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Turbology
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hahaha what a mouthful!
:p

Anyway, not sure if it's been posted (couldn't search). This thing is hot. Sounds real nice too for a factory car.

Quite a nice finish to this version of the Impreza before the facelift comes out in a few months.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FirstDrives/articleId=120027









Can you imagine being in the product-planning office in Subaru City when the order came down to build the 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C Type RA-R?

Right, no more pussyfooting around with half-baked attempts at creating the ultimate WRX STI. Go all-out. Create a car that can be thrashed at the track, but can still be driven home.

As the very last iteration of the current WRX STI before the all-new next-generation Impreza lands on showroom floors next summer, the Type RA-R is an opportunity for Subaru Tecnica International (STI) to wave its corporate flag. So the motorsport guys just focused on one thing: handling. And the result is stunning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C1eFnH4VuQ

Record-setting

The 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C Type RA-R sets a new record for the longest name in the car world. "Type RA-R" is short for "Record Attempt," while the "R" simply means "radical" (or is it "racy"?). Only 300 examples have been built.

Developed in 2002 as a limited-production high-performance specialty model, the Spec C has become the basis for the FIA-certified Subaru Group N rally car, which is built for various rally championships for production-based cars. Subaru built a run of 1,000 Spec C models in 2006, and a number of various calibrations of the Spec C have been available, featuring different engines, brake packages, wheels and tires, and bodywork.

The WRX STI Spec C Type RA was introduced in November 2005, and some 350 examples were built as street-legal pavement racers. The RA-R came out of the doors of the STI shop in October 2006 as much the same thing, a street-legal car that's just waiting for someone to paint a racing number on the door.

The RA-R does without the rally-spec rear wing and rooftop aero vanes, but otherwise this is a stripped-down competition car. All the creature comforts have been deleted, like the $5,000 Recaro seats, not to mention the air-conditioning, radio and the complement of airbags. Even lightweight glass, a thinner-gauge roof panel and an aluminum trunk lid further trim unnecessary mass, and the total weight reduction amounts to 150 pounds.

Racy hardware

Everything that's left is pretty racy, especially the turbocharged 2.0-liter EJ20 flat-4, the engine found in the Japanese-specification WRX STI. In RA-R spec, this smaller boxer makes an impressive 315 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, although most of the science has been devoted to enhancing the torque output, which is the secret to the point-and-squirt speed of Subaru's rally cars.

The twin-scroll, ball-bearing IHI-built turbocharger is familiar, but the intake duct has been reinforced with silicon rubber to maintain its streamlined shape under boost. A cat-back exhaust with a 4.3-inch diameter reduces backpressure. The engine itself also has been blueprinted and balanced.

The result is 319 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm, an astonishing output from a 2.0-liter engine. There are bags of torque from the little boxer when you accelerate out of a slow corner, which is right when you need it the most. The RA-R's engine spools up instantly from as low as 2,000 rpm and stays on the boil right up to redline at 8,000 rpm. The whine of the turbo under acceleration and the whoosh of the wastegate on the overrun are subtly addictive.

Big brakes

If you want to figure out the RA-R's mission, take a look at the brake package.

The RA-R is the first-ever Japanese production car to wear this particular high-performance brake package, which includes stout monoblock six-piston calipers for the front vented discs and four-piston calipers for the rears. The brake calipers are branded with the STI logo and matched with unusual Brembo-built STI brake rotors that change color from silver to gold under hard usage. And strangely — or maybe not — the slotted brake rotors resemble those of the Prova Racing WRX STI racing car that competes in Japan's Super Endurance racing series.

So what does all that mean? This road-going brake package is as close to racing brakes as you can get, and you only need to take the first corner at speed to work that out. Because as with race brakes, the brake pads and rotors need to get a little heat into them before they get down to business.

If you fly into a corner with cold brakes, you risk flying straight across the road and into the guardrail. But once you spend a couple of minutes leaning on the pads, getting some heat into them, you won't find better stoppers anywhere — not in Japan, at least. At operating temperatures, these brakes are outstanding, with tremendous stopping power and a firm, consistent pedal feel. It's just right for track days and autocross. More important, there is no brake fade.

Cornering calibrated for the track

The RA-R is set up for fast driving on the pavement, yet it goes beyond the sporting setup of the STI S204 all the way to a racetrack calibration. There's a quick-ratio steering rack and a pavement-friendly torque split for the driver-controlled center differential, as well as a torque-sensing limited-slip front differential.

The suspension towers have been reinforced and then supplemented by strut braces. The suspension's stock rubber bushings have been swapped for metal pillowball-style mounts, and special rear suspension links from the STI catalog are featured. The stiff-legged suspension incorporates four-way adjustable inverted dampers and thick antiroll bars, and it all does business with 235/40ZR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires on Enkei-built STI 18-inch wheels.

The car's cornering ability is really impressive. The RA-R turns in sharper and faster than any STI to date, and it carves your intended line with surgical precision. The bright yellow RA-R looks half naked without the WRX STI's telltale rear wing, but the STI engineers tell us that the lack of rear downforce helps to "get the tail around quicker," which is what this car is all about.

Once you jump on the six-piston Brembos and lean on the sticky Potenza 18-inch rubber as you turn in, you'd better be ready with a dash of opposite lock. That's how eager the rear is to come around. As long as you corner below the car's adhesion limits, though, you'd have to go a long way to find an all-wheel-drive car that rewards a driver as much. Pure precision.

But while the firm suspension setup is perfectly matched to rocketing around tight corners, it is not friendly for the everyday commute, as bumps from the road send vibrations straight into your backbone. In its element, however, there is nothing more satisfying than the RA-R for the price, even if STI hardly touched the car's very basic Impreza-style interior.

There's profit in performance

Since the introduction of the first Subaru Impreza STi in 1992, Subaru Tecnica International has produced limited editions that have been marketed in Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and now the U.S.

At first the STI editions were homologation specials, the basis for privateer-built competition machines. Later, STI undertook the manufacture of competition machines itself. Now STI is regularly producing short model runs of cars that have an audience among enthusiasts as well as racers. It shows you that there's a real market for high-performance cars.

All 300 of the limited-edition Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C RA-Rs built last fall have already been sold, despite a price of $35,900. But that's what happens when you make something this special. It tends to disappear.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
 

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Passion Driven
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1,689 Posts
lmfao i thought he was speaking a different language for the first 5 seconds.
Yea wow his accent is hard to listen to, goodness....

What's odd though, is all of the weight reduction and "race" minded loss of creature comforts yet it still has back seats....Just make a 2-door 2-seater model already! :nono:
 

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They giggle
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1,935 Posts
Man, that thing sounds great for a factory car. It sounds like it's BPUd.
 

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They giggle
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1,935 Posts
Oh, and the torque is fucking ridiculous for a 2.0 liter engine. Holy shit. :eek:
 

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Turbology
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yea wow his accent is hard to listen to, goodness....

What's odd though, is all of the weight reduction and "race" minded loss of creature comforts yet it still has back seats....Just make a 2-door 2-seater model already! :nono:
I have been waiting for the day that Subaru announces a new Impreza 22B.
:hail:
 

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2JZ S13
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2,207 Posts
that is badass!

but it won't be sold here so me no care.
 

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Registered
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889 Posts
Awesome Subaru :agreed:
 
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