2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA unveiled
Teased earlier this month, the wraps have now come off the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA. That designation stands for Record Attempt and reflects the car’s relationship with a WRX STI Type RA NBR Special that will try to break the existing lap record for production-based 4-door sedans later this summer at Germany’s famed 13-mile Nürburgring circuit. Also a product of the faster masters at Subaru Technica International, the new Type RA is a fully street-legal model that boasts less weight, more power and a number of suspension tweaks that make it an even more formidable performer than the already quite impressive baseline 2018 Subaru WRX STI. Set to arrive here during the first quarter of next year, this new Type RA will be limited to a serialized run of just 500 units.
Adding new edge on every level
While Subaru didn’t indicate exactly how much mass was jettisoned, we do know the Type RA features a carbon fiber roof panel and carbon fiber rear wing, loses its spare tire and rolls on lightweight BBS 19-inch forged-alloy wheels wrapped in sticky 245/35 Yokohama Advan Sports rubber. The modest but effective engine changes include stronger pistons, a new cold-air intake, a high-flow exhaust system and a retuned ECU that collectively help bump output of its 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-4 engine from 305 to 310 horsepower. That extra pony count is complemented by a revised 6-speed manual transmission with new short-throw linkage and a revised 3rd gear ratio for better responsiveness and quicker acceleration.
The Type RA's handling gets a similar kind of performance-boosting rethink starting with the fitment of Bilstein dampers on its inverted front strut/rear double-wishbone suspension as well as an STI-spec multi-mode Vehicle Dynamic Control unit that provides better stability and tracking capability. The Brembo stoppers -- monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear units with cross-drilled rotors for improved cooling – also have an exclusive silver finish on the Type RA.
Available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl, the Type RA features a number of unique visual cues that set it apart from a standard WRX STI. Functional touches include an STI-spec front underspoiler that works with the aforementioned rear wing to improve high speed stability. The outside mirrors gain integrated turn signals and are rendered in black to match the roof-mounted sharkfin antenna and fender badges. Inside, the Type RA features Recaro performance seats with red bolsters and contrast stitching plus an ultrasuede-wrapped steering wheel and standard push-button start with keyless access. Each car also will carry an individually numbered ID plaque on the center console. More details and pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA will be released later this year.
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