Subaru is known for producing quality vehicles that are loved by outdoors men and performance drivers alike. Most people don’t know that Subaru is also involved in racing, and all of the track time that they put in is part of why their vehicles end up being so reliable. Subaru was able to compete competitively in the Global RallyCross championship this year, and they took part in the grueling 24H Nurburgring Challenge, showing that they are committed to designing rugged vehicles that can take on any surface.
The Subaru RallyCross Team
Subaru is contantly working to improve their racing team and a few years into serious racing and the team is now at a competitive level with Bucky Lasik as one of their top drivers. Two years of development time went into the Subaru rally cars and that hard work showed with Bucky qualifying for the #2 spot and Isachsen coming up just .4 seconds behind him. The two drivers fought hard throughout the race, dealing with all the challenges that are thrown at rally car drivers, and they managed to bring home the Global RallyCross silver medal for all of their hard work.
Taking on the 24 Hour Nurburgring Challenge
The 15 mile course used for the 24H Nurburgring Challenge has been labeled the Green Hell due to its high level of difficulty and harsh terrain. Over the course of the race day more than half of the cars have trouble making it to the finish line at all, and it’s no wonder. This course is the equivalent of climbing to the top of the Empire State building each time that a driver goes around a lap.
Subaru brought the 2015 WRX STI to the fight and although they worked very hard to maintain a fast pace it was not enough to win them the race. Audi came in first place using a specialized R8 model. One of the biggest problems that Subaru faced was how new their vehicle was. While many of their contendors had already used their vehicle in other races and were experience with them, the WRX STI is a brand new model that was just being broken in a couple weeks before the event. The team took the vehicle through the Laguna Seca course in order to determine the best specifications to set the vehicle at, but they didn’t have enough time to really optimize the vehicle completely.
Impressive Performance for a Production Vehicle
Even though the WRX STI wasn’t able to beat out many of their competitors what the race demonstrates is just how powerful and reliable the WRX STI production cars are. Sure Subaru modified the vehicle, but it’s still built on top of the same basic platform and uses most of the same parts. While many manufacturers were creating specialized vehicles to win the race, Subaru just took one of their stock cars and modified it to optimize it for the course. Their fastest lap of the day was 9:28.960 which translates to an average speed of approximately 100 MPH, which is very impressive for such a difficult course.
Subaru may not be the best racing team out there, and they don’t have a history of racing victories, but they are clearly dedicated toward developing quality performance vehicles, and they aren’t afraid to take slightly modified stock cars out onto some of the most rugged professional courses in the world such as the Green Hell. That should inspire confidence in Subaru owners, and it says a lot about the company’s concern for creating quality vehicles.
The numbers are finally out, Subaru has released pricing information for the 2015 Subaru Outback. The numbers show that prices have gone up, but only slightly. For these slight changes the buyer gets a whole lot for their money. Subaru clearly spent a lot of time upgrading and updating one of their most popular vehicles to make their fans happier than ever.
- Outback 2.5i – $24,895
- Outback 2.5i Premium – $26,995
- Outback 2.5i Limited – $29,995
- Outback 3.6R Limited – $32,995
The 2015 Subaru Outback was built with a more distinctive design. It features more pronounced creases, a more sculpted look, and very prominent fog lights. It’s clear this vehicle is ready for an expedition, but it would look distinctly modern rolling through town as well.
Interior and Design
The all new Outback comes with a number of interior improvements that make it more enjoyable to ride in. The first thing that you’ll notice is that the 2015 model is roomier on the inside, letting rear passengers sit even more comfortable. The interior is also designed to be quieter and comes equipped with a variety of new standard tech upgrades. A 6.2 high resolution touch screen display now comes as the standard way to control your media. This screen is attached to a single disc player, an AM/FM radio, and 4 speakers for surround sound performance. This system supports Aha and Pandora apps seamlessly. It also provides iPod controls, allows iTunes tagging and comes equipped with Bluetooth support, an Aux port and a USB port.
The new Outback doesn’t just look better, it also drives better. A better frame and chassis provides more control and a smoother ride. This vehicle makes it easy to carry heavy loads or most cargo that you can throw at it. Whether you want to bring kayaks to the lake or bikes to your nearest trails just attach them to the racks and you are ready to go. The standard X-mode, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Augmented Symmetrical all-wheel drive all make this hatchback easier to drive.
This vehicle also shifts more smoothly thanks to the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). It also features the highest fuel efficiency levels to date with a combined 28 MPG, 25 in the city and 33 on the highway.
Since you’ll be taking the Outback everywhere it’s important for it to drive safely as well. A slew of safety enhancements make this vehicle safer than it’s ever been. The Eyesight system that is used to spot difficult-to-see vehicles has been enhanced substantially. Now it features improved blind spot detection as well as a more intuitive Rear Cross Traffic Alert system. When you’re about to make a fatal mistake this vehicle is more likely to warn you of the danger and help you resolve the issue safely.
The 2015 Subaru Outback comes with enough enhancements to be considered a noticeable upgrade. For all the additional features and technologies that come along with this hatchback, you don’t have to pay much more money. If you like the great outdoors, take a look at this latest Outback, you won’t regret it.
On June 4, 2014 Mark Higgins used the 2015 Subaru WRX STI to beat his old record for the fastest lap at the Isle of Man TT Road Course. He shattered his record with an average speed of 116.470, up from 115.36 in 2010. His final time for the lap was 19.26 and he stated that a lot of his success can be attributed to the improvements to the car.
WRX STI Enhancements
The new Subaru WRX is equipped with a much better chassis according to Higgins. This gave him an edge in the technical parts of the course, where he states he made the most improvements. This new car is a clear improvement over its predecessor and Higgins believes a faster time could be achieved with it in the future.
Completing a Faster Lap
Higgins stated that he made several mistakes that cost him time while traveling through his record lap. He braked improperly and entered a few corners in a less than ideal position. These are all factors that cost him time and ended up leaving him with a slower time than he knows he could have achieved. For this reason, he believes he will achieve a better time in the future.
Higgins operated a nearly stock 2015 Subaru WRX STI, with a few modifications here and there. It came equipped with improved Dunlop Derezza tires. It also has modified springs and dampers, a racing seat, a harness, and a fire suppression system. Most of the changes made to the vehicle were for safety purposes rather than to boost performance though, and that shows what this little car can really achieve.
Throughout the course drivers travel at between 30 and 160 MPH and the vehicle is pushed to its limits. This just goes to show that the WRX STI is built for performance and a great car to take out on the tracks.
The Excitement of the Race
The Isle of Man TT Road Course features a tremendous amount of variation over its 37 mile circuit. Elevations change rapidly, it switches between town and country roads, and there are nearly continuous surface variations making it a particularly challenging course to go through.
While Mark Higgins still rules the Isle of Man course, it’s clear that Subaru is making improvements on their vehicles. Higgins relied on all the changes and enhancements to get his fastest time yet, and we can only assume that the next model of the WRX STI will come with even more improvements, and maybe a few more broken records as well.
Subaru released the all-new 2015 Outback with a variety of upgrades and changes. They gave it a new look, improved the interior, made it more efficient and gave it more of a luxury appeal as well making it the best Outback to date.
The bold new Outback has an edgy look to go with its revamp. The angles are sharper, the grille larger, and the exterior is just more aggressive than before. The new hexagonal grille connects straight to the bumper giving the front end a large menacing look that’s a nice improvement.
Interior Looks and Gadgets
The new Outback has a revamped interior that’s roomier and more luxurious than previous editions. With approximately three cubic feet of additional space on the interior of the vehicle, rear passengers have more space to stretch out. Thicker armrests, an upgraded 10 way power driver seat and dual climate control all make for a higher ride quality. Additional sound proofing has also been added into the cabin making the ride noticeably quieter.
Additional features have been added into this Outback including Bluetooth integration, a rear vision camera and a high-quality 6.2 inch infotainment system that syncs with your smartphone providing connected apps.
While the new Outback did go up in power a bit, the focus of its latest revamp wasn’t centered around increasing power, but smoothing out its operation and making it more efficient. Both of these goals are achieved by a number of different modifications, one of the most important the CVT or continuously variable transmission that is now standard on all models. This little gem takes worrying about shifting out of the equation and smoothly operates your engine to keep it at the most efficient levels.
With the CVT you gain access to paddle shifters that can be used to exercise additional control over the vehicle while doing things like going down an incline. A grille shutter has been implemented that helps make the vehicle more aerodynamic while traveling down the road. All the improvements in efficiency allow this SUV to burn 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG in the highway, which is right at the top of the range for a mid-sized SUV.
Tech and Safety
The new Outback is fitted with a rear vehicle detection system as well as a blind spot monitor that will let you know when you’re getting too close to someone in your blind spot. The lane change assist helps you safely check your blind spot in mere moments. It scans for vehicles in your blind spots and you’ll get an indicator that you can use to avoid changing lanes if the car detects a vehicle in the blind spot. The Eyesight driver assistance camera has also been updated for improved performance. This helps you avoid issues with traffic out in front of you by applying the brakes and sounding a warning if you get too close to vehicles ahead.
Subaru has released their latest version of the WRX and WRX STI and they deliver on more of what performance drivers love at a lower price. The decreased price of these vehicles makes them into an even greater value for drivers looking for something fast and responsive to drive around. Although the vehicles look close to the same on the outside, many details have been seriously altered behind the scenes.
The WRX has always lagged behind the competition a bit with its interior quality, but it is making up the difference with the 2015 model. Thanks to added interior space and a refined driver’s seat this vehicle is a true joy to ride in. Equipped with Bluetooth, a 4.3 inch multi-information display and automatic climate control the WRX is very user-friendly. The rearview camera makes backing out of tight spaces easier, and the simple layout makes this vehicle easy to drive. The trunk space has been bumped up a bit so you can store a bit more, but this still pales in comparison to the hatchbacks in this class in terms of storage.
If you pick up the WRX or WRX STI chances are it was for the performance because this car is faster than ever before, and has a more highly tuned suspension as well. The first thing you’ll notice is the surprising acceleration. Thanks to the 268 four-cylinder boxer engine this car goes from zero to sixty in under six seconds. The STI steps it up a notch with a 305 HP engine thanks to a turbocharged engine. Either way this car moves quick and it is very responsive with sharp-tight steering. This car grips the road like crazy thanks to the all-wheel drive and its aerodynamic design. It handling is on par with vehicles at twice its price range making it a great bargain vehicle for those who love performance.
A car built to go fast wouldn’t be complete without a comprehensive safety setup, and every WRX has one. With front, side, curtain and knee airbags you are truly protected from every angle. Stability and traction control systems help this already grippy vehicle maintain its hold on the road under extreme conditions. The active front head restraints are designed to diminish the shock and recoil in the rare event of crash.
Both the WRX and the STI version have a lot of power on top of a very stiff and responsive suspension. If you want to feel like you’re in a racecar while driving down windy back roads, or you want a vehicle to take to the track you’ll be satisfied with what this car has to offer. That being said, if you’re just looking for a car to cart the kids back and forth to school and to make it through the morning commute, there are better options for you. For standard driving conditions this car’s suspension is a bit stiff and it can be uncomfortable going over rougher roads. Performance car lovers will enjoy the new WRX, for everyone else there may be better options for your needs.
Subaru has put a lot of time and effort into making their company one of the greenest automotive manufacturers out there today. If you’re interested in getting a vehicle that isn’t as hard on the environment, one of the many PZEV vehicles from Subaru would make an excellent option.
Today only vehicles that meet the most stringent emission standards can be labeled PZEV or part zero emission vehicles, and Subaru makes several different models that meet this standard. Each of these vehicles are designed carefully to burn nearly all of the gasoline that they use, making them the cleanest gasoline powered vehicles in the states. Thanks to the careful engineering of these vehicles, they give off less harmful emissions into the air.
These vehicles come equipped with a 15-year or 150,000 mile warranty covering the emissions system and any possible defects of the system.
In urban areas the exhaust out of a PZEV vehicle may actually be cleaner than the air you’re breathing. That’s because fuel is burnt so completely. On top of having an efficient engine these vehicles also rely on a more effective catalytic converter to convert a higher percentage of harmful gases before they are released from the muffler of the vehicle
On top of following these stringent emission guidelines, Subaru has also created their factory and headquarters into the most efficient automotive facility in the United States. Both the headquarters and the Subaru factory are zero landfill facilities, which means any waste produced during vehicle production is either reused for a different purpose or sent to be recycled. Subaru was the first automaker to start operating a zero landfill factory leading the way for other automakers in the industry.
If you want to get a new vehicle that’s more environmentally friendly keep Subaru in mind. Their commitment to green technology is inspiring and hopefully a trend that other automakers will follow in the future.
Last week, Subaru introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy which delivers a more compelling blend of standout features, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment and still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard.
Watch the following video as National Manager, Product Communications, Dominick Infante takes us through an in-depth overview of the changes and improvements made to the 2015 Subaru Legacy:
We previously brought you a post about the debut of the 2015 Subaru WRX STI at this year’s North American International Auto Show. Today, Subaru USA National Manager, Product Communications, Dominick Infante goes over some of the design highlights and performance features of the WRX STI for 2015 in the following video:
If you were impressed by it before, you will be surely impressed with Subaru’s next generation EyeSight™ system. The current generation earned the highest rating given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), superior, when the IIHS conducted its first test of accidence avoidance technology last year. The incoming generation now features color stereo cameras that deliver approximately 40 percent longer and wider detection range, brake light detection and can now fully function when the speed differential between the EyeSight equipped car and another vehicle is up to 30 mph, up from 19 mph.
The new color cameras were developed by Subaru and now functions more smoothly and has a quicker reaction time. The EyeSight system’s housing is now also 15 percent smaller and, similar to the current generation, is mounted on the upper edge of the windshield, reducing potential damage than if it were a bumper-mounted system. The system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight computer, which is also networked with the car’s braking system and electronic throttle control. The EyeSight system is also capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle’s path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid a collision. Under certain circumstances, the system is able to bring the car to a complete stop.
The EyeSight system integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and vehicle lane departure warning. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is intended for freeway use and can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking or accelerating the car to maintain the driver-selected target and traveling distance. Operating from 1-90 mph, the system can fully bring the vehicle to a stop if the system “locks on” to a vehicle ahead. ACC also assists the driver in stop-and-go traffic by maintaining distance from the vehicles ahead.
The Pre-Collision Braking System can detect vehicles in the car’s path and, if the driver has not applied the brakes, the system can do so to slow the vehicle or bring it to a full stop to help avoid the potential collision. The system can be turned off temporarily for off-road or rough road travel. Lane departure warning monitors traffic lane markers and lines and can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or begins to sway within the travel lane. Using the turn signal cancels the warning.
Combining safety and convenience features, the Subaru EyeSight system is one of the most affordable crash avoidance technologies available in the U.S. market. On sale for almost two years in the U.S. the system has been widely praised by safety experts and customers. Research shows that nine out of ten Subaru customers who purchased the EyeSight system would recommend it and more than half say the system has helped avoid an accident.
Also debuting in Subaru models later this year are three additional technologies; blind spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. These new systems will be introduced on Subaru’s product line-up starting in 2014.