Friday, November 29, 2013

'15 WRX Details

In the wake of the unveiling on November 20th at the LA Auto Show, Subaru has been releasing more details on the new 2015 Subaru WRX.  Below is the latest of that information, including a digital brochure with statistics, options for the trim packages, and comparisons to other vehicles it competes with.  Many of the options remain the same as what was offered on the previous model, but there are some noticeable additions to this 4th Generation WRX that should get some attention.

  • 268-hp turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER® engine
  • Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • High-performance suspension
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) with Active Torque Vectoring
  • 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 6-speaker single-CD audio system with HD Radio®, SiriusXM® Satellite
    Radio, USB port/iPod® control, Bluetooth® connectivity and 3.5-mm
    auxiliary jack
  • Automatic climate control
WRX PREMIUM includes WRX key features and adds:
  • Available Sport Lineartronic™ Transmission with 6- or 8-speed manual mode and paddle shifters
  • Power-tilt/sliding moonroof
  • Fog lights
  • Trunk spoiler
  • All-Weather Package
  • Optional Equipment
  • Navigation System Package with Aha™ Infotainment and Harman Kardon Speaker System
WRX LIMITED includes WRX Premium key features and adds:
  • L.E.D. headlights with auto-on/off
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • 8-way power driver's seat
  • Welcome lighting
  • Optional Equipment
  • Navigation System Package with Aha™ Infotainment and Harman Kardon Speaker System
  • Keyless Access & Start

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Flaps!

The Gorilla Off-Road Company is having their first-ever Black Friday Deal on their Mud Flaps/Gravel Guards will be available all day (midnight to midnight - Mountain Time) on Friday, November 29, 2013.  Quality mud flaps usually run $125-$145, so getting a set for under $100 is pretty nice.  Check out the prices and models they're available for!
  • United States = $89.95 shipped
  • Canada = $99.95 shipped
  • International = $114.95 shipped
They're available in the following models
  • 1993-2014 Subaru Impreza (all - US)
  • 1998-2014 Subaru Forester (all - US)
  • 1995-2009 Subaru Outback/Legacy (all - US)
  • 2013-2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek
  • 2003-2006 Subaru Baja (all - US)
For more details or to order yours (gotta wait until Friday, though!) visit their website.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

WRX in Action (Updated)

Saw this video at the Unveil on Wednesday and couldn't seem to find it until now.  Excited to see the WRX still handles dirt just as well as it handles asphalt.

Mixed reactions on the bodystyle are expected, but I'm more excited to see how it drives.  If it's anything like what we've seen in the unveil, it's gonna be a blast! That Torque-Vectoring system, and limits under steer and wheel slippage, should make things pretty fun!  Video link is after the jump.

EDIT:  Click here for Digital Brochure Link

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Radio Swappin

A good friend of mine has a 2011 WRX that he's always tinkering with.  Well, today I was surprised to hear he needed my help... only to realize that I probably need the help of the community to get him the right answers.  This is where you come in.

It's no trade secret, the stock radio in the WRX is pretty weak.  However, Subaru has recently been making some nicer radios that have frequently been swapped into other vehicles.  In this case, my friend has tracked down an HD Radio w/Satellite option from a 2013 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited.

The radio will hook up directly to his existing hardware BUT it only has a Satellite button, no receiver.  Part of the reason he sought out this radio was to take advantage of the ability to have that feature integrated into his radio instead of using an external device, like he has now.  The trick is: to add the Sirius Radio Kit from Subaru to his WRX, does he need the part for the HD/SAT Radio for the 2013 Forester?  Or does he need it for a Standard/SAT Radio for the WRX?  Part numbers for both are below.

H621SSC300 - Forester HD/SAT Kit
H621SSC001 - WRX HD/SAT Kit

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday Wheelin

Had some GREAT turnout for this last week's meet on Wednesday.  Every week at 6pm a buncha Subarus pull up to the dealership and this week... "a buncha" meant 15, which is quite the feat for a weekly meet.  Usually we have between 3 and 5 cars, so I was pretty excited to see triple the usual turnout.

There was an interesting mix of cars there, too.  Mostly 3rd Generation Imprezas and WRXs... and mostly hatchbacks for that matter.  There were some older models mixed in, a '98 Legacy, '00 RS, and an '02 Forester as well as a newer '13 Legacy (ironically, all Silver) that made it out, too.  Once we left the dealership, we decided to get food at a local Chinese Buffet and lined 'em up in the lot there.  We choose a different location to go get food every week, so it's nice to change things up.  

Usually we don't enjoy turnout of this size unless it's the warmer summer months, so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a strong showing despite the colder weather.  I already look forward to Wednesday Evenings thanks to this meet, but it's nice to get a surprise with turnout like this.  Met some new folks and reconnected with long-time friends.  Just an all-around good time... and just the reminder this group needed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unveil Time!

I''ll update this post as more information becomes available.  Live feed starting at 12:30 CST link is >>HERE<<

10:30am CST - We're 2 hours away from it, but we've got a sneak peek at whats under those veils.  Crystal White Pearl and either a Dark Gray or Black one in the background.  Both are WRXs, no STi at this point.  Looking mean!

11:30am CST - Pictures have been flying around earlier today.  Just thought I'd update with links to those.  Photos are of a WRX Limited in Lightning Red.  Interior photos with a decent shot at what the seat design will be.  Also a video walkaround of that white one pictured above.

12:30 CST - WRX unveiled!  Fooled me, thought it'd be the white one pictured above.  The unveiled WRX is the Lightning Red format, which was also right next to the Legacy Concept.  The new 2015 Legacy will come out summer of 2014, so we'll probably see the unveil of that redesign in the Spring, much like when we saw the WRX Concept this past year.

Styling notes aside, there's a lot more under the hood on this.  While HP has only increased to 268, torque takes a bump to 258.  There are also carbon mesh synchros on 1st and 2nd gear that are a welcome improvement in this new 6-speed Manual Transmission.  Oddly enough, the SI-Drive in the WRX is only available in the High-Torque CVT option (automatic), but from the demonstration video, there looks to be plenty of fun to be had in this car.  Exhaust note sounds nice, too!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Day

There they are!  Two 2015 Subaru WRXs waiting for their unveiling at the LA Auto Show tomorrow!

Dealerships will be participating in the launch for this car from the Touchscreens on their showrooms for a live feed of the unveil.
"At 10:30 am PST (1:30 pm EST/12:30 pm CST) on the day of the reveal (tomorrow), the Subaru Digital Showroom touch screen will be completely taken over by the live reveal of the 2015 Subaru WRX from the show floor. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes, after which the touch screen will return to normal functionality. Directly following the live feed, the 2015 Subaru WRX walk-around video will be available in the Video Library and a promotional spot will run. In addition, a preview section for the new vehicle will be introduced in December. "
Also, this chart from Jalopnik outlining all the details of the MY2015 WRX unearths a few more details.  CVT will be an option for the WRX, the STi is getting a 2.5 instead of a 2.0, and some nice options to choose from.  Everything from harmon kardon audio to Gold BBS wheels with a special blue-bolstered "Launch Edition" interior.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunset Hunting

It's always fun when you have a car that can go where you want to without having to worry what the road conditions will be like.  In most cases, when you're on the hunt for a killer shot of a Sunset, there's clouds in the area that are often the aftermath of rain that had fallen shortly before.  So if you're trying to find that perfect angle before the sun dips below the horizon and the colors have faded from the canvas clouds above it, a mud-ridden dirt road or a washed out gravel avenue can't get in your way.

This All-Wheel Drive that grants me the worry-free confidence to make it to the top of that slippery ridge in time to catch those colors at their peak is at the core of this car.  Last week, the star of the photo was the sunset I managed to find in northern Iowa... but the co-star was the Impreza 2.5 RS that got me there.

When I want to visit my fiance in the middle of a blizzard, when I need to get back into town on time when the wind is whipping other cars around on a rainsoaked highway, that Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive isn't invincible... but it's pretty close.  Sure it's fun to go hooning around in an unplowed parking lot full of snow or to tear through mud like David Higgins, but the practical application is always what you appreciate the most, even if you don't realize it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NSOC Fall Meet

Had a great time at the Nebraska Subaru Owners Club Fall Meet on Sunday!  Great turnout, wonderful weather, fun cruise route, and a good time grilling up some food at my place afterwards with the few folks who stuck around.

Things started off at Stan Olsen Subaru at 2pm on a Sunday.  The dealership was closed, so we weren't in anyone's way to meet up with all the other cars that showed up.  Some folks could only stay for a little bit, so we walked around and caught up with friends while we waited for others to show up.

I think the final count of folks who showed up to the dealership was 28, which isn't bad at all!  Last year's event saw just shy of 40 cars, but there was a car show, prizes, and free food to help lure in interest.  This year, we didn't quite have the resources to plan something as coordinated as last year's event, but I was still very happy with the results.  New owners and long-time veterans got together in the unseasonably nice weather for a little while, surrounded by shiny new Subarus.  It was quite the sight.

We disembarked for our cruise route with 23 cars, which rolled north through some twisty turns and scenic overlooks.  Wind and colder temperatures earlier in the week had stripped some of the colors off the trees, but it was still a pretty run.  It's one of my favorite routes anyways, so I wasn't complaining.

I had some not-so-usual Enkei RPF-1 wheels with Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 tires hugging the road that were fun to ride on.  They're off of Aki's GC4, which got parted out when a Cadillac DeVille decided to end it's excellent Autocrossing career.  Figured I'd run on them "in memory" of that car... but mostly because I thought it'd be fun.  Regardless, it was a good excuse to feel the grippy goodness this AutoX setup was happy to provide.

Afterwards, a bunch of us headed over to my home to grill up some Burgers & Hot Dogs.  We also had Root Beer Floats and S'mores to round out a full-course meal of excellence.  It was great talking cars, relaxing, and sharing great food with friends in my basement.  The event worked out much better than I thought it would.  Plenty of people, a flawless run through our cruise route, and then just finished things off hanging out with everybody at my home.  Somewhere between the Dealership and the last s'more, I remembered why I love this group and the Subarus that have brought us together.

Double U.R. Ex

This morning, Subaru of America teased WRX fans with a 7 second front-end teaser shot of the new MY2015 WRX that will be coming to us in 2014.

The 4th Generation Subaru WRX will open ordering in the first quarter of 2014, so by the 20th of this month, fans will be able to see what they're getting themselves into.  

Information up until this point has been sketchy at best.  The WRX Concept that was unveiled last Spring gave us some clues, that it'll still share some bits with the 4th Generation Impreza and that there will only be a sedan version of this vehicle... at least for now.  Rumors of the Hatchback being released in Japan only have been surfacing, but in the next few days, Subaru will be stamping out much of the speculation with some long-anticipated facts about this car.

The new WRX will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 20th.  Local Dealerships with the touch-screen displays will have a live feed of the release, as well as press on the SoA website and Facebook page for this exciting release!  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

RS Revival - Digging In

Took the RS into Russ' Garage today and did a compression test on the EJ25... with not so fun results. Evidence of trouble was already afoot when the spark plugs were removed (we were replacing them anyways). Spark Plugs #1 thru #3 were coated in white ash, a sign of the car running rich, which I already expected. It's #4 that has me worried, which is pictured to the left.

Essentially, the results showed almost no compression for our friend #4. There's also a gasoline smell in the oil. It's still burning it's way through that oil, too. Cyl #4 is expressing an extraordinary amount of leakage into what sounds to be the crank case. Could be piston rings. Could be intake or exhaust valves. Because the sound during the compression test was in the case, out of the oil filler neck, not out of the exhaust pipe, there's more evidence pointing towards ringlands.

We could check the valve "lash" or clearance and see if the valve train is hanging up on that side. However, the condition of the Spark Plug in Cyl 4 leads us back to ringlands.

When I decided to tackle this car, I was alright with the condition of the body and interior, the mismatched wheels, the missing exhaust, the shot suspension on the RS. All I was really banking on was the motor and transmission being alright. It's not a death certificate by any means, just a little frustrating at first. It's another speed bump, but it's also another great set of stuff I'm learning on this car. Still makes it fun and the results of the work put into it are enjoyable.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weather Testing the TMCAI

Probably the most frequent (and only) concern I hear and read about with a Top-Mounted Cold Air Intake is hydrolock.  Essentially, the worry is that this system will invite water to soak into the air filter and leak directly into the manifold, causing a whole slew of problems for the engine.  As such, this car will sort of be a Mythbuster, taking those concerns in mind as I drive it through different weather conditions.  The setup I have on the RS uses a 45° Pipe connecting the air filter box to the manifold with a K&N Air Filter on it.  I recently cleaned and recharged the filter shortly after switching to this setup.

The past week that this setup has been on the car, it has been rainy and windy, so conditions have been good to check and see if the worries folks had before would hold up.  In the rain, I took the RS up to 70 mph on the highway and then checked the system upon arriving home.  The filter was slightly wet, but the box and manifold were bone-dry.  There were no signs of any leaking through the filter after a 15 minute trip.  When it was windy (gusts up to 40 mph) I drove through lots of dust and leaves on some fun roads.  There was a wall of dirt getting blown around on a wide-open field that had been hit hard by a flood some time ago.  The silt still sat on it like a desert and wind was blowing the sand 30 feet up in the air.  Again, checked the filter, checked the intake, and things were still working well.

I'll keep checking things out as I drive the RS through more Subaru-worthy weather.  So far, looks like I'm busting this myth.