The 2014 Detroit Auto Show is shaping up to be the year of the hot rod.
Souped-up performance models are expected to headline America’s most prestigious auto show. BMW and Chevrolet will unveil the latest M3 (and M4 coupe) and Corvette Z06, respectively, while Lexus will introduce the RC F, a performance version of its new coupe.
Now, you can add one more set of letters to the list: WRX STI.
Subaru confirmed that it will unveil the hottest version of its Impreza-based rally car at Detroit. STI, by the way, stands for Subaru Tecnica International, the company’s performance division. Hence, the STI is a step up from the already-capable WRX.
Unveiled at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2015 WRX was more evolution than revolution, so expect the STI to take a similar course. It will likely boast a little more than the current model’s 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, but what’s that they say about fixing what isn’t broken?
That power will mostly come from an upgraded version of the 2015 WRX’s 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected boxer-four, although it’s possible that the new STI will retain the current model’s 2.5-liter displacement.
As usual, all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission will be standard; the 2015 WRX’s optional CVT seems a little out of character for this more intense performance model. Expect more aggressive styling to distinguish the STI from the WRX.
However, the new model will probably ditch the old one’s optional hatchback body style. Like the WRX, the STI will only be available as a sedan.
Subaru is keeping most of the details under wraps until the WRX STI’s January 14 unveiling, but as with many of the company’s recent models, the script seems familiar. Subaru fans know what they want, and the company is happy to give it to them.