Brit-built Japanese saloon shows its stuff at the hallowed track.
The Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special has managed to set a new lap record at the 20.5km-long Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany, in an exercise designed to showcase the virtues of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The special WRX STI managed to get round the ‘Ring in just 6-minutes 57.5-seconds, the fastest ever track time for a four-door saloon car.
To be fair, while the WRX STI in question started out life as the sort of all-paw performance saloon you could go out and buy at a local dealership, it was custom-built and worked over by the performance gurus at Prodrive, a specialist British tuning company that relishes any challenge to make a car go faster. Its transformation into a “time attack car” began with the fitment of a full roll cage welded into the body, followed by modifications to the cars’ WRC-spec boxer engine (intake enlarged, turbo boosted to 250psi).
9-inch wide slicks sit on all four corners, helping the 448kW mill put its power down through a rally-spec gearbox with an automatic clutch, modified further with the help of hydraulics to fit paddle-shift operation. Cogs are swapped in as little as 20-milliseconds. Aerodynamics also played a role in this blistering lap time as well, with revisions carried out after the Type RA had a play at last years’ Isle of Man time trials to aid high-speed stability and handling. 295kg of downforce is generated at top-speed, and the setup includes a drag reduction system wing derived from Formula 1 technology.