Subaru has recently taken the wraps off two new performance models based on the WRX STI and BRZ called the Subaru WRX STI TYPE RA and the Subaru BRZ tS. Each vehicle is limited to 500 units and is expected to arrive at U.S. retailers in early 2018.
WRX STI Type RA
The RA designation stands for “Record Attempt” and has been applied to various Subaru performance models. The original venture took place in 1989 when a competition version Subaru Legacy broke the FIA World Speed Endurance Record by clocking over 62,000 miles in 18 days and set a top speed record of 222km/h. Furthering this spirit of endeavor, a special race model WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will attempt a Nürburgring speed record later this year.
The 2018 WRX STI Type RA delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. The vehicle comes standard with a carbon fiber roof panel, the removal of the spare tyre, a carbon fiber pedestal wing and lightweight BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tyres.
Powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged Boxer engine, the limited edition WRX STI Type RA increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance. The 6-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.
Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. The Brembo brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.
The WRX STI Type RA is immediately identified by an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover. An STI front underspoiler has also been added for better stability at high speeds. The exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now come in a black finish. The rear deck lid displays the WRX STI Type RA badge.
In addition to the eye-catching exterior, the WRX STI Type RA cabin features Recaro performance design front seats with red bolsters and stitching as well as an embossed STI logo on the head restraints. The signature red stitching and accent trim is visible throughout the cabin. 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 has been individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the center console.
BRZ is renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precision handling, and the new BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-inch lightweight STI wheels (the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels) mounted with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres for superior grip and quicker turn-in. Brembo brakes at all four corners round-out the package.
The exterior also adds a more aggressive look with an exclusive STI rear carbon fiber spoiler. The spoiler is manually adjustable to fine-tune rear downforce. The addition of STI front, rear and side underspoilers helps control airflow for better traction and stability.
The BRZ tS is also adorned with an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around the front grille and unique rear bumper cover. The rear hatch displays the official BRZ tS badge. The exterior foldable mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna, BRZ and SUBARU badging all have a black finish. Also, the fog lights have been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers.
The cabin features black leather and Alcantara upholstery with contrasting red stitching and accents throughout the interior, including steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, shifter and emergency brake boots. Front seats have red leather bolsters and the seatbacks are embroidered with the tS logo. The visor over the gauge cluster is unique to this model, as is the interior door trim. The center console has been updated to a cast black finish. The BRZ tS also comes standard with red front seat belts and a frameless interior rear view mirror.
Both the WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS will be available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl colour.