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.