Subaru and Prodrive have accomplished an astonishing record for the brand, and automotive history. Yesterday, June 21st 2017, Subaru beat their 7 minute target of a lap around the Nordschleife with a blisteringly quick time of 6m57.5s. The driver, Richie Stanaway, thereby set a track record with his Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special by completing the lap faster than any other 4 door saloon. Perhaps most astounding is the fact that this lap time is on par with the Porsche 918 Spyder (which ran a 6m57), a full-fledged hypercar worth north of 1 million euros. The previous record holder in the 4-door saloon category was the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio with a time of 7m32s. The Type RA shorten this time drastically.
RA stands for record attempt, and everything about the car screams its fierce competitiveness. Together with the British motorsport company Prodrive, Subaru built the Type RA NBR Special to have over 600 horsepower at 8,500, and a sequential transmission with an automatic clutch that shifts in 20 to 25 milliseconds. The engine was the tried and tested rally-use 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four, propelling the car to a max-speed of 290 km/h on the ring. The car also featured some serious aerodynamic design, providing up to 300 kilograms of downforce at full speed. Combine this with an active rear wing to reduce drag at the push of a button, and it becomes clear how a sedan managed to set a sub 7-minute lap time.
A domesticated version of the Type RA NBR Special, the WRX STI Type RA, will be for sale, limited to 500 examples. This road legal Subaru will offer 310 horsepower, cold air intakes, STI drivetrain, and improved suspension. Lightweight construction will not be as radical as its the record-holding cousin, but will still be prominent throughout the car. Together with visible aerodynamic tweaks, the car will also feature a carbon fibre roof. Pricing has yet to be disclosed.