STI. Three little letters that can make such a difference for fans of one of the world’s smallest, but most dynamic car companies. Subaru Technica International’s reputation for breeding race-ready excellence was well established in the trenches of the World Rally Championship, and while the automaker might have moved on to new motorsports endeavors, appending STI to the name of one of its most impressive vehicles – the Subaru WRX – is still enough to whip compact car enthusiasts into a virtual frenzy.
The long-awaited 2015 Subaru WRX STI now rolls among us, having debuted at the Detroit Auto Show a few months after its more civilized sibling (the vastly-improved WRX) made a splash in Los Angeles. It’s been an interesting period for the Japanese brand, which has pour substantial development dollars into honing its sports sedan into a far more effective road-going weapon than ever before, while enduring questions about the decision to eliminate the hatchback body style (which enjoyed only a 30-percent take rate amongst STI buyers) retain the previous model’s drivetrain (almost completely intact), and subdue the STI’s typically bombastic styling (it’s, well, rounder).
Controversy only erupts when passions are ignited, and the good news for loyal customers is that the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is deserving of every iota of their sturm und drang. After pushing the car to it’s limit – or maybe, my limit – at Laguna Seca raceway in California, and subsequently hustling it along the divinely twisted roads that ensnare the Monterey peninsula, I can confidently state that there is no disappointment to be had from behind the wheel of this ultra-capable machine.