Subaru U.S. recently announced that the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special set a new lap record for a four-door sedan at the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track. The fastest Subaru sedan ever achieved a time of 6:57.5, verified by track officials, on the challenging German circuit. The WRX STI RA designation stands for “Record Attempt” and has been applied to various Subaru performance models. The original venture took place in 1989 when a competition version Subaru Legacy broke the World Speed Endurance Record by clocking over 99,779 kilometers (62,000 miles) in 18 days and set a top speed record of 222 km/h (138 mph).
The WRX STI Type RA NBR Special was designed to show the capabilities of the Subaru sedan and all-wheel drive. This time attack car has set lap records at the Isle of Man TT, the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb (where it was also 3rd fastest overall) and now it has conquered the 20.6-kilometer lap around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of six minutes and 57.5 seconds, the Prodrive-built time attack car is equipped with a rally spec 2.0-liter Boxer engine and Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
The WRX STI Type RA NBR Special is a custom built race car built by Prodrive using a stock 2017 WRX STI with a full roll cage welded into the standard WRX STI unibody for added strength and stiffness. It has a modified 2.0-liter Subaru WRC-spec boxer motor. It uses a 75-mm intake, and the turbo runs at 250 psi of boost. This produces more than 600 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. Prodrive calculated the top speed at the ‘Ring would be 288 km/h (179 mph) at 8,500 rpm in top gear.
In addition, the car has 9-inch-wide slick tyres all around. It uses a WRC gearbox with an automatic clutch, modified with hydraulics for paddle-shift operation. Shift times are some of the fastest at 20 to 25 milliseconds. A redesigned aero-package, different than last year’s TT car set up, delivers improved handling and top speed on the NBR Special. At top speed the whole package produces about 650 pounds of downforce. The design includes a Drag Reduction System rear wing similar to the technology 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. The driver has full control of the DRS via a steering wheel mounted control taking less than 20 milliseconds to change position fully.
In keeping with ‘Record Attempt’ tradition, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. The new, numbered limited edition model comes standard with a carbon fiber roof panel, the removal of the spare tyre, a carbon fiber pedestal wing and lightweight BBS 19-in. forged alloy wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tyres.
Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the limited edition WRX STI Type RA increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance. The six-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.
Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. Furhermore, the Brembo brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.
The WRX STI Type RA is immediately identified by an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover. An STI front underspoiler has also been added for better stability at high speeds. The exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now come in a black finish. The rear deck lid displays the WRX STI Type RA badge.
In addition to the eye-catching exterior, the WRX STI Type RA cabin features Recaro performance design front seats with red bolsters and stitching as well as an embossed STI logo on the head restraints. The signature red stitching and accent trim is visible throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede for better grip and has a black gloss-finish center spoke insert with STI logo. Push-button start with Keyless Access is also standard equipment. Each of the 500 WRX STI Type RA produced for retail sale has been individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the center console.