• Standard 6-speed manual or available CVT
  • Torque vectoring for improved handling
  • Standard, Premium and Limited trims

Subaru shared further details on its upcoming redesigned WRX that debuted recently at the L.A. Auto Show. Built on a new, stiffer platform than its predecessor, the 2015 Subaru WRX also receives a more powerful engine, a standard 6-speed transmission or an available CVT and a torque-vectoring system aimed at improving handling. The WRX will be available in three trim versions: standard, Premium and Limited.

Only the mid-range Premium and top-trim Limited versions will offer the 2-pedal CVT option. Those who choose the transmission Subaru calls "Sport Lineartronic" can still select gears using steering-wheel-mounted switches in either the 6-speed or 8-speed mode. Drivers can also choose a Sport Sharp mode, which doesn't require driver input but simulates the discrete gears of a conventional automatic.

For drivers who prefer the performance of a manual transmission, the new WRX offers one more ratio than the 5-speed in the 2014 WRX. Along with the new, 268-horsepower turbocharged engine, the standard 6-speed should help the redesigned WRX achieve quicker acceleration and better fuel economy than its predecessor, too.

Several changes are designed to improve handling. Subaru stiffened the body of the WRX with more high-strength steel, and the larger front brakes are designed to reduce stopping distances. A new torque-vectoring system uses those front brakes to reduce understeer, the handling condition in which the front of the car plows forward instead of following the driver's intended line.

While the current WRX is a 5-door hatchback, the 2015 model is strictly a 4-door, at least for now. Subaru has not yet announced pricing, but the specifications reveal that drivers looking for performance at a value price will be pleased. All the sporty bits come standard on the base car, while the Premium and Limited models mostly add comfort and convenience features such as heated seats, navigation, a moonroof and leather.

What it means to you: For those seeking performance, the 2015 Subaru WRX offers a 268-hp turbocharged engine, a standard 6-speed manual transmission and a torque-vectoring system. For those seeking comfort, a CVT and features such as leather and navigation are available on the Premium and Limited trims.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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