Last year, Subaru took on one of the most storied road courses in the world and dominated, obliterating the Isle of Man TT lap record with a time of 17 minutes 35 seconds around the 37-mile loop. This year, Subaru one-upped itself by challenging the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and the carmaker once again came out with its pride intact. A heavily modified WRX STI snuck into the elusive and exclusive sub-seven-minute club, and now we have video of the run.
The official lap time is 6:57.5, the fastest lap time for a sedan on the Nordschleife. Only a few production cars have dipped below the seven-minute mark. But this is no production car, and Subaru doesn’t deserve all the credit. Most of the back pats go to Prodrive, the British motorsport engineering firm that built up much of this vehicle. It might be based on the WRX’s chassis, but it’s nearly double the horsepower and packs an assortment of World Rally Championship–developed parts.
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The amazing achievement is all part of a marketing plan to build up hype for the upcoming launch of the WRX STI Type RA (for Record Attempt). The RA, of which only 500 will be built, separates itself from regular STIs with modest engine upgrades, weight savings via a carbon-fiber roof panel, 19-inch forged-aluminum BBS wheels, and suspension upgrades that include Bilstein struts and dampers. The special edition is set to arrive early next year.