DETROIT – Subaru takes the wraps off its highly anticipated next-generation WRX STI by announcing a 1,000-unit limited-edition run of the high-performance model.

The WRX STI shown today at the 2014 North American International Auto Show here is a “Launch Edition” grade, part of a 1,000-unit run and painted blue with gold-painted 18-in. alloy wheels.

The Launch Edition grades also get keyless access, a short-throw shifter and a blue-and-black interior in lieu of the standard red-and-black theme.

All ’15 WRX STIs carry over the previous generation’s 305-hp 2.5L turbocharged boxer 4-cyl. engine, making the same peak torque of 290 lb.-ft. (393 Nm) at 4,000 rpm.

Based on the ’15 WRX, the STI has a new, 4-door wide-body design with a stiffer chassis that Subaru says improves handling.

Active Torque Vectoring, which can improve cornering by applying brake pressure to the inside front wheel, is added for the ’15 STI. Carryover technologies include stability control and traction control.

A Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential, with planetary-type differential gears with a nominal 41:59 torque split, also carries over for ’15, Subaru says.

Extending the wheelbase of the new WRX by 1 in. (25.4 mm) gives the WRX STI a roomier cabin than before, and adds 2 ins. (50.8 mm) of legroom.

New for ’15 is welcome lighting as a driver approaches the car, as well as a flat-bottom tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated controls for Bluetooth and audio functions.

A new 3.5-in. (88.9-mm) LCD screen in the gauge cluster displays selected gear and low oil-level warning.

As with the new WRX, the STI gets upgraded interior materials, with soft-touch covering the instrument panel and center-console armrest.

A new 4.3-in. (109.2-mm) LCD screen on the center stack transmits the standard rear-camera view, as well as boost-gauge display and traction-control operation.

A new 6-speaker audio system has HD Radio, iTunes tagging, is SiriusXM-ready and has both a USB port and auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional for the ’15 STI is a 6.1-in. (155-mm) LCD touchscreen with navigation. Buyers selecting the Limited grade get leather-trimmed upholstery and a harman/kardon premium audio system.

Heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors are standard for all ’15 WRX STIs.

Subaru doesn’t give a release date for the car, but reports suggest a summer-2014 debut in the U.S.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com