Watch The Subaru WRX STI's Full Record-Setting Nurburgring Run
Richie Stanaway set a 6:57.5 lap record for sedans in July. Now we can see the full run for ourselves.
When Subaru released a video to commemorate their Nurburgring lap record for sedans with a specially modified WRX STI, we were impressed, but we still wanted to see the full run. It's not that we don't trust Subaru's word, but it's always educational, as well as entertaining, to see exactly how Subaru did it.
Our wish has now been fulfilled, as Subaru released a video of the full lap Friday morning. The telemetry is not as extensive as Mark Higgins' Isle of Man record, but it still shows the World Rally Championship-bred engine regularly screaming to 8,000 RPM, rapid gear changes through the sequential shifter and more than one visit to speeds of 280 kilometers per hour (170 miles per hour). It's controlled chaos in the cockpit as driver Richie Stanaway pushes the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special to its limits. Yet also calm and collected, which shows in the smoothness of his driving, essential to maintaining control at these speeds.
In addition to the full lap, Subaru also released a video showing behind the scenes of the record attempt. This one-off car was built specifically for the Nurburgring record attempt by Prodrive, who also built Subaru's World Rally Championship winning cars. Prodrive applied a similar formula to the current WRX STI including the same drivetrain, but a suspension specially tuned to the demands of the Nurburgring rather than gravel rally stages.
After testing at Silverstone, Subaru's first visit to the Nurburgring in May was rained out. No records would be set that day, but the team still ran some laps in the rain. They returned in July to sunny and dry conditions and smashed the seven-minute barrier on their first try.
Subaru will also be building 500 road-going examples of the WRX STI Type RA. Improvements over the standard STI include a carbon fiber roof and spoiler, modified suspension, gearing, and a small power bump to 310 horsepower.