ROAD TEST: 2014 Subaru WRX STi aka 'Sandy the sheepdog'

ROAD TEST: 2014 Subaru WRX STi aka 'Sandy the sheepdog'


When I was a lad, within the Lakeland sheep farming village where I luckily spent my youth, there was a sheepdog called Sandy. No idea why, as he was black in addition to white. although he used to follow me in addition to my little border terrier, Amber about everywhere. In rain, snow, hail, sleet in addition to fog, there wasn’t a fell walk he didn’t go on – relentlessly chasing down the rabbits our ratter Amber flushed out, catching them with ease using his extreme power, pace, grip in addition to even the odd-four-paw-drift (a move he perfected in his full-time job as tail-out drifting sheep dog).
in addition to when the long walks were over, he didn’t flop in front of a warm fire like our Amber. Oh-no. He re-fuelled (in addition to boy, did he eat!) in addition to wanted to do which all again, in addition to again, in addition to again. He only had one setting: Mental.
The 2015 WRX STi is actually the machinery re-incarnation of Sandy the sheepdog: Insane, stupidly fast, bionically powerful, never happy at rest, out in all weather in addition to completely loveable, always happiest blasting about on loose surfaces wagging which’s tail… 😉

which’s hard to believe the legendary flat-four Boxer engined, symmetrical all-wheel drive car which launched 23-years-ago in Japan as the Impreza WRX is actually even still in existence in which EV in addition to hybrid car world. which’s a proper relic of a fallen era genuinely. in addition to with Subaru not being within the WRC since 2008 (& even falling out of favour to its nemesis the Mitsubishi Evo on the clubman rally circuit, sadly) in addition to both its most famous British drivers – Colin McRae in addition to Richard Burns – sadly lost coming from the entire world too, which’s not even got a rally heritage to play on anymore. 

although still… people love which.
in addition to why the hell not?
Have you heard one? 
which flat-four, off-beat Boxer burble gets under your skin in a way a great V8 does. which turbocharged, pin you to your seat buzz in addition to the legendary all-weather, all-wheel grip is actually massively addictive. the WRX STi is actually one hell of a cocktail which never fails to hit the spot, like a great zombie or manhattan does.  
in addition to whilst which might not be the special stage winner which once was, which does still do the business in motorsport terms – which has a class win at the gruelling Nurburgring 24-hour which year, in addition to hardcore Isle of Man TT course production car lap record, again. in addition to if those two events don’t prove which the 2014 WRX STi is actually still a properly quick, capable in addition to bionic beast… nothing will. 
The latest 2014 incarnation of turbo nutter WRX STi madness is actually the most capable to date, in addition to comes which has a substantial re-vamp, inside in addition to out. 
Don’t get us wrong, which’s still unmistakably “Impreza” – with its hallmark, bird-sucking bonnet scoop, flared arches filled with gorgeous monster alloys in addition to beefy STi brakes in addition to insanely massive dinner table of a rear wing outside in addition to its tech-laden, bucket-seat-blessed Inner surface. in addition to which’s still a practical performance car too, with room to house 5 adults in addition to all their clobber no worries. Got to love these Subaru hallmarks, right? We certainly do at Road HQ.
although today, for your £28,995, you get a grown-up 33mpg potential coming from the familiar 300 PS in addition to 407 Nm Boxer 2.5-litre lump, which is actually also today able to rocket you to 1mph shy of 160mph in addition to 0-62moph in 5.2s.
in addition to you get the incredibly effective tools of Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) – “letting you adapt the driving character of the WRX STI to your needs or desires.” The three-modes are simple enough: Intelligent Mode [I], for smooth acceleration in addition to an eye on efficiency. Sport Mode [S] for “a linear response, in addition to versatile command of every condition.” in addition to balls-out, hold-on-tight full strength mode within the ballistic Sport Sharp Mode [S#]. 
Then there’s the multi-mode DCCD (Driver’s Control Centre Differential) – allowing you to dial in different diff settings to suit the conditions in addition to your driving style, by adjusting both an electromagnetic multi-plate transfer clutch in addition to mechanical locking of a Limited Slip Differential to apportion the torque to the wheels. Auto Mode finds the ideal power distribution for changing conditions, Auto [+] keeps more power up front for increased traction, in addition to Auto [-] puts more power to the rear for tighter cornering… definitely the best setting to dial-out the WRX STi’s understeer in addition to dial-in some tail out stance, which genuinely suits the AWD in addition to superbly balanced independent double wishbone suspension set-up. 
The symmetrical all-wheel drive, DCCD, electronic mapping in addition to suspension in addition to brake set-up is actually absolute perfection for UK roads in addition to even manages to strike a Great balance between handling prowess in addition to ride quality few softer cars can manage. Brilliant. 
Two fresh in addition to very welcome additions include the LCD display sports gauges within the dash (with their ace ‘sweep’ in addition to light-up sequence when you first get in in addition to useful/adjustable data read out whilst driving) in addition to the top-end multi-fucntion display – full of enough to keep even an avid button pressing Alpha male like me happy, including an addictive digital boost gauge. Fab.
Does the fresh 2014 WRX STi improve the brand? Yup. 
is actually the WRX STi obsolete? Maybe. 
Do we still love which? Definitely. 
which’s genuinely hard not to love a tail-wagging, go-anywhere, fuel-hungry, super-fast in addition to adorable sheepdog like Sandy… 

ROAD TEST: 2014 Subaru WRX STi aka 'Sandy the sheepdog'

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