Subaru Sells A WRX STI Rally Car From The Factory

Illustration for article titled Subaru Sells A WRX STI Rally Car From The Factory

This is the Subaru Impreza WRX STI NR4 and yes, it’s a fully stripped, prepped and caged rally car sold by Subaru itself. Obviously, there’s a slight catch.

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Well, there are three.

Before I get into that, let me give you the hits on this car.

Illustration for article titled Subaru Sells A WRX STI Rally Car From The Factory
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The engine is Subaru’s 2.0 liter flat four, with 280 horsepower and 413 lb-ft down at 3,000 RPM. Horsepower also peaks low, at 4,250 RPM. Yes there’s two-stage anti-lag. Would it be a Subaru rally car without it?

Things start getting trick with a Hewland five-speed dog box. Shift it with a firm hand it will be tough and quick and amazingly feelsome. Shift it tentatively and it will explode. Race cars are cool, right?

Diffs are limited slip front and rear and electronically controlled in the center.

AP Racing supplies the brakes, Öhlins the three-way adjustable dampers on all corners.

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Naturally, there’s a full cage, a stripped and painted interior, and a button that sprays water on the intercooler.

I actually got to personally ride in one of these with none other than Subaru factory driver Mark Higgins behind the wheel. We were on what Higgins called “the most difficult rally stage in the world,” the Druidale Stage on the Isle of Man.

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The car trampled the roughest, tightest road you can imagine, heaving up and down what felt like two stories in a yard or two. It was shocking — this is about as capable a production car can be in 2015.

Now, the first catch is that this is not a street legal car. You’ll see it stickered up and covered in dirt but not on the road. Those street-spec wheels and tires are just a cute ruse from Subaru.

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This is the second catch — you can’t find one of these at a dealership. Subaru outsources the assembly and treatment of these cars to race shops. JRM does their work in the UK.

Here’s the brochure!

The third catch is that, at least as Digital Trends reports, this thing won’t be allowed for sale in the United States.

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That’s not a huge problem. This rally-ready Subaru is built specifically to comply with the FIA’s NR4 production class in international rallying. Below all of the AWD hatchbacks in the WRC and WRC2, these Subarus have remained wonderfully competitive.

Here in America, the FIA doesn’t regulate rally. Just build whatever the hell engine and car you want.

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Illustration for article titled Subaru Sells A WRX STI Rally Car From The Factory

Photo Credits: Subaru


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

Now, the first catch is that this is not a street legal car.

Problem.

WRC Cars ever since forever have always been street legal. Maybe it’s escaped the attention of whoever wrote this article. See below:

PX60AUV - This car was registered in Carlisle in the year 2010.

WRC cars carry number plates because they need to drive on public roads; they also need the ability to travel between stages on public roads.

Sébastien Ogier’s Polo this year has the number plate WOB VW 518 - WOB - Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony (which is pretty obvious since that’s where the factory is).

Someone is blowing smoke out their tail pipe - DID NOT DO THE RESEARCH.