Why Was the WRX STI Type RA So Darn Fast?

Recently the Subaru team took their specially made WRX STI Type RA with the NBR Special trim to Nurburgring, Germany and let this car loose at the most famous track in the world. The results of this run at this track was a new lap record in a four-door sedan. The WRX STI was able to finish the lap around the 12.9-mile track in a time of 6:57.50. The question that remains after such an impressive feat is, what makes this car so fast? Let’s take a look at why this car was able to perform this way.

The Wing –The wing of this Subaru WRX STI is a hydraulically activated rear wing to give this car the downforce needed to let it stick to this winding and challenging course. The flap can be adjusted uses a button on the steering wheel or by receiving inputs from the onboard ECU to make sure its always in the right position for the optimal performance.

The Shifter –The shifter used in this car is an H-Pattern model, which is unusual in a Rally car. A sequential shifter may sound great, but when you have the downshift it can be a pain in the rear. The H-patter allows the driver to return from fourth to second while skipping third gear when they need to downshift in this manner.

The Engine –The revving of this engine can reach 600 horsepower at 8500 rpm to exactly match the top speed of this car which is 180 mph. There were times when during this run around the track the car reached as high as 178 mph and 8409 rpm. This is a car that can even find higher revs and higher speeds when needed.

Head Gaskets –When an engine is under the extreme pressure on the track, allowances need to be made for parts that will move around and offer a challenge to the performance. Subaru set this car up to purposely blow the head gaskets in order to control the performance and allow the engine area the freedom of movement needed.

Anti-Lag –This car is one that didn’t have to deal with turbo lag the same way as other cars on the track. The fact that the driver could shift this car as fast as it can make it possible for this car to handle the job of continued acceleration without the restriction of the turbo lag, which means the system of retarding this lag is extremely primitive.

Relocated Aspects –Nearly every part of this car has been relocated to an area that makes it possible for the car to have this run. The purpose of changing where things are and working to pull the weight out wherever possible was to create the perfect balance desired in order to make sure this car could be driven hard and fast and feel right on this track.

Less Paint –In most cars, the paint alone can weigh as much as eight pounds. With a car that’s working to save weight wherever possible, the paint needs to be lighter. The answer is a single coat of paint that barely weighs anything at all. It was just enough paint to give this car a shiny blue color, but that’s all that was put on the car.

Shocks –Because of the 1.2 to 1.3g of force that’s created during a turn in this car, specialized shock dampers had to be created. This new set of dampers allow the pressure to be put on these areas of the car without destroying the shocks. These allow the car the freedom and planted feeling that was needed to get the job done.

Fuel Tank –Even though this car offers us 600 horsepower, it’s not direct injected. This car has a saddlebag fuel tank which allows the delivery to take place the right way so that you can have the capacity needed for the run around Nurburgring. This is a tank that helps get the fuel where it needs to be.

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