Auto blogFri, 07 Mar 2014 19:30:00 EST
Subaru is getting into viral videos with two new, radically different shorts to promote the 2015 WRX STI; both are pretty entertaining. They are certainly more interesting, from an enthusiast perspective, than the company's dog-oriented advertising campaign and sponsorship of the Puppy Bowl.
The first promotes a new grindhouse-style short film that Subaru is launching, which is cheekily called The Ride of Her Life, and it previews the full deal due on March 13. While It's just a glimpse at the moment, if Subaru really leans into the cheesy, 1970s-style, then the full video could be really enjoyable.
The second video is a new take on an idea we've seen before but is still very cool. There might be some digital trickery going on in some of the "Stick bomb" shots, but the result is still exciting. Plus, the STI's Nürburgring livery is quite attractive. Scroll down to check them both out and tell us which you prefer in Comments.
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.
Remember the Subaru WRX Concept shown at the 2013 New York Auto Show, the one almost everyone loved but no one expected Subaru to make? Indeed, that Parnassian "design statement" led to a production design that came from a good middle class neighborhood known for its office parks and pasture land. UK designer Michael Bond is offering to change that, the man behind the yet-to-be-produced Rumbler "Superhero Utility Vehicle" touting the Subaru WRX Concept 13, which would take a customer's new WRX and turn it into something pretty close to the original concept.
That means new front and rear clips, including a redesigned rear diffuser to increase downforce, but a spoiler can be installed if the buyer decides that what he wants. The car won't be an exact replica of the NYIAS concept since that would infringe on Subaru's intellectual property, but it isn't clear yet how the design would be altered. Bond's site says that once he gets 50 confirmed orders, his team will order a WRX and begin the process of creating the new bodywork. It is claimed that once work begins, it will be four to six months to "[present] a completed model for public view."
Bond says the price will come down depending on the number of orders beyond 50, but doesn't give any indication of how much those first 50 cars could cost. If you're keen, though, head over to the site and fill out the enquiry form. Who knows if the Concept 13 will happen, but so far this is the best chance you have of getting what could have been.
Okay, folks - it appears we've got a problem. The Toyota GT86, Europe's counterpart to our own beloved Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S coupes, is apparently not selling too well. This, according to Toyota's European Vice President of Research and Development, Gerald Killman, is what's limiting plans for additional variants of the rear-drive coupe.
"A faster version of that car would be at the top of most people's wish lists, but like the cabriolet, it is hard to justify a business case to push either model into production based on the current sales," Killman told AutoExpress. "Personally, I think that engine could use a little bit more," he added.
More troubling is that slow sales aren't limited to the Euro-spec car, with Killman claiming that the GT86 have been missing sales targets in major markets around the globe. It may not be that the US is one of those major markets, though. Scion's Vice President, Doug Murtha, tells Autoblog that his brand is happy with the sales of its version of the GT86, the FR-S. 18,000 units were sold last year, which Murtha says is "generally in line with original expectations for the car."
Subaru clearly sees something special in its Viziv crossover concept. After debuting it at last year's Geneva Motor Show and evolving it for the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese brand is bringing a Viziv 2 concept to this year's Geneva show on March 4. It also has a few other cards up its Swiss sleeve, too, as it has plans to display its new WRX STI road car and racecar for the Nürburgring 24 Hours this summer.
The third iteration of the Viziv gets reshaped boomerang headlights and new LED foglights, but that's all we know for the moment, because Subaru has only released a single teaser rendering along with a tantalizing claim that the showcar "signifies a future path" for the brand's next models.
The powertrain for the Viziv 2 is also still a secret. Both previous concepts used three-motor hybrid systems matched to continuously variable transmissions. In the first concept, primary power came from a diesel engine, while gasoline power was said to motivate the second evolution in Tokyo.
In December, I put the 2015 Subaru WRX through its paces along some incredibly challenging roads in northern California, and to say I walked away impressed wouldn't really do my feelings justice. Say what you will about the way it looks, the new 'Rex is an awesome car, full stop. When it comes to all-weather sports sedans that won't break the bank, it's very tough to beat the WRX.
But then there's its big brother - the STI. The winged wonder. The rally superstar. The car that, to many - and to me - represents all that is right in the world of dirt-and-gravel thrills. Sharp as the WRX has always been, the hardcore STI model has always been a little bit sharper. But in recent years, that hasn't always been a good thing. What I've liked most about the WRX is the fact that it's not an always-on attack missile - it can be forgiving, easy to drive, and if I'm honest, reasonably comfortable. Because of that, in the WRX/STI debate, I've preferred the former for daily driving activities. I've always had a thing for That Wing, but in the outgoing car, the STI was never really far and away a more rewarding car to drive, and it offered exactly zero upgrades in terms of comfort or refinement.
The 2015 WRX is easily the finest example of Subaru's hot hatch sedan to date. But what happens when you try to turn the dial past 11? I headed back to NorCal, including a stop at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, to find out.
The Subaru Legacy might not have been the hottest debut at the recent Chicago Auto Show, but for the Japanese automaker, it's hugely important. Much as we'd love to focus on Subaru's more engaging WRX, STI and BRZ models, the truth is, its the mainstream Forester, Outback and Legacy that make up the vast majority of the brand's sales, not to mention the Impreza and XV Crosstrek.
This new Legacy looks to gain a lot more traction in the mainstream market than its predecessor, with handsome, if familiar, styling, standard all-wheel drive, and more efficient powertrains. Under the hood, customers can choose between a 2.5-liter boxer-four, or a more powerful six-cylinder engine. Subaru says that the four-cylinder setup actually boasts class-leading fuel economy for all-wheel-drive vehicles in the Legacy's class.
West coast editor Michael Harley stopped by the Subaru stand for a closer look at the 2015 Legacy. Check it out in the video below.
Another week coming to a close brings another rumor of a potential hotted-up version of the Subaru everyone wants to turbocharge, the BRZ.
A fresh rumor out of the Car and Driver offices makes the claim that a new, special-edition BRZ model will be offered up within the next few months. Word is that the new model will not get similar upgrades to the recent BRZ tS (seen above) for the Japanese market, meaning we're likely in for a cosmetic update instead of a functional one.
The looks of the tS could still be in the cards, however, meaning swapped-out lip spoiler, wheels and even STI badging might be on the way.
As you read these words, we're putting together our full First Drive report on the 2015 Subaru WRX STI. And back in December, we were given our first shot behind the wheel of the wingless 2015 Subaru WRX. Both cars will launch at the same time, hitting dealers this spring, and Subaru has now confirmed that pricing will start at $26,295 for the standard WRX, and $34,495 for the hotter STI, with both models subject to a *$795 for destination fee.
On the WRX, that price gets you a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. There are three trim levels available - base, Premium and Limited - the latter of which will retail for $28,495 and $29,995, respectively. Premium and Limited models are also available with a new continuously variable transmission (it isn't bad - seriously), and the two-pedal setup adds $1,200 to the sedan's bottom line. Premium models add things like heated seats and mirrors, a sunroof, foglamps and a rear spoiler. The high-zoot Limited trim adds leather seating, a power driver's seat and automatic LED headlamps.
And then there's the STI, which, at $34,495, carries the same base price as the previous model. Like the standard WRX, the STI is a sedan-only affair, but boasts extensive chassis and powertrain upgrades (stay tuned for our full drive report next week). Under the hood is a turbocharged, 2.5-liter boxer-four, producing 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of twist, mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission.
Subaru gave the next-generation, 2015 Legacy a brand new, more sophisticated platform and improved interior at the Chicago Auto Show, but the engines were carried over barely changed from the previous gen. However, if a rumor from Car and Driver turns out to be true, then the power trains may be getting upgraded as well.
A source within Subaru indicates that the aging 3.6-liter flat-six might finally be getting a replacement in favor of a smaller, more powerful six-cylinder engine, and the four-cylinder may get direct injection. Both of them would be ready for the new Legacy's mid-cycle refresh in about three years, and they would likely be shared by new Outback too.
The turbocharged, GT trim has been absent from the US-market Legacy for the last few model years, but the insider hinted that it might make a return in the coming years. The new version would use the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four found in the Forester and the WRX. Though like the Forester, a turbocharged Legacy would likely only be available with the CVT.