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2015 Subaru WRX a rally-inspired sedan

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2014 Subaru WRX

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Back in 1967 Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm formed Subaru of America and contracted with Fuji Heavy Industries to import the Subaru and in 1968, the first year, imported 332 cars. Before the WRX became a part of Subaru’s US product lineup, it was difficult, if not impossible to find a Subaru dealer in California. What Subaru had to offer just didn’t fit with the youth-oriented California life style and market. Around 1996 that all changed when a bug-eyed WRX with 227 horsepower was introduced.
According to Subaru of America, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas J. Doll ”The WRX has always been a great driving car. And THIS one – the 2015 model – will take the WRX nameplate to a new level.” The all-new 2015 WRX is the fourth-generation version of Subaru’s iconic all-wheel-drive, rally-inspired sedan.
The 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder boxer engine benefits from stiffer valve springs and friction-reducing roller rocker arms that replace flat tappets. Otherwise, the turbo boxer engine carries over with direct injection, high compression, Subaru’s dual active valve control system, a twin-scroll turbocharger and intercooler. This state-of-the-art engine produces 268 hp at 5,600 rpm with an increase of 3 horsepower and 14 lb.-ft. of torque over the previous generation model’s 2.5-liter turbo.
An all-new 6-speed manual transmission is standard and complements the boxer turbo. with a wider ratio spread than the previous 5-speed and incorporates several performance and durability improvements. A very slick cable shift linkage smoothes transitions during both upshifts and downshifts.
A new automatic transmission for WRX, called the Sport Lineartronic combines the high fuel efficiency and smooth shifting benefits of a CVT with the choice of stepped automatic shifting. Paddle shifters are also available for choosing electronically controlled steps, simulating gear changes.
CVT-equipped models also feature Subaru Intelligent Drive, a powertrain performance management system that allows you to tailor the vehicle’s driving characteristics by selecting from any of three modes. The intelligent mode is programmed to get the best fuel economy. Sport mode lets you shift with the steering wheel paddles. You can expect 21/28 mpg city/highway fuel economy.
Most interesting is the Sport Sharp mode that programs the engine for maximum potential. The engine responds more directly to the accelerator and delivers a sensation of powerful acceleration in eight electronically controlled steps.
According to Subaru, WRX’s new Electric Power Assisted Steering system features a quicker 14.5:1 ratio for better road feel. The brakes have 25 percent larger and thicker front discs and a larger master cylinder for better stopping power.
Subaru’s new torque vectoring is a brake-based yaw system that pulses the brakes of the inside front wheel during cornering to dampen understeer and help rotate the car around a corner.
The new multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control stability control system still has three modes, including Normal, Off and Traction. Traction is a track-like mode that defeats stability and traction control but retains the torque-vectoring function to better follow the driver’s intended path.
Surprising as it might seem, the new WRX makes a pretty good grocery getter and family hauler. Our premium manual test car was nicely furnished inside and good looking outside. Running through the gears of the manual transmission is very satisfying because everything works so well. The engine is smooth and quiet, except for an authoritative burble during acceleration. Ride quality and handling dynamics are nicely balanced for both fun and comfort.
A full complement of infotainment equipment is available to keep you informed and entertained. The sticker price for our Premium Manual test car was $29,290, including a $795 delivery charge

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