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Old 04-08-2015, 12:50 AM   #1
BigElm
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Default DRIVEN: Subaru WRX STI Prototype Review



SUZUKA CITY, Japan -- After turning a few laps at Suzuka Circuit in Japan behind the wheel of a 2015 Subaru WRX STI, we feel high. We need a minute to calm down, but the instant we pull into the pits, an engineer wearing a bright blue and pink jacket yanks us out of our lovely red WRX STI and ushers us toward another WRX STI.



Subaru WRX STI Prototype Front End In Motion 02
This one is mac 'n' cheese yellow, and it has a carbon-fiber rear wing that might've been plucked off the trunk of a Honda Civic parked in front of some AutoZone parts store. We hate it. We're thinking of making a break back to the 2015 WRX STI when our man tells us this yellow car is a prototype concept for the future WRX STI. We get closer to the STI car and notice Brembo brakes with six-puck calipers up front, plus a cat-back exhaust peeking from beneath the rear bumper. And so we climb into this concept car's driver seat, a heavily bolstered bucket that doesn't match the standard passenger seat.



We ask for the rundown of what's new and different. The engineer from Subaru Tecnica International (STI) is mum for a minute before showing a little skin, and then he tells us that this car's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four resembles the engine from the U.S. version of the WRX, but it's been upgraded with blueprinted internals, a set of carefully weighed and balanced pistons, and a larger capacity ball-bearing turbocharger. He says it puts out well over 300 hp.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is one of the most impressive bang-for-your-buck track cars of all time. This prototype, though -- it's witchcraft. During our laps on the Suzuka F1 circuit, we pushed the production WRX STI as hard as we could, and the car drifted sideways in every corner, its clever differentials helping to keep us out of the weeds. But in the prototype, we can't push hard enough to make the car do anything wacky.



Damned if we're not trying, but the STI prototype is plastered to the track. The steering is sharp and tight, and the steering wheel whips back and forth when we put the right-front tire on Suzuka's curbing. The cat-back exhaust has a grizzly growl as the turbo-four revs up smoothly and freely, and the turbocharger's wastegate spits and whistles when we lift off the accelerator.
Where's the tube chassis? The fire extinguisher? The garish graphics? This WRX STI prototype is a fully fledged racing car, isn't it? Because it sounds and drives like one, that's for sure. Our high is back as we pop the six-speed gearbox into neutral and coast back into the pits. We get out, and the STI engineers quickly push the prototype into a garage, closing the door behind them.
There's a lot we don't know about this prototype, but we're sure we won't see a Subaru WRX STI with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine stateside anytime soon. A turbo is bound to be a part of a future STI package, but it's more likely that the next-gen, U.S.-market WRX STI will have a larger displacement engine, not a smaller one. And if the next-generation Subaru WRX STI drives as well as this mac 'n' cheese prototype, we have a lot to look forward to.



http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...51778887067861
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:39 AM   #2
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That article gave me a headache.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:57 AM   #3
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That article gave me a headache.
The oncoming hype train will make sure it endures.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:19 AM   #4
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This is what happens when they fly in a bunch of American journalists to drive a bunch of Japanese variants they know nothing about... horrible article.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kostamojen View Post
This is what happens when they fly in a bunch of American journalists to drive a bunch of Japanese variants they know nothing about... horrible article.
Can't agree more.

...... But to be fair, the Japanese variants are a honestly quite confusing especially for anyone not very familiar with the make.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:33 PM   #6
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Still a sedan
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BigElm View Post







There's a lot we don't know about this prototype, but we're sure we won't see a Subaru WRX STI with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine stateside anytime soon. A turbo is bound to be a part of a future STI package, but it's more likely that the next-gen, U.S.-market WRX STI will have a larger displacement engine, not a smaller one. And if the next-generation Subaru WRX STI drives as well as this mac 'n' cheese prototype, we have a lot to look forward to.

Doesn't make much sense. The only reason we got the 2.5 here was because of the "American" affinity for more low-end power/less lag vs. a peakier engine.

The FA20 kills the EJ25 in the response/low end department. Keeping the old 2.5 in the car, if they can make the 2.0l reliable for high-RPM track use, makes absolutely no sense. It's inferior in nearly every aspect, including the very aspect which made them give us the 2.5 to begin with.

Bring it in '16. Make the '15 owners regret their decision.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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Mac & chz yellow, big wing, 6 pots. This is the next S20X model.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:06 PM   #9
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Bring it in '16. Make the '15 owners regret their decision.
Even better would be to make those of us waiting for a Focus RS rethink their decision.

I'd like to get back in a Subaru!
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:47 PM   #10
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Doesn't make much sense. The only reason we got the 2.5 here was because of the "American" affinity for more low-end power/less lag vs. a peakier engine.

The FA20 kills the EJ25 in the response/low end department. Keeping the old 2.5 in the car, if they can make the 2.0l reliable for high-RPM track use, makes absolutely no sense. It's inferior in nearly every aspect, including the very aspect which made them give us the 2.5 to begin with.

Bring it in '16. Make the '15 owners regret their decision.
I remember when the 15 first came out and the interview with the top developer saying it was their choice to leave the ej25 because it has been tested and all the aftermarket availability. .then he said from a economical stand point it would be easier to make a 2.5 FA...
This is my hope because if they can squeeze 300 out of a 2.0 doing 300 + on a FA 2.5 shouldn't be a problem. So ballpark guess would be 340 and that would be from a conservative tune that can take 91/93 octane and have plenty of ( safe tuning play) for those who want to tune it more. That 340 with better gas mileage and the torque band that it comes with, twin scroll..seems like a winner
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #11
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It would be easier from an economics standpoint to develop an FA2.5 vs. continuing to sell the engine you already have tooled, developed and in production? Let alone the fact that the EJ is old, relatively cheap tech vs. DIT, twin scroll snails, etc.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure he didn't say that.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
Doesn't make much sense. The only reason we got the 2.5 here was because of the "American" affinity for more low-end power/less lag vs. a peakier engine.

The FA20 kills the EJ25 in the response/low end department. Keeping the old 2.5 in the car, if they can make the 2.0l reliable for high-RPM track use, makes absolutely no sense. It's inferior in nearly every aspect, including the very aspect which made them give us the 2.5 to begin with.

Bring it in '16. Make the '15 owners regret their decision.
Subaru could have taken care of low-end response with EL headers and low-mount twin-scroll turbo setup. That's the only kind of turbo EJ25 I'd be OK with.
They briefly teased that setup on the last USDM LGT (although it was a single scroll turbo) and then they never reused it . Anyway, looks like that ship has sailed and sunk.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:18 PM   #13
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I remember when the 15 first came out and the interview with the top developer saying it was their choice to leave the ej25 because it has been tested and all the aftermarket availability
I can't possibly be the only person that laughed when they heard that back then.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Mac & chz yellow, big wing, 6 pots. This is the next S20X model.

Maybe inviting these American journalists is to help tease this new STI in the states a bit? MAYBE we'll get something "real"?


Wasn't this covered 12 hours earlier?

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&postcount=601
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chilzee View Post
I remember when the 15 first came out and the interview with the top developer saying it was their choice to leave the ej25 because it has been tested and all the aftermarket availability. .then he said from a economical stand point it would be easier to make a 2.5 FA...
This is my hope because if they can squeeze 300 out of a 2.0 doing 300 + on a FA 2.5 shouldn't be a problem. So ballpark guess would be 340 and that would be from a conservative tune that can take 91/93 octane and have plenty of ( safe tuning play) for those who want to tune it more. That 340 with better gas mileage and the torque band that it comes with, twin scroll..seems like a winner
Same developer in the WRX video said the FA was superior and that the EJ was dated, more or less. Don't believe everything they say because it's marketing. Go watch both videos back to back, one for wrX, and one for STI. Same guy, different opinion each time.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
Maybe inviting these American journalists is to help tease this new STI in the states a bit? MAYBE we'll get something "real"?


Wasn't this covered 12 hours earlier?

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&postcount=601
Nothing in Japan is without meaning. They see the R in dealerships and the RS on its' way so they are working on it to keep the STi fresh. Must be giving them some fits that these new cars getting the attention are five doors also.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:14 PM   #17
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NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

This is most likely just an STi experiment that has no bearing on whats coming out in a year or two.

/Thread
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:22 PM   #18
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What a horrendous article by a bunch of yanks.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:39 PM   #19
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"and then he tells us that this car's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four resembles the engine from the U.S. version of the WRX"

hmm in what way?
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:50 PM   #20
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that is all. The whole time i was reading i couldnt help but think how ugly of a yellow they picked.....
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:15 PM   #21
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that is all. The whole time i was reading i couldnt help but think how ugly of a yellow they picked.....
Well, they've done the yellow before for special models:





Agree with Hondaslayer, S207 maybe?
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:03 PM   #22
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Yellow looks fantastic on subarus
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
Subaru could have taken care of low-end response with EL headers and low-mount twin-scroll turbo setup. That's the only kind of turbo EJ25 I'd be OK with.
They briefly teased that setup on the last USDM LGT (although it was a single scroll turbo) and then they never reused it . Anyway, looks like that ship has sailed and sunk.
I really wonder what happened to that design. How come they never reused it elsewhere even after developing something unique like that? It would have made sense to use it on the current STi if they were hellbent on keeping the EJ, at least it helped alleviate some of the issues with the EJ257.

Maybe it was just something they had cooked up prior, but got killed off early due to the LGT being a sales failure (Subaru's fault) and the FA20DIT. Essentially a stopgap between the 2 generations.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:22 PM   #24
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I agree with Pre. If there's no hatch not interested. Looks like a Focus in my future.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:25 PM   #25
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I don't know what was more messed up, this article or the Torque News rehash.

http://www.torquenews.com/1084/upgra...ing-tested-sti

Especially since Torque News is basically the WRX STI/BRZ fan-club, I figured it'd straighten some of this out. But they contradict themselves saying the engine is the 2.0 in the current JDM STI (EJ) and then later that it's the DIT like in the U.S. WRX.

I guess the good news is that the odds are in favor of it being an extra high output FA20. Unless we see it in the U.S. STI, who the F cares?
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