NEW SUBARU WRX MAKES WORLD DEBUT IN LOS ANGELES New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru global performance icon New torque-vectoring system reduces understeer New 197 kW 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo Boxer® engine New standard 6-speed manual transmission New Sport Lineartronic™ CVT with manual modes  Los Angeles, 21 November 2013 – Subaru of America, Inc. […]

  • New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru global performance icon
  • New torque-vectoring system reduces understeer
  • New 197 kW 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo Boxer® engine
  • New standard 6-speed manual transmission
  • New Sport Lineartronic™ CVT with manual modes 

Los Angeles Auto Show

Los Angeles, 21 November 2013 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2015 Subaru 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 197 kW 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo (DIT) Boxer® engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model’s first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission – 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 also 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 bonnet, front fenders, rear doors and fenders, 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 bonnet scoop, which supplies the intercooler with cooling air, is now set more deeply into the hood to provide better forward visibility.

Subaru WRX

Other new performance-oriented details include fog light surrounds with a carbon fibre-like pattern and vertical front fender vents which feature chrome 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 stone chips. The new standard 17-inch wheels also feature a more aerodynamic design. At the rear, LED taillights, a diffuser, an LED centre high-mounted stoplight and an optional lip spoiler leave a distinctive signature.

The new WRX body structure makes greater use of high-tensile 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-litre, 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 197 kW at 5 600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 350 Nm over a 2 000-5 200 rpm engine speed range.

Based on the engine used in the new 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 synchronisers on first and second gears.

Los Angeles Motor Show

New Sport Lineartronic™ CVT

The new 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 through 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 three selectable modes – Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp – using a switch on the flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Two versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™

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 centre 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 centre 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 optimises torque distribution in response to driving conditions and input from steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors.

Premium cabin

A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX is the main factor in providing a markedly roomier cabin in the new model. The windscreen is more raked than before, with the A-pillar pulled forward over 20 cm 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 boot 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 telescopic adjustment. The wheel also integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth control.

Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and centre console armrest. Numerous compartments located in and around the centre console can hold all manner of personal items, such as phones, USB drives and MP3 players. The power sunroof also opens one inch farther than on the previous WRX.

The dual gauge instrument layout features a 3.5-inch LCD central screen to display various functions, including oil level, remaining washer fluid and the selected gear ratio. A new multi-information central display with a 4.3-inch LCD screen shows 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 system can also 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-adjustable driver’s seat. Amenities that reflect the 2015 WRX’s refined sport sedan positioning include standard automatic climate control and keyless access with push-button starting, heated front seats, powered driver’s seat, and a 440-watt, 9-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system and navigation with Aha® smartphone integration.

Subaru Safety

Subaru’s renowned safety package uses the brand’s proven Ring-Shaped 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 which includes front-side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.

The all-new Subaru WRX is due for South African introduction towards the middle of 2014. Specifications may differ from the US version.

Gerald Ferreira

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Published : Thursday November 21, 2013

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