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What weather? Subaru’s latest sports car crushes wet tracks with ease

Subaru will unveil a new version of the WRX STI called the Type RA on June 8, but prior to that it released an appetizer. That would be the car in this video, which is a lot cooler than its awkward name, Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, would suggest.

The NBR Special is a racing iteration of the Type RA built to set a lap record for four-door sedans at the Nurburgring, the famous German racetrack that has become a benchmark for automakers. Nurburgring fever seems to have reached an all-time high, as the last few months have seen a never-ending series of claims from manufacturers on lap records for production cars.

Subaru has been here before, although the cars it sends to Germany aren’t always production-spec models. In 2010, it set a Nurburgring lap record with a WRX STI that used a combination of performance parts not available on any showroom model at the time. The Typa RA NBR Special, meanwhile, is a full-on race car, with a stripped interior and some serious aerodynamic components.

With its big rear spoiler and a rear diffuser the size of a lawnmower deck, the NBR Special certainly looks like a serious contender. But, as the above video shows, Subaru’s initial record attempt was stymied by rain.

The road-going WRX STI Type RA debuting June 8 won’t be as aggressive as the NBR Special, but it will have some trick parts, including a carbon fiber roof. Subaru last used the Type RA designation in 2013 for a special-edition model sold only in Japan. It featured stiffer suspension, retuned steering, and other tweaks.

Subaru may also unveil the long-awaited BRZ STI alongside the new Typa RA. Since the pint-sized BRZ sports car debuted in 2012, fans have been clamoring for a version with more power. It’s possible Subaru may finally be granting their wish, although it’s equally likely the STI-tuned BRZ will feature mostly cosmetic changes, like the Japanese-market BRZ tS. Subaru has said it wants to expand the STI brand in the U.S., but has mostly discussed parts and trim packages, rather than complete performance models.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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