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.

Well, there are three.

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

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?

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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.

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.

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.

Photo Credits: Subaru


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.