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Test Drive - 2015 Subaru Impreza STi

Test Drive - 2015 Subaru Impreza STi

The Subaru Impreza STi has a reputation for being one of the world's fastest road and competition cars. This reputation has been built since the Impreza's birth in 1992 with already established credentials from the successful Legacy RS. The forth generation of Impreza STi has been exciting Subaru Docklands' customer's since April this year. The STi Melbourne facility offers expert advice on current and past models. "This new model has created a lot of interest", says New Car Sales Manager Dale Baxter. "Its an exciting design and the price point is even more exciting". With so much good press, especially on its radical styling, I certainly looked forward to the opportunity to drive and photograph this new STi.

The aggressive front styling and sloping a-pillar gives the car a very athletic appearance. The pumped wheel arches similar to the current generation of Liberty/Legacy give the impression the wheels are small-ish. But they are more than adequate for performance and this is just a visual impression. I will leave further thoughts and comments on styling to you. I want to tell you about the actual driving experience.

Keyless Start Entry is one of the first functions I'm delighted to use and I haven't even sat inside yet. With the key fob still in my pocket I grip the handle and the doors unlock. I enter and take seat. I don't waste time in pressing the start button. The engine starts and rumbles, idling in its characteristic boxer engine note, though it's fairly conservative and not loud.

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I notice how comfortable the seats are. They're less aggressively 'competition' styled as in previous models and more forgiving for the wider back side. Not that it's an issue for me as I'm fairly narrow. The seats are also softer than the previous model's and feel they'd be comfy over a long period of driving, even just for a daily commute. As I roll through the car park before getting to Lorimer Street I am reminded of the stiff STi suspension. The shock absorbers, springs and rear cross members are stiffer than previous models.

First impressions of engine response are above expectations. This thing is quick. Regrettably I cant take it anywhere near its limit of performance on the public roadway, but at least its fun to give it squirts for a few seconds at a time. Zipping off from the traffic lights, the tacho needle hits redline in a second and I'm already at the speed limit in 1st gear. Even though I've instinctively thrown it into 2nd, its time to slot into fourth and roll along. Torque is on tap like a high pressure hose, making it a pleasure to drive in traffic not having to change gears often.

Soon after stomping on the accelerator pedal each time a beeping sound comes from in front of me. Every time I press the fun pedal this beep arrives so soon. I know that it's the shift indicator audio, which is kind of handy, but it sounds so often because the engine is so responsive. Even from fourth gear at 60kph, pressing the fun pedal carries the car quickly ahead.

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The brakes feel solid with little pedal travel, telling me these pads can squeeze the discs all day at a race track. I wish for a closed windy road ahead. On the twisty's the STi's hydraulic quick rack (13.0:1) is direct and precise. This is one of the many performance differences compared to the WRX.

Three differentials transfer the power to the road precisely, with a helical in the rear and TORSEN in the front fed by the electro-mechanical centre. And YES! Of course this new model retains the centre diff adjustment in the centre console. For the first day of my test drive I leave the selection in Auto as I allow myself some familiarity but after I was comfortable with the way the car behaved, and in a safe place to do so, I tried a number of standing starts with the centre diff biased from front through to the rear. Its a novelty to play with. Then it soon hit me just how this technology in competition context can change a timed run or lap time as effectively as a tyre change could.

This car is overall very comfortable for daily commuting and can easily be your weekend track warrior. High levels of performance: engine, gearbox, brakes, steering, all-wheel-drive with a centre diff control for front-rear bias. Fine level of comfort: Keyless Start Entry, softer and less aggressive seats and the ultimate 5 star ANCAP safety rating. With current pricing its no wonder why this car is causing such excitement at Subaru dealers across Australia. To experience this machine for yourself contact Dale at Subaru Docklands.

 

Want to read about my drive of the Subaru BRZ S?

Click here> Agressive, not offensive! Test drive of the Subaru BRZ STi.

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