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Bragging Rights: Subaru Shows Off with STI Performance Concept

STI unit plans major US expansion.

by on Apr.01, 2015

Subaru debuted its STI Performance Concept at the New York Auto Show today.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bragging, at least if you’ve got something worth crowing about. Subaru has been quite well, thank you, on both road and track, and New York Auto Show-goers will get to see why when they check out the Subaru STI Performance Concept making its debut this week.

The concept car comes at a good moment for the Japanese maker which is planning a major U.S. expansion of its Subaru Tecnica International operations, STI for short. It will focus on three core business operations: aftermarket parts, STI-tune cars – such as the top-line version of the WRX – and motorsports.


“At STI we know from our racing that to win, it is important not only to have high power, but also that all aspects of performance are balanced over the whole car,” said STI President Yoshio Hirakawa. “When we achieve this balance, the driver feels that the car is easy to handle and reliable, and he can use it fully to the limits of its performance. Our plan is to produce cars and accessories that drivers can really enjoy.” (more…)

Subaru WRX Drivers Get the Most Speeding Tickets

One in three get nabbed for lead-footed ways.

by on Sep.30, 2014

The Subaru WRX driver is more likely than any other to get a speeding ticket.

Want to avoid speeding tickets? Don’t make the Subaru WRX your daily driver and you should cut the odds of being radar trap fodder significantly.

The Japanese-made pocket rocket is the most ticketed car in the U.S. with 33.6% of owners getting a traffic ticket recently, according to a survey by The Pontiac GTO, which ceased production six years ago, finished second with 32.7% of owners receiving tickets.

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It seems that Japanese models have been topping many recently lists about vehicles lately, and this one is no exception. The rest of the top five include the Scion FR-S (32.6%), Toyota Supra (30.8%) and the Subaru Tribeca (29.7%). (more…)

Subaru Goes Back to the Future with WRX

Special-edition STI clad in WR Blue and gold rims coming in April.

by on Jan.14, 2014

WRX loyalists got a real treat for 2014 as the STI has a limited-edition version in WR Blue with gold wheels: just like the original. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Subaru played possum with the introduction of the new WRX STI at the North American International Auto Show. Amid the requisite fanfare of flashing lights, blaring music replete with a thumping base line, the silver STI emerged from the smoke and onto the turntable for all to see.

Subaru of America President Tom Doll strode out to talk about the newest iteration of the STI, including the 305 horsepower, standard all-wheel drive and its long racing legacy. However, the longer he spoke, the more it became clear this would be a two-car extravaganza.

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Loyal WRX owners are almost always partial to the WR Blue version of the maker’s iconic pocket rocket. Today they got a special treat as today as a second STI clad in WR Blue and gold wheels and a six-speed manual transmission hit the stage: just like the original 10 years ago. The maker said it will produce just 1,000 of the special edition models in 2014. (more…)

Photos of 2015 Subaru WRX STI Leaked

High-performance sedan continues WRX legacy.

by on Jan.09, 2014

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI keeps the ever-present rear spoiler, but there will be no five-door available.

Every now and then it happens. In fact, it happened just a couple of months ago with the 2015 Ford Mustang: a leak.

Not of fluids, but of photos. In this case, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI, which was supposed to make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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However, several photos leaked out ahead of time courtesy of the Mexican website, Terra Autos, so now everyone gets a look at the new iteration ahead of time. (more…)

Subaru’s 2015 WRX Lives up to Pocket Rocket Reputation

Rally car-inspired beast gets more horses, better handling.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Subaru's 2015 WRX gets a spate of improvements that helps its "most bang for the buck" persona.

Subaru took the wraps off its perennial favorite, the WRX, today at the L.A. Auto Show revealing a vehicle that features a variety of improvements resulting in a car that retains its “most bang for the buck” persona.

The new rally rocket is powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo Boxer engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model’s first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic CVT with two manual modes: six-speed and eight-speed. Both versions use paddle shifters to get through the gears.

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The eight-speed is tied to Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), which allows the driver to select one of three performance modes: intelligent, sport and sport sharp. (more…)

Subaru Teases New 2015 WRX

New rally rocket set for debut at L.A. Auto Show.

by on Nov.12, 2013

Subaru will reveal the new WRX in LA next week.

Subaru is ready to roll out a new version of its familiar rally rocket, the WRX, at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show and after giving us a hint of what’s to come with a show car earlier this year, the Japanese maker wants to whet our appetite just a little more with this teaser image of the production model.

The image reveals the strong influence of the New York Auto Show concept vehicle, though as is so often the case, the actual 2015 Subaru WRX will clearly be toned down a little bit – while still giving us a more aggressive package than the similar Impreza model. Among other details that come through in the teaser shot: a new front fascia and grille flanked by LED accent lamps. One thing that doesn’t change: the familiar WRX hood scoop.


What remains to be learned at the L.A. Auto Show preview is whether Subaru will maintain both WRX body styles or drop the hatchback – as widely rumored – and stick with the sedan only. The teaser image is notably cropped to keep us guessing.

The Subaru WRX has developed quite a following over the years – and for good reason as it provides a performance option at a reasonably affordable price.


Muscle Car Wars

Horsepower getting as much attention as mileage.

by on Apr.01, 2013

Chevrolet's new 2014 Camaro Z28 is attracting big crowds at New York Auto Show.

“Where’s the Z/28?” asked 16-year-old Michael Kimberly as he wandered through the Jacob Javits convention center in New York on Saturday morning, tagging along on a tour his parents had signed up for at the New York International Auto Show.

The two older Kimberlys were there to check out all the “green cars,” including the new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid and Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid models making their debuts at the annual show. But younger Michael, about to get his driver’s license, had something decidedly different in mind – the super-high-performance version of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that was the biggest surprise introduction at the 2013 NYIAS.

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The 550-horsepower “pony car” has been drawing deep crowds to the Javits Center’s somewhat-isolated North Hall since the show opened its doors to the public last week. But it’s not alone.


Subaru on Track for Another Record Year

New products critical to growth.

by on Apr.01, 2013

The new Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid at its NY Auto Show debut last week.

Subaru is on track for its sixth consecutive year of increased demand – and another annual record, according to its new U.S. president.

The little maker defied the industry trends by posting a string of sales increases even during the worst automotive downturn since the Great Depression. It has gained even more momentum since the U.S. automotive market began to rebound three years ago. For 2012, Subaru sold 336,441 units: a 26% increase compared with the previous year.

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Tom Doll, promoted last month from COO to President of Subaru of America, said during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show that sales have gotten off to another strong start in 2013, lifting expectations for another year of record sales. Since 2007, Subaru is the only carmaker to post a continuous string of sales increases over the last five years.


Subaru Delivers Surprise with New WRX Concept

Lower, wider, lighter. But engine details are on hold.

by on Mar.28, 2013

Subaru hints at what's to come with the WRX Concept.

For now, Subaru is calling the little sports coupe on display at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center a “concept,’ but what you see is almost certain to be what you get – with only the most subtle tweaks – once the next-generation Subaru WRX goes into production for 2014.

The WRX is not only the halo car for the Subaru brand but a benchmark for the “rice-burner” market that includes such competitors as the Honda Civic Si and Mitsubishi Evo, so Subaru has a lot riding on the new model.

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The Subaru WRX Concept’s design is meant to emphasize the show car’s turbocharged power and all-wheel-drive grip while adopting a more agile and athletic form.  But some of the biggest changes aren’t immediately visible, Subaru putting an emphasis on reducing the performance coupe’s overall weight and lowering its center of gravity.


Subaru Launching XV Crosstrek, its First Hybrid

New model to debut at NY Auto Show next week.

by on Mar.21, 2013

A Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid in testing.

Little Subaru is nothing if not creative, coming up with some groundbreaking new designs over the years, such as the Outback and WRX. But it’s late to the party when it comes to hybrid-electric vehicles, a costly development challenge facing most small automakers.

Now, the Japanese maker is finally weighing in with a gas-electric model of its own. The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid will make its debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show – alongside what it is billing as an “all-new performance concept car.”

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Could that be the next-generation version of the Subaru WRX? That’s what a lot of folks are hoping, but the maker is mum on the subject.

Subaru isn’t saying much about the Crosstrek, either. The production model is based on the earlier XV Crosstrek concept vehicle.  It is expected to use one of the maker’s familiar boxer engines mated to a small battery-drive system, both power sources linked through Subaru’s time-tested Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system.