2015 Subaru WRX Preview

Jeff Youngs | Nov 25, 2013
  • Based on current Impreza Sedan
  • Wide-body styling modifies most exterior panels
  • 268-horsepower, turbocharged Boxer 4-cylinder engine
  • New 6-speed manual gearbox is standard
  • New Sport Lineartronic CVT is optional
  • New torque-vectoring system
  • New electric steering
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Larger interior, bigger trunk than previous model
  • Upgraded cabin materials
  • New standard and optional features


The 2015 Subaru WRX is based on the latest version of the Subaru Impreza Sedan, a long-standing custom for this performance-tuned model. With an intensely loyal customer base, the WRX competes primarily against the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Evolution models, but faces new competition in the form of the Ford Focus ST. Historically, Mazda and Volkswagen have also fielded WRX competitors, but as this preview is written, both brands have put those models on hiatus.

Exterior Features

Most of the 2015 Subaru WRX's exterior body panels and details are different from the Impreza, resulting in the more aggressive wide-body appearance that is a hallmark of the model. The hood scoop remains functional, and vertical side vents are new for 2015. The new WRX rides on 17-inch aluminum wheels wearing 235/45 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tires, the LED taillights are new, and both LED headlights and a subtle lip spoiler are optional for the 2015 WRX.

Interior Features

Inside, the 2015 Subaru WRX is equipped with a larger interior than the previous model, with more rear legroom and improved outward visibility. Soft-touch material is used for the dashboard, door panels, and center console armrest, and the WRX is equipped with a leather-wrapped, thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel that feeds direction to a new electric steering system. Subaru claims that the cabin of the new WRX supplies plenty of storage space, and the rear seats offer a 60/40 split-folding design that helps expand the car's bigger trunk.

The driver and front passenger sit in new sport seats covered in a high-grip fabric, and which offer separate 4-way adjustable head restraints. Automatic climate control is standard, along with a 4.3-inch information display with a reversing camera.

Optional Features

Subaru offers leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, and keyless passive entry with push-button starting for the new WRX. Additionally, buyers can option the car with a premium audio system, navigation system, and Aha smartphone integration technology.

Under the Hood

A new 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine sits under the 2015 WRX's hood, equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger, intercooler, direct fuel injection, high 10.6:1 compression ratio, and a Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System. Output measures 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of torque spread between 2,000 rpm and 5,200 rpm, and Subaru says the new WRX is more fuel-efficient than the model it replaces.

Stick with the manual transmission, which features 6 gears, and the WRX's standard Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system is equipped with a viscous locking center differential and a 50:50 front-to-rear power split. Choose the optional Sport Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the WRX comes with Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD. Under normal driving conditions, power is split 45:55 front-to-rear. The VTD AWD system automatically varies power distribution based on data regarding traction, steering angle, and cornering forces.

Additionally, the 2015 WRX is equipped with a new torque-vectoring system, performance suspension, larger brakes, and a stiffened body structure compared with the current Impreza.


As is true of every Subaru, the 2015 WRX is constructed with the automaker's Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame for its underlying structure, which is designed to deflect crash energy away from the passenger compartment in the event of a collision. Additionally, the new WRX is equipped with traction and stability control, a robust anti-lock braking system, reversing camera, and 7 air bags including one that protects the driver's knees.


With the WRX's optional infotainment system, Aha smartphone pairing allows the driver to access Internet radio and social media platforms, stream music via Bluetooth, learn about traffic and weather conditions, receive news feeds, and more.
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