-spec STIs get. With a weight right around 2,590 pounds, and a top speed of 180 mph, the STI cracked the TT course in a scant 17:25, a far cry from the previous record of 19:26.

Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record interior

The STI was manhandled to this record by stunt driver Mark Higgins, who maintained an average speed of 128 mph, beating his previous average of 116 mph. The car was prepared through a partnership with Subaru and the rally car maniacs at Prodrive.

If you think the only TT course records that matter involve just two-wheels, we’ve got great news. TT familiar Michael Dunlop delivered the first-ever sub-17 minute lap of the Mountain course. Better yet, the whole endeavor was caught on helmet cam,  a seamless rush of villages, forests, and hills with speeds reaching up to 200 mph. Though these feats are impressive, the event was again marred by tragedy as two motorcyclists died from injuries sustained during competition.

Take a look at both the Subaru and the Dunlop TT record runs in the videos below.

Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record dinstance Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record wreath Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record interior Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record in motion Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2

 

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/watch-subaru-wrx-sti-obliterate-isle-man-tt-lap-record/feed/ 0 Watch the Subaru WRX STI Obliterate Isle of Man TT Lap Record - Automobile The Isle of Man TT course is not for the faint of heart. It’s a rather terrifying blast through two-lane roads, slicing into tiny towns, mountains, and sweeping pastures. The surface is uneven, the roads are claustrophobic, and the competing vehicles are extremely fast. This nerve-wracking environme subaru wrx sti Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record interior Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2 Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT Record front 2
2017 Subaru Legacy and Outback Pricing Released http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-legacy-and-outback-pricing-released/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-legacy-and-outback-pricing-released/#respond Sat, 28 May 2016 17:38:50 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=949113 Subaru has announced pricing for the 2017 Legacy sedan and Outback crossover wagon, which start at $22,815 and $26,520 respectively including destination. Both vehicles come standard with a 175-hp 2.5-liter flat-four in the 2.5i variants while a 256-hp 3.6-liter flat-six is optional in the 3.6R models. The only transmission available is Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. As...

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Subaru has announced pricing for the 2017 Legacy sedan and Outback crossover wagon, which start at $22,815 and $26,520 respectively including destination. Both vehicles come standard with a 175-hp 2.5-liter flat-four in the 2.5i variants while a 256-hp 3.6-liter flat-six is optional in the 3.6R models. The only transmission available is Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. As with every Subaru except for the BRZ coupe, both the Legacy and Outback come standard with all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Legacy have been revised slightly from last year with 2.5i models now rated at 25/34 mpg city/highway from 26/36 mpg. Opting for the more powerful 3.6R drops fuel economy ratings down 1 mpg on the highway to 20/28 mpg. The 2017 Outback also receives a slight fuel economy revision with 2.5i models now rated at 25/32 mpg, which is down 1 mpg on the highway. Outbacks with the more powerful 3.6-liter flat-six are rated at 20/27 mpg.

The base trims of the 2017 Legacy and Outback come standard with the Starlink multimedia interface with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera. Upper trim levels come with a larger seven-inch touchscreen, navigation, a Harman Kardon audio system, keyless entry/start, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, and heated front and rear seats. Limited and Touring trims of the Legacy and Outback receive Reverse Automatic braking and high beam assist for 2017 when equipped with the available EyeSight safety suite.

A new 2.5i Sport trim has been added to the 2017 Legacy lineup and comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights with gloss black housings, two-tone cloth upholstery, a dark gray front grille, and silver-finished turn signal mirrors. The Touring grade has been added as the new range topper for the 2017 Outback, and adds gray inserts to the 18-inch alloy wheels, silver-finished low profile roof rails and lower cladding, a heated steering wheel, and a new Java Brown leather interior option with Ivory contrast stitching. Both 2.5i and 3.6R models of the Outback will be available in the Touring grade.

Look for the 2017 Legacy and Outback to hit showrooms in July 2016.

2017 Subaru Outback Touring cabin 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 01 2017 Subaru Legacy Sport cabin 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 02

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-legacy-and-outback-pricing-released/feed/ 0 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 02 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 02 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 02 2017 Subaru Outback Touring front three quarter 02
Refreshed 2017 Subaru BRZ Gains Performance Package, Special Edition Teased http://www.automobilemag.com/news/refreshed-2017-subaru-brz-gains-performance-package-new-special-edition-teased/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/refreshed-2017-subaru-brz-gains-performance-package-new-special-edition-teased/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 16:56:10 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=948027 Subaru has revealed the refreshed 2017 BRZ and like its twin, the Toyota 86 (formerly Scion FR-S in the U.S. and Canada), it gains a host of updates including full LED headlights and taillights, hill start assist, and  an improved suspension setup that includes updated springs and dampers and a larger rear stabilizer bar. Additional...

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Subaru has revealed the refreshed 2017 BRZ and like its twin, the Toyota 86 (formerly Scion FR-S in the U.S. and Canada), it gains a host of updates including full LED headlights and taillights, hill start assist, and  an improved suspension setup that includes updated springs and dampers and a larger rear stabilizer bar. Additional chassis reinforcements were added specifically to the strut tower braces, transmission cross members, and the rear wheel housings for improved rigidity.

Like its 86 twin, the BRZ’s 2.0-liter flat-four gets a slight boost in power to 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque, which is 5 hp and 5 lb-ft more, provided you choose the standard six-speed manual transmission (which you should) and not the optional six-speed automatic. The final drive ratio in manual-equipped BRZs has been changed to 4.3 from 4.1 for improved acceleration.

Perhaps the most significant addition to the 2017 Subaru BRZ is the new Performance package, which add Brembo brakes, black 17-inch aluminum wheels, and Sachs performance shock on all four corners.

Additional changes to the 2017 Subaru BRZ include a new aluminum rear spoiler, steering wheel-mounted controls, and new 17-inch aluminum wheels. On the Limited trim, additional standard features include keyless entry/start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leather/Alcantara upholstery, and 4.2-inch LCD display that shows performance information such as accelerator pedal position, braking force, an integrated stop watch, steering angle, oil and water temperature, battery voltage, and lateral Gs. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia interface comes standard on both BRZ trim levels with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, and smartphone app integration.

Subaru has also launched a special webpage on the 2017 BRZ and at the bottom there’s a teaser for a new special edition model, which will likely be named based on the yellow paint scheme. Look for the 2017 Subaru BRZ to go on sale sometime before the end of the year. For those that want the Performance package, that’ll be arriving in winter 2017.

2017 Subaru BRZ special edition teaser 2017 Subaru BRZ interior 2017 Subaru BRZ rear three quarters 2017 Subaru BRZ wheel

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2017 Subaru Forester Priced From $23,470 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-forester-priced-23470/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-subaru-forester-priced-23470/#respond Fri, 20 May 2016 16:27:06 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=943554 Pricing for the 2017 Subaru Forester has been revealed with the base 2.5i starting at $23,470, including destination, with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Opting for the CVT automatic in the base model adds $1,000 to the car’s base price. The manual is also standard on the Premium trim while the CVT is only $500...

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Pricing for the 2017 Subaru Forester has been revealed with the base 2.5i starting at $23,470, including destination, with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Opting for the CVT automatic in the base model adds $1,000 to the car’s base price. The manual is also standard on the Premium trim while the CVT is only $500 more in that grade, and turbocharged XT models gain the Active Torque Vectoring system that first debuted in the WRX sports sedan.

Updates include for the 2017 Subaru Forester include a new grille, front fascia, bumper and headlights in the exterior, and an updated EyeSight safety suite that now includes lane keep assist, reverse automatic emergency braking, and high beam assist, in addition to automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Improved sound deadening has also been added via restructured door seals, underfloor insulation and an acoustic windshield. The 2017 Forester’s steering ratio is also quicker than the outgoing model.  New 17-inch alloy wheel designs are standard in the 2.5i Premium and 2.5i Limited while the 2.0XT gets new 18-inch alloy wheels.

A 170-hp 2.5-liter flat-four remains standard while a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque is optional on the 2.0XT grades. EPA fuel economy ratings are at 26/32 mpg city/highway with the 2.5-liter paired to the CVT and 23/27 mpg with the 2.0-liter turbo-four.

The Limited trim gets silver metallic and gloss black interior trim, blind spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. On the range-topping Touring trim, a new Saddle Brown metallic interior and Sepia Bronze Metallic exterior are now offered. Additional standard features include a heated steering wheel, power driver’s seat with memory, steering responsive headlights and keyless entry/start. LED headlights are available as an option or standard on higher trim levels of the 2017 Forester.

Subaru’s Starlink multimedia interface is standard and comes with a 6.2-inch touchscreen in the base 2017 Forester. Premium, Limited, and Touring models come standard with a larger seven-inch touchscreen while navigation is available.

2017 Subaru Forester side mirror 2017 Subaru Forester side in water 2017 Subaru Forester rear taillight 2017 Subaru Forester rear side 2017 Subaru Forester rear end 2017 Subaru Forester headlamp 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter in water 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter in motion 02 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter 02 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter in motion 2017 Subaru Forester front end 2017 Subaru Forester front three quarter in motion 1

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2015 Subaru WRX – Four Seasons Wrap-Up http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2015-subaru-wrx/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2015-subaru-wrx/#respond Mon, 16 May 2016 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=937752 Believe it or not, fourteen years have passed since Subaru brought its WRX to the U.S. in 2002. North American customers were finally sated after what felt like an eternity: We eyed foreign markets with jealousy over those three decklid letters, despite Subaru offering us the solid Impreza RS. As cool and fun as the classic...

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Believe it or not, fourteen years have passed since Subaru brought its WRX to the U.S. in 2002. North American customers were finally sated after what felt like an eternity: We eyed foreign markets with jealousy over those three decklid letters, despite Subaru offering us the solid Impreza RS. As cool and fun as the classic Subaru rally-look RS was—try to find one now—the WRX provided another leap in reliable and affordable all-wheel-drive performance. It advanced the Impreza again as the car of choice for a generation of rambunctious young enthusiasts, a four-wheel snow-drifting, mud-spraying, tunable machine.

Subaru, though, has changed dramatically since those days, maturing into a family-friendly brand that values safety and shaggy-dog ownership over rowdy rally antics. So when the 2015 WRX debuted without a hatchback and with a continuously variable transmission option, fans feared the Rex had become a victim of Subaru’s relentless climb up the sales charts, neutered in the name of moving more units. But during four seasons with us, we found that while, yes, it’s more mature than before, the latest WRX is still much the same car it’s always been.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited front view in motion

Now in its fifth generation here in the U.S., the WRX has shed the Impreza econocar badge, helping to define it as a nameplate in its own right. And though the WRX still isn’t the belle of the ball, its broad stance and more aggressive lines strike a balance between the bland Impreza and the bulging WRX STI, with its runway-sized wing that’s guaranteed to quash any hopes of a second date. We couldn’t resist opting for the WR Blue Pearl paint, which comes standard with contrasting black 17-inch aluminum wheels.

While the mid-grade WRX Premium trim we opted for didn’t offer the amenities of the top-level Limited, it came with everything we needed and nothing we didn’t: cloth interior with toasty heated front seats, heated mirrors, and a power moonroof. “Better materials and assembly than any WRX in memory, but there’s still plenty old-school here,” said daily news editor Jake Holmes. “Metal ignition key, no power seats, six-speed manual, no driving modes. Just an awesome, thick-rim steering wheel with a flat bottom and a nice leather-wrapped shifter.”

2015 Subaru WRX Limited cabin
Everything from the notchy manual gearbox to the meaty flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum pedal covers, and digital boost readout are tailored to the serious driver.

Outward visibility is stellar, thanks to surprisingly thin A-pillars and low door sills, and the seats have plenty of lateral support. Our only regret was checking the box to get Subaru’s extremely outdated head unit with navigation and Bluetooth, a needless $2,000 option. Subaru thankfully binned it in the 2016 WRX, in favor of its updated Starlink infotainment system.

While its cozier digs may be attracting new buyers, WRX loyalists still subscribe to the performance-over-vanity mantra. They can thank the Pleiades then that the formula is the same for the 2015 WRX, whose 268-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer-four is punchy and full of personality. An avalanche of boost comes on just north of 3,000 rpm—a throwback to when turbos were fun and not primarily aimed at improving fuel economy. The peaky surges are great for wild dirt-road adventuring or pushing the limits on winding two-lanes, but some editors found the WRX to be a hassle in the city. “I’m always short-shifting to avoid the rush of turbo and keep an even pace in slow-moving traffic,” said Holmes.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited side profile in motion

Indeed, its power delivery can be trying at times in the daily bump and grind, but it’s become a part of the WRX’s lively character. During a visit to New York City, we had a blast slicing through gaps in downtown traffic, deftly avoiding fixie-riding hipsters and texting pedestrians as we traversed the Big Apple’s urban barnyard.

Of course, we also made a point to get off the road and onto the track as well. Two visits to GingerMan Raceway in western Michigan and one autocross had us praising the car’s newly upgraded chassis. “Especially over curbing and mid-corner bumps, the WRX is impressively unfazed,” said videographer and former WRX STI owner Sandon Voelker. “The suspension is stiff enough to keep the car flat but compliant enough to maintain composure.” The WRX can maintain a lot of speed through corners, but it does tend to push wide if you’re too liberal with the throttle. Before you visit the track, you may want to pick up a set of upgraded brake pads and fluid. Our first outing was cut short when we boiled brake fluid and smoked the Subie’s stoppers. A set of Hawk HPS brake pads put those issues to rest.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited front three quarter in motion

Still, you don’t need a racetrack or even good weather to have a blast in the 2015 Subaru WRX. Once the ambient temperature cooled, we ordered a set of Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires through our partners at the Tire Rack. The tires’ added stability and grip, combined with the all-wheel-drive’s capability, meant editors were constantly arguing over the keys whenever the snow started dumping.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited quarter panel

Our overconfidence in the white stuff eventually got the best of us, however. Senior editor Chris Nelson had an unplanned rendezvous with the front end of a parked Ford Escape. “The WRX is so good it almost convinces you you’re Colin McRae,” Nelson said. “You’re not.” We did our best to wear the battle scar with the pride of a rally driver, but soon shelled out $3,474.93 for parts and labor to fix the rear quarter panel.

2015 Subaru WRX Premium badge 01 2015 Subaru WRX Limited gear shifter 2015 Subaru WRX Limited engine 2015 Subaru WRX Limited tire

That bump in the sheetmetal didn’t stop us from flocking to the WRX, often for longer trips. The Subie held its own during journeys to Knoxville, Tennessee, the aforementioned jaunt to New York, and all over Michigan. The generous rear-seat legroom and wide opening for the 12 cubic feet of cargo space proved plenty to stow camping gear and provide room for four during a vacation to Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes, and it was a cinch to carry cycling gear for two for an endurance ride in Mackinaw City. The WRX tracks well on the highway, but the stiff ride can be a touch jarring for passengers over expansion joints and rough pavement. We were pleasantly surprised that long highway hauls regularly returned numbers as high as 33 mpg, which demolishes the EPA’s rating of 28 mpg. Cruising in sixth gear at about 2,800 rpm, the flat-four is just off boost and capable of uncharacteristically dainty fuel sippage.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited rear three quarter

The WRX also lived up to its reputation for durability. Despite its eagerness to be thrashed and our willingness to dole it out, the car held up brilliantly over 24,000 miles. Unlike in WRXs of old, the interior remained free of rattles, and the manual gearbox never lost its short, crisp throws and positive engagement. There’s something to be said for a car that can really take a few on the chin and not have its legs turn to jelly.

For people who love driving and want to enjoy doing so in all conditions, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2015 Subaru WRX. Yes, it’s a little pricier than in the past. But the car has also significantly narrowed the performance gap between it and the more performance-focused STI, which costs up to $10,000 more and is considerably less livable. The WRX has indeed grown up, but you don’t have to look hard to see the wild child that’s still alive and kicking underneath.

2015 Subaru WRX Limited front three quarter with STI
You don’t need to go full STI for a taste of the Rex’s never-say-die spirit. A set of gold BBS wheels wouldn’t hurt, though.

Pros & Cons

+ Plenty of rear-seat and cargo space, excellent visibility
+ Surprisingly good highway fuel economy
+ Fantastic performance-for-dollar value
– Stiff suspension can be taxing on rough roads
– Bland and inert interior design
– Outdated infotainment system

2015 Subaru WRX Running Costs

Mileage

24,098
Warranty
3-yr/36,000-mi bumper-to-bumper
5-yr/60,000-mi powertrain
3-yr/36,000-mi roadside assistance
Scheduled Maintenance
10,682 mi: $0, oil change, oil filter
18,227 mi: $0, oil change, oil filter
Recalls
None
Out-Of-Pocket
4,245 mi: Resurface brake rotors, purchase and install new front/rear brake pads, flush brake fluid, four-wheel alignment, $933.26
4,301 mi: Purchase, mount,
balance Michelin X-Ice Xi3 235/45R-17 tires, $904.38
9,928 mi: Repair right rear fender, rear bumper, decklid, and quarter panel, $3,474.93
12,290 mi: Reinstall OEM tires, $100
12,310 mi: Purchase and install Hawk HPS front/rear brake pads, four-wheel alignment, new cabin air filter, $651.02
20,723 mi: Repair dent under front right foglight, $618.82
Fuel Consumption:
EPA city/highway/combined:
21/28/24 mpg
Observed: N/A
Cost Per Mile
(Fuel, service, winter tires) N/A
Trade-In Value
$24,900
*Estimate based on information from Intellichoice

Our Test Results
0–60 mph 5.5 sec
60-0 mph 106 ft
1/4–mile 106 ft
Skidpad 0.96 g
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Overview

  • Body style 4-door sedan
  • Accommodation 5-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $29,290
  • As tested $31,290

Powertrain

  • Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged flat-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
  • Power 268 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Torque 258 lb-ft @ 2000-5200 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Drive All-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 21/28/24 (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.8 turns
  • Turning circle 35.4 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Control arms, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires 235/45R-17 94W
  • Tire size 235/45R-17 94W

Measurements

  • Headroom F/R 37.2/37.1 in
  • Legroom F/R 43.3/35.4 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 55.6/54.2 in
  • Wheelbase 104.3 in
  • Track F/R 60.2/60.6 in
  • L x W x H 180.9 x 70.7 x 58.1 in
  • Passenger capacity 96.6 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity 12.0 cu ft
  • Weight 3267 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 59.6/40.4%
  • Fuel capacity 15.9 gal
  • Est. fuel range 380 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Automatic climate control
    • Cruise control
    • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • Power windows, mirrors, and locks
    • Rearview camera
    • Power sunroof
    • 6-way adjustable driver’s seat
    • 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
    • Heated front seats
    • Halogen headlights
    • LED taillights
    • Fog lights
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats
    • 6-speaker audio system
    • USB port
    • Auxiliary input jack
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Voice-activated navigation system- $2000
    • 9-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system

The post 2015 Subaru WRX – Four Seasons Wrap-Up appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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