Subaru has asked Subaru Tecnica International (STI) to go farther with its performance outputs, calling for limited editions of a WRX STI Type RA for the Impreza line and a tS for the BRZ. Both are due early in 2018.
The RA designation is not new to Subaru, standing for “Record Attempt” and having been applied to various performance cars over the years, starting back in 1989 with a first-generation Legacy created to break the FIA World Endurance Record (it completed 100,000 km in 447 hours, 44 minutes and 9.887 seconds, running at an average of 223.345 km/h).
A special WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will take on the Nürburgring this summer in a speed record attempt this summer. The 500 limited edition units of that car will commemorate the event.
The Type RA betters the WRX STI with weight reductions (through a carbon fibre roof panel and rear wing, 19-inch forged alloy BBS wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tires and the removal of the spare tire) and engine upgrades.
Power continues to be supplied by the 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, but horsepower has been boosted to 310 (from 305) through the use of a new cold air intake, stronger pistons, retuned ECU and high-flow exhaust. The 6-speed manual transmission features a revised middle gear to better use the meat of the torque curve.
Handling has been enhanced through Bilstein-damped inverted front struts and rear double wishbones. A revised Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) offers better stability control (with stability aided also by a new front underspoiler), while silver finished Brembo calipers pinch cross-drilled rotors for better heat dispersion.
Inside, there are Recaro performance front seats with red bolsters, STI headrest script and stitching to match the exterior’s accent trim around the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover.
The Ultrasuede grippy steering wheel has a gloss black centre STI-logo insert to match the exterior’s mirrors, shark-fin antenna and STI fender badges. And, of course, there’s the customary limited-edition number plaque (mounted on the center console).
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.
The 2018 BRZ tS features an STI-tuned suspension to enhance its already fine manners. Enhancements include front and rear SACHS dampers and springs, flexible underhood V-braces, draw stiffeners added to chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response, and for the first time, 18-inch wheels (STI signature wheels with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires to improve grip. Brembo brakes provide the stopping power.
Spoilers all around help direct airflow around, over and under the car, while an exclusive manually-adjustable carbon fibre rear wing provides downforce
Like the Type RA, the BRZ tS has red accent trim front and rear, and gloss black trim pieces and badges. The interior is similarly appointed, with black leather and Alcantara upholstery accented with red stitching, complimented with red leather bolsters and seatbelts. Unique items include the frameless rearview mirror, cluster hood and door panels, while the centre console is cast black.
Both cars will be painted in Subaru’s famous WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica or Crystal White Pearl.