Back when Subaru revealed the WRX STI Type RA, they promised to go for the Nurburgring lap record for the four-door sedan. Now the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special has done it, with a new lap record of going around the 12.8-mile Nordschleife in a time of 6:57.5.
To put things in perspective, the Prodrive spec WRX set the record for the four-door sedan which is on par with the Porsche 918 Spyder’s 6:57. The name Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special may be a mouthful, but fortunately it is not a production vehicle. The car was specially designed to demonstrate the capabilities of Subaru sedan and all-wheel drive system. It is based on the 2017 WRX STI featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged Boxer engine punching out 600 horsepower. The raw power is channelled through Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
This is the same ‘time attack car’ that Subaru used to lap the Isle of Man TT and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. However, to tackle the notorious German track, there is an additional new aero body kit with a large active rear wing for improved handling on the Green Hell. The Prodrive spec adds a full roll cage welded directly onto the WRX STI unibody, turbo running a 25psi of boost, and the car sits on slick racing tyres. The gearbox is WRC spec with automatic clutch bettering the shift times by 20-25milliseconds.
The active rear wing uses similar technology as found in Formula 1 cars. With its combined electric and hydraulic operation, the wing can deploy for full downforce/drag under braking or in fast turns and then open for less downforce/drag on long straights. Prodrive calculated the top speed of 288kmph at 8,500 rpm in the top gear at the ’Ring.
The road going version of the Prodrive spec Subaru is called the WRX STI Type RA (where RA stands for Record Attempt). It will be limited to just 500 examples when it goes on sale later this year. It will be blowing out a little more than 300 horsepower from the 2.5-litre Boxer engine tuned by STI. The six-speed transmission will feature a revised 3rd gear ratio with a short throw shifter. Other specification includes Brembo brakes, carbon-fibre body elements, BBS forged wheels and Yokohama rubber with Bilstein dampers with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension and better engine tuning.
The expertise gained from making this lap record of the Prodrive spec car will help to better tune the road-going version of the Subaru’s performance sedan. Pricing for the WRX STI Type RA is yet to be announced.