Subaru Brings Back Legendary Blue-and-Gold Livery but You Won’t See It in WRC
The last time Subaru shone brightly in the World Rally Championship, a scarcely-believable 16 years ago to be precise, Petter Solberg drove a blob-eye Impreza covered in blue and the golden logo of the company to take the world championship home to Norway. Now, those colors are back, but only to Rally America and various Rallycross events that Subaru competes in.
It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally happening: Subaru of America announced that the works racing outfit, Subaru Motorsports will compete in 2019 proudly displaying the classic Subaru World Rally Team colors. The design has been tweaked to keep up with the changes that occurred to the Subaru badge itself but, otherwise, it’s the same livery that was rocked by the GC and GD Imprezas of old.
Watch This Subaru WRX With a Six-Speed, AWD, and Four-Cylinder Break Into The 7’s: Video
Here’s an Impreza that can complete a quarter-mile run in 7 seconds. It’s not the first Impreza to break into the 7-second territory, but it’s the first to do so with a 6-speed manual transmission. Now you’ll understand why they call it the ’White Bullet.’
Can you imagine shifting your way through a manual 6-speed transmission in order to complete a quarter-mile run in 7.96 seconds? It’s hard, especially when you have to contain the might of a +1,000 horsepower AWD Impreza at the same time. But it isn’t impossible as the guys from White Bullet Racing have proved at Maryland International Raceway during the World Cup Finals recently.
Subaru Might Be Planning a Return to WRC With New Hot Hatch
Subaru is one of the most revered names in rallying history and, along with archrival Mitsubishi, has been absent from top-level WRC competition for a decade. Now, however, Japanese sources point to a possible resurgence of the Subaru WRC program.
Subaru built its reputation in rallying over a relatively short period of time. the Subaru World Rally Team was formed in 1989 and was active for less than two decades from that point on. But, in those two decades, Subaru put forth some of the most amazing machines ever seen on the WRC scene and promoted some of the sport’s most beloved drivers with names like Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg immediately springing to mind.
Sadly, Subaru isn’t part of the WRC anymore, although a no-limit rally car based on the Impreza has been seen competing to this day, however, it’s mainly racing in Asia and the Rally U.S.A. series, not in Europe. This is all about to change if rumors regarding a return of the Subaru World Rally Team in 2020 turn out to be legitimate.
Travis Pastrana Goes Full Throttle at Wild New NRX Track
Travis Pastrana didn’t mince his words describing the NRX track, calling it a “hell track for cars.” Pastrana knows a thing or two about hell track for racers. He’s competed — and won — in supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. But even with his accomplishments, Pastrana still paid reverence to the track that will be used in the Nitro World Games by taking us on a flying lap around the circuit.
Watch a Race-Prepped Subaru Legacy Attack a Hill Climb: Video
While the Subaru WRX gets plenty (and I do mean plenty) of love in the performance world, it’s not the only Six Star out there to offer a heady dose of thrills behind the wheel. Take the Legacy RS, a turbocharged AWD slingshot which, properly prepared, can still bring the heat in a major way, as evidenced by this 3-minute, 35-second hill climb video.
The vid includes both exterior shots and interior shots of the Legacy’s run, and provides plenty of pops and bangs through the audio to get your blood flowing.
According to HillClimb Monsters, the channel that posted the video, the Legacy belongs to Damien Bradley from Team Legacy U.K., and comes fresh from the world of time attack competition. Specs include a six-speed sequential race transmission (man, that thing is loud in the interior shots), race-spec six-pot brakes from Alcon, and Nitron suspension bits. Apparently, its also got 700 horsepower thanks to a fully built boxer engine and GT35R turbo, although we think the tune might a bit lower, at least on this particular run.
Either way, seeing this thing scorch its way up the hill is a delight all the same.
Travis Pastrana Sets Mt. Washington Hill Climb Record
Travis Pastrana has accomplished a great many things in his illustrious motorsports career. He’s a motocross champion, an X-Games gold medalist, and a four-time Rally America champion. It’s fitting then that for a man who has accomplished a lot in his career, Pastrana added yet another feather to his cap by claiming the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb record in staggering fashion. With a specially-prepared Subaru WRX STI rally car acting as his stead, Pastrana sped up the 7.6-mile track in 5:44.72.
Pastrana’s record ascent to the summit of Mt. Washington didn’t just break the old record set by David Higgins in 2014. It shattered that 6:09.09 lap time by 24 seconds in one of the most incredible displays of hill climb rallying you’ll ever see. For his part, Higgins also competed in the event and was determined to eclipse his own mark. Unfortunately, his own attempt was derailed after his car went off the road, forcing him to abandon his lap time. It’s easy to feel Higgins’ disappointment in not only failing to finish the climb, but in seeing his record fall. Then again, it still took someone with the skill and experience of Pastrana to lay claim to the lap record of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb. It’s hard not to see Higgins return next year to try to reclaim his record. For now, though, it’s Pastrana who deserves the shine, as well he should considering his latest accomplishment.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Subaru Crosstrek Raced the Baja 500
Subaru is well known for its spectacular AWD rally cars, but the Japanese brand hasn’t been overly involved in Baja-style racing. That’s changed for 2017 and could become Subaru’s newest frontier. Teamed up with the Grabowski Brothers Racing and Crawford Performance, Subaru ran a custom-built Crosstrek in the 2017 Baja 500.
The race took place June 3, 2017 with racers starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja Mexico. In between stood 516 miles of unforgiving terrain where 34 classes of vehicles raced against the clock. The Grabowski brothers, Dusty and Parker, piloted their tube-frame Crosstrek through the desert, powered by a Boxer engine built by Quirt Crawford in the Class 5 category. The Crosstrek is hardly a showroom model. In fact, it shares almost nothing with a standard Crosstrek crossover. A close inspection suggests the door handles might be the only OEM Subaru parts – and even those are bolted to bodywork that isn’t even a door.
Keep reading to see how Team Grabowski and their Subaru Crosstrek faired in the race.
Mark Higgins Smashes Isle of Man Record
Rally driver Mark Higgins has set a new lap record at the Isle of Man TT course, smashing the previous benchmark with a 17:49.75-minute lap and an average speed of 126.971. Higgins drove a highly modified Subaru WRX STI and improved his previous record by a whopping 1:26 minutes and 9.461 mph, respectively.
Unlike last year, when Higgins used a WRX STI closer to production specification, the Prodrive-prepped sedan uses a higher revving, 600-horsepower engine, numerous weight-reducing components, and a WRC-spec gearbox. Also, the beefed-up WRX rides on a bespoke suspension system with Exe-TC dampers and uses a fully flat underfloor, a drag reduction system, and medium-compound Dunlop Sport Maxx slick tires borrowed from a British Touring Car Championship racer.
All told, Higgins’ new Suby is more of a professional rally car than a standard WRX STI, which makes the new record less than surprising.
"I think 125 mph was the dream before the start. I’ve only had one practice run so I’m over the moon to do that on only my second lap and there’s a little bit more to come – definitely from me because I’m learning all the time I go around the track - and there is a little bit more to come from the car as well," Higgins told Manx Radio at the end of his record-breaking, 37.73-mile lap.
The British pilot is set to make two more attempts this week, meaning that the benchmark is likely to see an improvement before the team calls it a day.
Continue reading for the full story.
2016 Subaru WRX STI Time Attack
Earlier this month we brought you news that Subaru was hoping to break the Isle of Man TT record again this year by putting record holder, Mark Higgins, behind the wheel once again. He last broke the record in 2014 using a U.S.-spec 2015 Subaru WRX STI, which shaved 41 seconds off his 19 minute and 56-second run in 2010. For the attempt this year, Subaru is doing something different in hopes that it will give Higgins the ability to tackle the motorcycle track in less than 19 seconds.
The collaboration between Prodrive and Subaru ended back in 2008, but for this record attempt, Subaru has looked to Prodrive once again. This time, the two worked together to build a car specifically for conquering the Isle of Man TT track. When we first dropped this news, the special-made WRX STI had yet to receive its livery on the outside, so it was finished in a boring shade of white. Now, a little over a month before the Isle of Man TT kicks off; we’re finally getting to take a peek at the car with its full livery package.
We’re still betting Higgins will run the course in 18 minutes and 57 seconds, but we’ve still got a little while before we get to see how things really go down. Until then, let’s take a look at the car Subaru hopes to set a new record with and its new livery.
Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI Time Attack.
In 1994, Volvo and Tom Walkinshaw Racing took the motorsport scene by surprise when it joined the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a race car based on the Volvo 850 wagon. Although it didn’t win any races, it performed well and went into the history books as the first wagon to join the series. Ten years later, Honda brought the wagon body style back into the sport by prepping a Civic Tourer. The compact grocery getter won four races and scored another 13 podiums. The Japanese retired the wagon after just one season, but, for 2016, the body style return to BTCC in the form of a Subaru Levorg Sports Tourer.
The sole wagon to take part in this year’s competition will be run by Team BMR, which switched to Subaru after using a race-spec version of the Volkswagen CC in 2015. If you’re not familiar with the Levorg, it’s a midsize wagon developed specifically for the Japanese and European markets. It shares its platform with the more familiar Impreza and Legacy.
Team BMR will join the fight as a constructor team and will bring Subaru as a new manufacturer to BTCC. The newly formed team will go head to head with three other automakers - Honda, MG, and BMW. Team BMR and Subaru have signed a three-year partnership and will enter a four-driver lineup in 2016, including BTCC favorites Jason Plato and Colin Turkington.
"I am extremely delighted that BMR are to become a manufacturer team in only our 4th year of competing in the BTCC, I have had aspirations of becoming a race winning team with factory support from the very beginning and I am immensely proud of the team for giving Subaru the confidence in partnering BMR," said team principal Warren Scott.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Subaru Levorg BTCC.
In "Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure," George Carlin told Keanu Reeves "One great rock song can change the world." Somebody at Sony must have been listening then, because it was only a few years later that Sony/Polyphony released what must be considered "The Dark Side of the Moon" of racing video games: Gran Turismo.
Gran Turismo introduced Americans (and indeed much of the world) to such names as "Skyline," "Evolution" and of course, "WRX." It also sparked a renaissance among the younger generation for road racing, touring car racing, and especially endurance racing. It’s probably no coincidence that almost immediately after the game’s release, the organizers of the Nurburgring 24 Hour race threw open the flood gates to every class and kind of car imaginable.
Fast-forward some 20 years, and we have this: Subaru’s 2015 24 Hour NBR Endurance racer, which looks for all the world as though it were lifted straight from the game consoles of GT fanboys everywhere. There’s little doubt Subie’s making a statement with this one, considering the fact that they’ve unveiled it before releasing the car it’s based on for sale. Slated to race in NBR’s small-displacement/turbocharged SP3T class, the STI is a real contender for outright victory in Audi’s back yard. And you can bet that’s no game to them.
Click "Continue Reading" to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI Race Car.
It’s 2015, which means it’s a brand new season for rally racing across the globe! While that may include the high-dollar hijinks of Sébastien Ogier and the World Rally Championship, you and I can get our own taste of sideways-through-a-forest-with-the-throttle-pinned action with Rally America.
Formally known as the SCCA ProRally Championship, Rally America is the premiere series for anyone in the U.S. looking to make a name in what many consider to be the most exciting sport in the world.
One such individual is the current Rally America champion, David Higgins, seen here showing his skills in the frothy white powder. Hailing from the Isle of Man, this British racing artist dominated the 2014 season, taking first place in every event save one, consequently earning a four-peat championship title.
Other notable drivers include Ken Block and Travis Pastrana. Featuring 13 races on both coasts, plus cars from Mitsubishi, Ford, Volkswagen, Scion, and Subaru, Rally America is every bit as exciting as the WRC. Check the event schedule here to see when you might catch a Rally America car flying through your neck of the woods this year.
First on the docket is the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan, January 30th-31st, where David Higgins will once again return to defend his title in the open class. Expect plenty of slippery conditions and incredible displays of car control.
Click past the jump to read about the Subaru STI.
It’s been less than two days since Subaru smashed its own lap record on the Isle of Man TT road course, and the Japanese automaker improved its benchmark once again. This time, three-time British rally champion Mark Higgins and his modified 2015 WRX STI completed the 37-mile course in 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
The new record represents an 11-second improvement over the previous achievement, which in turn bettered Subaru’s first encounter with the Isle of Man TT course by no less than 30 seconds. What’s more, Higgins completed his second lap with an average speed of 117.51 mph, which translates into a 1.04-mph improvement. Kudos to Mark!
So what’s with Subaru breaking its own record for the second time in just two days you ask? Well, it appears that Higgins was unhappy about several errors he committed during his previous attempt and wanted to give it another go knowing he can get more out for the WRX STI. Turned out he was right and Subaru of America has a brand-new record to brag about.
As previously mentioned, Subaru’s vehicle of choice for this run wasn’t exactly a bone-stock STI. The nippy sedan gained a FIA-approved roll cage, racing seats, improved springs and dampers, a fire-suppression system, and had its wheels wrapped in Dunlop Direzza tires before taking the course. Additionally, the engineers removed the STI’s speed limiter to allow Higgins to charge speed past the 155-mph limit.
Click past the jump to read more about Subaru’s new Isle of Man record.
When it comes to bragging rights attached to production cars, most automakers quote the electrifying Nurburgring lap times achieved by their hatchbacks or supercars. Subaru, however, is taking pride in a benchmark set on course that’s more familiar to motorcycle riders than sharp-witted, fast drivers - the Isle of Man TT road course.
Three years have passed since a 2010 Subaru WRX STI driven by three-time British rally champion Mark Higgins set the car lap record at 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds, and the same team returned to the Isle of Man to improve the benchmark. And Higgins did so by hooning a 2015 WRX STI around the track and past the finish line in only 19 minutes and 26 seconds, smashing his previous record by no less than 30 seconds.
Durring his attempt, the British driver managed to reach an average speed of 116.47 mph and a top speed of 162.9 mph, two figures that are also superior to the ones he touched back in 2011. According to Subaru, the WRX STI used for the record-breaking course is a stock, U.S.-spec model that received some updates, including a FIA-approved roll-cage, racing seats, improved springs and dampers, and a fire suppression system. Additionally, the sedan was fitted with Dunlop Derezza at all four corners and had its speed limiter - normally set at 155 mph - removed.
Click past the jump to read more about Subaru’s Isle of Man record.
Bragging rights are a funny thing when it comes to setting records in the auto industry. Everyone shoots for it and once they achieve it, they try to break their own records in an attempt to become better than...themselves. So excuse Subaru for trying to show that it’s better than what it was in 2011 when it set the four-wheeled lap record on the world-famous Isle of Man TT course. That’s because the Japanese automaker is shooting to break the 19 minutes and 56.7 second lap time it set three years ago with British rally champion Mark Higgins.
Later this month, Subaru will once again go to the Isle of Man, only this time it’s bringing the 2015 WRX STI performance saloon to the record attempt. Common sense suggests that since the old record was set by the WRX STI’s predecessor, the 2015 model should have little problem blowing that lap time record away, right?
Well, it’s still easier said than done, especially when you take into consideration how tricky it is to run through a lap without damaging the car. On that end, Subaru did its part by giving the WRX STI some sturdier safety equipment, including adjusting the springs and dampers, as well as fitting the car with a roll-cage, race harness and fire suppression system.
Preparation’s the easy part, but actually achieving what you set out for is the tough part. Hopefully, Higgins and Subaru get to toast to another year of having the fastest time around the Isle of Man TT course.
Pictured Above is Subaru’s 2011 record-setting run at the Isle of Man.
Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru WRX STi.
Remember that odd Subaru teaser image that we showed you just before the 2014 New York Auto Show? Well, as predicted, this teaser was of the RedBull Global Rallycross car that is set to run in the 2014 season. Too bad though, we were really hoping for a special-edition 2015 Subaru WRX STI, but this is still pretty darn cool.
This rally machine is a unique-looking car that comes with all the bells and whistles of a tried-and-true dirt and gravel tosser. From the custom wide-body to the carbon-fiber, modified STI spoiler to the rally-car-standard roof scoop, Subaru Rally Team USA and Vermont SportsCar spared no expense to make the car as competition-ready as possible.
The interior of the WRX STI has been reconfigured for exclusive rallying purposes, so whatever luxury amenities the car had when it first came to life have been taken out and replaced with a host of racing equipment.So don’t go looking around for an audio system, navigation or a soft-touch dash; this thing is all racer.
Rounding out the rally makeover of the WRX STI is a new set of Method Race Wheels that have been wrapped in the series’ official Yokohama race-spec tires.
The 2014 RedBull Global Rally Championships holds its season-opening race on May 18th. Subaru Rally Team USA is expected to field a strong team with drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen, as well as Travis Pastrana and David Haggins, behind the wheel of the WRX STI GRC this fall.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Subaru WRX STI.
Typically, when you think of a 90-year-old person driving you think of the following: a cushion on the seat so they can see over the wheel, the never-ending turn signal, hard and unnecessary braking, 15-second delays between the light turning green and them pulling away, and taking every small turn as if it were a hairpin turn. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of stereotyping, but we’re going to call it like we see it.
One thing that would likely not cross your mind is a gravel and dirt stomping, tail wagging, rally grandma. Well, you can scratch that one, as we have just come across a video of a 91-year-old lady, who neither looks nor acts her age. She decided to give rallycross a shot and wagged an `ol Suby’s tail all over some gravel and dirt.
Though she looked to be in a subdued panic a lot of the time, she really did a pretty good job navigating the course. Her co-driver was right along with her, guiding her through the course as she went. She does, however, fly off-course at the end. You can actually hear her say “Did I hit the cone.” Her co-driver then jokingly responds “You went off course, which is worse than hitting a cone, unfortunately.”
Okay, maybe she’s not the next Sebastien Loeb, but it still takes a little bit of gall to do what she did, regardless of the fact that she never actually left first gear. Take a look at the video, it’s definitely worth it.
This picture may be a little old — from the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed rally — but it still captures the essence of rally racing. Not only are rallys hard to photograph because of the limited angles you have, but the high speeds and bouncing that the cars do make it nearly impossible.
Well, Kolin Tregaskes caught Colin McRae’s Subaru WRX heading up the Goodwood Forest Rally at the Festival of Speed. Yup, Goodwood has more than just an awesomely technical road course.
You get to see this blue rocket propelling between the trees, likely at speeds most of us would not hot on the interstate, let alone off road. In his trail is nothing but a light cloud of dust.
Even with Tregaskes’ steady hand and likely high-end digital camera, the violent bouncing of McRae’s car still comes through as a light blur. This makes you wonder exactly how these rally drivers can even see the path they are piloting.
Nice grab by Kolin Tregaskes. Make sure to catch his entire Flickr portfolio here to see other great shots.
We all have our own tolerance level for speed and danger, and rally racing is about the limit for most automotive buffs. We see these guys whipping around turns and sliding in loose gravel at speeds best reserved for smooth tarmac and we think “yea, not for me.” All we ever really get to see though is the outside of the car and rarely do we ever get a look at what really goes on inside the car during a live rally.
Subaru rally driver, David Higgins, and his co-driver, Craig Drew, decided it was time to let us in on what it is really like behind the wheel of a 300+ horsepower machine in loose dirt. First and foremost, Craig Drew sounds like he was once an auctioneer, as he quickly blurts out the upcoming turns, and its recommended speed. How exactly he manages to keep an eye on his track notes while flying around turns and bouncing up and down is beyond us.
Secondly, Subaru mounted a forward-pointing camera, so we can see the track live as Drew and Higgins tackle it. Even seeing the video of their running in the Rally America Susquehannock Trail Rally in Wellsboro, PA was enough to make us a little uneasy, so we could only imagine what kind of training both drivers went through to manage to slither down this track that is barely wide enough for a four-wheeler, let alone a rally car, at speeds obviously in excess of 100 mph.
Truly scary stuff. Take a look at the video and see if you could actually handle the craziness that these guys do.
Remember the Formula One wheel that we found in the Enkei booth at the 2009 SEMA Show, well there was one other item on display that was almost as impressive as a 14 inch wide lightweight wheel that is good for turning in at 200 MPH, one of the most aggressive looking Subaru Impreza WRX STi hatchbacks that we have ever seen. Apparently the car was fully built by Design Craft Fabrication for a former motocross race who wanted to trade in his two stroke bike for an all wheel drive turbocharged flat four cylinder STi. With his initial intentions to rally the new Subaru, the exorbitant costs of campaigning a rally car turned his ambitions towards Time Attack on track ambitions.
Design Craft took every opportunity to develop new parts for the customer vehicle, like a V mount radiator and intercooler set up, a set of custom pistons from J.E. to handle the boost generated by a Garrett GT3582R turbocharger and one of the wildest body kits we have ever seen. However there is one piece of the Time Attack STi puzzle that should seem familiar to you, that is if Subaru hadn’t pulled out of World Rally Championship competition. That is because this STi is wearing a legitimate Prodrive WRC wing on the back, and as far as we know it is the only one in America.
For many years the Subaru Technica International team has been the only factory backed racing effort to compete in Japan’s most prestigious form of motorsport when it would team up with the aftermarket parts manufacturer Cusco to campaign an entry into what used to be called the Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship or JGTC. The rules are simple, you need to use the firewall from the factory car, an engine from the manufacturer and that is about it. The race is run similar to an American Le Mans Series race, the competition is broken down into two categories, the bigger GT500 cars are limited to 500 HP while the smaller GT300 class competitors are limited to you guessed it, 300 HP, but they also get to run a few less laps.
Subaru has decided to not only pull the Impreza out of World Rally Championship competition but Super GT as well. At least in this case the Japanese automaker is going to offer a substitution. This Legacy based GT300 racecar looks like a Mercedes Benz DTM car with its wide arches and bright silver paint reflecting the sun during the shakedown run at Fuji Speedway. This is also an advanced look at what the redesigned 2010 Lagacy is going to look like before Frankfurt. The Legacy continues the automaker’s tradition of entering an all wheel drive into the championship, a proving factor for their drivetrain.
Perhaps with this blow, Subaru is only distanceing themselves from their once infamous boy racer image with box fendered and wild winged WRXs being replaced by much more civilized and muscular sport sedans, perhaps next year they will have a WRC Outback.
It is no secret that Subaru Impreza WRX STI is a great performance car being offered by the Japanese manufacturer for a great price. With the company’s recent withdrawal from World Rally Championship competition and absence from the Super GT Japanese racing series, the STI is having a hard time finding a place to shine. So the performance arm of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru Tecnica International, have set out to show the world just how good a car they can make, by building a full on race vehicle out of their factory hot rod.
While most manufacturers test on the Nurburgring, Subaru is sending their car off to the Nordschleife to compete in a 24 hour endurance battle at the Green Hell alongside super cars like the Lexus LF-A, but will compete in the SP3 class with other turbocharged cars that displace 2.0 Liters. This STI’s drivers will not only have to compete against the other entrants in the German race twice around the clock, the ‘Ring itself is a formidable opponent. It is a competitor that will rip you off line and send you flying through the air at 100 MPH in the blink of an eye.
This race spec STI was the result of a concentrated effort of the Japanese racing engineers, have a look at their hard work.
We all know how much the British love their Subarus. So much that they gave the cars a cute nickname. Now owners can show off their AWD Scoobies at the Scooby Sprint Championship, a UK motorsport series developed exclusively for Subarus. The series caters to all levels of competitors, from novice to professional, and from privateers to fully built professional machines. In the end, the champion will be crowned the fastest Subaru in the UK.
More after the jump.