Race-version of the WRX STI Type RA owned the ’RIng

When Subaru revealed the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special back in June 2017, it brought a lot of attention back to the Japanese automaker’s resident performance crown jewel, the WRX STI. Not that it needed to because we all know what the WRX STI is capable of. Still, the Type RA NBR Special isn’t a standard race car even in the traditional sense. It’s capable of a lot more and it proved as much when it lapped the Nordschleife track at the Nürburgring in a staggering 6:57.5 minutes.

Not only did the 600-horsepower sedan racer go under the seven-minute barrier, it did so quite handily, turning in a time that easily eclipsed the previous lap time record held by the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, which posted a lap time of 7:32 in the same course last year. For comparison’s sake, the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special’s pace is almost equivalent to the lap time posted by the Porsche 918 Spyder. The record-breaking lap time will probably not stick in the record books for the simple reason that the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special isn’t a production model the way the Giulia Quadrifoglio is, but let it be said that when talking about the fastest four-door sedan to ever lap the 12.9-mile Nordschleife track at the Green Hell, the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special just made the Giulia Quarifoglio look like a tortoise.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Whether it holds or not, it’s still an incredible achievement

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA High Resolution Exterior
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Subaru actually went to the Nürburgring earlier this year with the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, hoping to set the lap time record for a four-door sedan.

For those who don’t remember, Subaru actually went to the Nürburgring earlier this year with the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, hoping to set the lap time record for a four-door sedan. Instead, it was greeted with a torrential downpour that left the race car unable to even post a sub-eight-minute lap time. But with the summer season in full swing and Mother Nature fully cooperating, the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special finally got a clear track to work with, and it didn’t disappoint.

According to Subaru, the 6:57.5-lap time was set using the track’s own equipment and was verified by track officials. There’s even a video of the lap time that the Japanese automaker plans to release at some point in the near future.

Subaru Reveals Hardcore STI Type RA NBR Special Edition: Video Exterior High Resolution
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The achievement is spectacular for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the car was able to break the record despite only having a little more than 600 horsepower on tap.

In any event, the achievement is spectacular for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the car was able to break the record despite only having a little more than 600 horsepower on tap. It did have a number of components that helped shave off some weight off the car – a carbon fiber roof and rear wing chief among them – but nevertheless, it’s still an incredible accomplishment that should help set the stage for the production-version WRX STI Type RA that Subaru plans to release later in the year.

In fact, Subaru’s product communications manager Dominick Infante alluded to the Type RA NBR Special’s record-setting lap time as a way to hype up the arrival of the WRX STI Type RA. “We brought the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special here to set a record and call attention to the WRX STI Type RA that we will launch later this year,” he said. “The WRX STI Type RA promises a great deal, with improved performance and styling and even better handling dynamics than the current car."

Seems like a good way to get people to start talking about the production version, one that just so happens to have 310 horsepower at its disposal. It’s not much relative to the race-spec version, but it’s still good enough to get people to want one, especially now that people have an idea what it could be capable of achieving under the right conditions.

References

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Subaru WRX STI Type RA.

Press release

Subaru of America, Inc. announced today that the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special set a new lap record for a four-door sedan at the famous 12.8-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife race track, achieving a time of 6:57.5. A video will be released shortly. The time was achieved using the Nurburgring timing equipment and was officially verified by track officials.

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 12.8-mile (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.

Subaru Product Communications manager Dominick Infante commented: "We brought the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special here to set a record and call attention to the WRX STI Type RA that we will launch later this year. The WRX STI Type RA promises a great deal, with improved performance and styling and even better handling dynamics than the current car."

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 25 psi of boost. This produces more than 600 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. Prodrive calculated the top speed at the ’Ring would be 179 mph at 8,500 rpm in top gear. The car has 9-inch-wide slick tires 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.

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