It’s always fun to watch videos of something like a McLaren P1 tackling the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife, but I tend to enjoy watching more “attainable” cars tackle the Ring and put up some gaudy numbers. I’ll never be able to afford a P1, but I sure as hell can get a Camaro ZL1 1LE or a Mustang GT350R, so those lap times always give me more of the “fizz.”
Case in point, this Subaru WRX STI…heavily modded, of course. This is a car that pretty much anyone can walk into a dealership and buy, so it makes me think “Hey, maybe I can mod the hell out of a common car and go like gangbusters around the Ring.” Not going to happen, but one can always dream.
This STI set the fastest lap time for a sedan on the Nordschleife, with a time of 6:57.5. Behind the insane performance is Prodrive, a British motorsport engineering firm that modded this car. Prodirve has nearly doubled the horsepower of a stock STI and outfitted it with a number of WRC developed parts.
The engine is a turbocharged 2.0 liter boxer four tuned to WRC specs. It produces 600 HP at 8500 RPM and has a race-spec gearbox with paddle shifters and 9 inch wide slicks on all four wheels. Prodrive also welded a full roll cage into the chassis and created a new aero package, complete with an electronically deployable hydraulic carbon-fiber rear wing that Subaru claims can create up to 650 lbs of downforce.
All this is part of a marketing plan by Subaru to build hype for the upcoming launch of the WRX STI Type RA (Record Attempt). There will only be 500 units of the RA build, and it comes with engine upgrades, a carbon fiber roof for weight savings, 19 inch forged aluminum BBS wheels, and Bilstein struts and dampeners. Just what record Subaru is attempting to break with this model is unclear, but there you have it.