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2015 Subaru WRX STI puts go before show (pictures)

Subaru's all-wheel-drive sport sedan has looks that only a mother could love, but its speed is undeniable.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

We've already seen the 2015 Subaru WRX STI at the race track, but were recently given a chance to live with the sport sedan on public roads.

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2 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

At the track, the all-wheel-drive sport sedan was a gem.

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3 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

On the street, its firm suspension can be a bit too rough on its passengers.

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4 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI is the fastest model that Subaru currently manufactures.

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5 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Drivers looking to find themselves behind the wheel of the fastest model that Subaru makes are probably all right with the stiff suspension setup.

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6 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI features LED headlamps and standard U-shaped LED daytime running lights.

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7 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The interior is purposely simple, but the thick, small diameter wheel and short throw shifter fall nicely in the hand.

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8 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI's Boxer burble is satisfyingly deep from the driver's seat. However, I noticed an annoying rattle coming from one of the twin mufflers at idle.

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9 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI and WRX both feature wider bodies than the standard Impreza to accommodate the sedans' wider stances.

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10 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Wing mirrors are color-matched to the rest of the body and feature integrated turn signals.

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11 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI's hood scoop is functional, feeding cool air into the intercooler.

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12 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine is largely unchanged from the previous generation and still uses port injection. I guess that if it ain't broke...

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13 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The 2015 STI's all-wheel-drive system can be customized on the fly with the SI Drive controller and the DCCD toggle.

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14 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The only gearbox that you'll find on the STI is a six-speed short-throw manual transmission.

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15 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

At the top of the dashboard is a digital display that can display a boost meter. Or you can just listen to the whistle of the turbocharger, which you actually can hear spinning up.

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16 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The standard six-speaker audio system features a good array of sources, but poor sound quality. You're better off opening the windows and enjoying the exhaust note.

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17 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI's ride is rough over bumps, but rewarding around corners. Grip isn't limitless, but the all-wheel-drive system makes the absolute most out of the four contact patches.

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18 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Power is stated at 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque.

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19 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Utilizing a combination of electronic and mechanical center differentials mated with yet a third planetary gear-type differential , the standard all-wheel drive setup now defaults to a slightly rear-biased 41:59 torque split.

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20 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

On top of that, the 2015 STI features Subaru's new Active Torque Vectoring software, which uses bias braking to proactively split power between port and starboard when cornering.

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21 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

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22 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Digital audio sources include Bluetooth, USB, and CD. There is an optional navigation system that includes Aha app integration, but our model was not so equipped.

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23 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI's seats are deeply and firmly bolstered, but still comfortable for longer rides.

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24 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The rear seats have also been upgraded with Alcantara inserts and red leather trim.

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25 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The dashboard is mostly shod in black rubber and plastic, but the stereo's carbon fiber surrounds allude to the STI's sport mission.

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26 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Instrumentation is simple with red illumination and a black faces on the dual gauges.

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27 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The flat-bottomed steering wheel features leather trim and contrasting red stitching.

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28 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The WRX STI's information display can show current audio source data that is more detailed than the standard two-line monochromatic display.

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29 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Here is also where you'll view fuel economy information.

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30 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The 18-inch rims are shod in 245-width summer tires and filled with Brembo brakes.

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31 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

It's got a face that only a mother could love, but there's no denying the 2015 Subaru WRX STI's speed.

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32 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Subaru assures us that the STI's tall spoiler serves an aerodynamic function.

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2015 Subaru WRX STI

Fortunately, the wing is so tall that you can see clear under it through the rearview mirror.

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2015 Subaru WRX STI

The STI comes standard with a rear camera that activates when reversing, displaying its feed on the upper dashboard display.

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35 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

No other driver aid tech is even available as an option here. I somehow doubt that matters to the performance focused crowd that this car will attract.

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36 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is practically a race car that you can drive to the shops, but I think the standard WRX is probably a more refined daily driver with most of the same performance chops.

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37 of 37 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Subaru WRX STI

It's a little rough around the edges, but the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is still one of our favorite sport sedans. Check out our full review for more details.

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