Subaru’s 670-HP WRX Project Midnight Is the Wildest Rally Car It’s Ever Made

It'll be hustled up the hill by Scott Speed at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Stunt cars are the new concept cars, and that’s OK. I miss far-flung exotic design studies that “run” on plutonium as much as the next guy, but let’s not overlook the fact that companies like Ford and Subaru keep making killer performance machines that actually drive, which is more than most concepts can say. The latest from Subaru is the Project Midnight WRX, a 670-horsepower asphalt rocket built for ex-F1 and rallycross driver Scott Speed. It takes cues from Gymkhana cars of yore, which is obvious once you catch a glimpse of that rear wing.

The front-three-quarter view shows a familiarly taut setup that’s hunkered down for speed. Flip around to the back and you’ll see the skyscraper spoiler is actually the second level of a double-decker arrangement. It’s all mounted to the trunk and braced at the bottom to resist flex from the presumably huge amount of downforce. There’s more to it than the wing, of course.

There are dive planes up front that direct the air around the widened front fenders and back to the sculpted rear structure. You can see the lip on each rear door that carries on to the fender and then the wing. On its way there, air is also channeled into the door vents that feed in-cabin coolers for the high-strung Boxer engine.

Subaru says the 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder is chirping away at 670 hp—399 more than a stock WRX. It pulls all the way to 9,500 rpm so just picture this .gif but sped way up:

Oh, and there’s a hood-exit exhaust. As there should be.

All the lightweight carbon body panels help Project Midnight cross the scales at 2,469 pounds. That’s impressive considering the all-wheel-drive system and safety equipment. For reference, a standard WRX weighs about 1,000 pounds more—good luck hitting that number if you’re stripping the speakers and seats out of your stock car. To make the most of the mods, you’ll also want to install 18- by 11-inch OZ magnesium wheels wrapped in 280/650R18 Yokohama Advan slicks like Project Midnight has.

I’m just glad to see companies making PR cars that move under their own power. This will do more than sit in a showroom, of course, as Mr. Speed will take his new rocket for a spin at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.

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