Subaru hasn't forgotten about their performance models if two new special editions are anything to go by. Today, Subaru unveiled the 2018 BRZ tS and WRX STI RA that will go on sale early next year.
The BRZ tS (tuned by STI) is said to deliver "the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability." If you were hoping this would include more power, then we have some bad news for you as the tS doesn't see any increase in power. It's 2.0L Boxer-Four still only produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. What STI has done is a fair amount of work on the chassis. There are new SACHS dampers and coil springs for the front and rear, and flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. The tS ditches the low-rolling resistance tires for a set of sticky Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires with lightweight 18-inch wheels. A set of Brembo brakes finishes off the chassis.
Visual changes include a new carbon fiber wing with manual adjustment, front and rear diffusers, STI fog light covers, and red accents on various trim pieces. The interior comes with a set of Recaro seats and red accent stitching.
As for the 2018 WRX STI RA - short for Record Attempt - Subaru is using this name for an upcoming attempt to set a lap record at the Nürburgring sometime this summer. Subaru has done a weight loss program for the WRX STI RA with a carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber rear spoiler, removing the spare tire, and equipping a set of lightweight BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Power sees a slight bump from 305 to 310 thanks to a new cold air intake and new exhaust. A revised third-gear ratio is said to improve acceleration.
Subaru only plans on building 500 of each model. Pricing is expected to be released later this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
Subaru Debuts Limited Edition WRX STI Type RA And BRZ tS® With Higher Performance For Driving Enthusiasts
Cherry Hill, N.J. - Subaru of America, Inc. has announced two new performance models: the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA and 2018 Subaru BRZ tS. Both are performance focused derivatives engineered by Subaru Tecnica International, Inc. specifically for driving enthusiasts. Each vehicle is limited to 500 units and vehicles will arrive at Subaru retailers in early 2018.
WRX STI Type RA
The RA designation stands for “Record Attempt” and has been applied to various Subaru performance models. The original venture took place in 1989 when a competition version Subaru Legacy broke the FIA World Speed Endurance Record by clocking over 62,000 miles in 18 days and set a top speed record of 138 mph. Furthering this spirit of endeavor, a special race model WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will attempt a Nürburgring speed record this summer.
In keeping with this tradition, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. The new, numbered limited edition model comes standard with a carbon fiber roof panel, the removal of the spare tire, a carbon fiber pedestal wing and lightweight BBS® 19-in. forged alloy wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tires.
Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the limited edition WRX STI Type RA increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance. The six-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.
Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein® dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. The Brembo® brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.
The WRX STI Type RA is immediately identified by an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover. An STI front underspoiler has also been added for better stability at high speeds. The exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now come in a black finish. The rear deck lid displays the WRX STI Type RA badge.
In addition to the eye-catching exterior, the WRX STI Type RA cabin features Recaro® performance design front seats with red bolsters and stitching as well as an embossed STI logo on the head restraints. The signature red stitching and accent trim is visible throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede® for better grip and has a black gloss-finish center spoke insert with STI logo. Push-button start with Keyless Access is also standard equipment. Each of the 500 WRX STI Type RA produced for retail sale has been individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the center console.
The 2018 BRZ tS (tuned by STI) delivers the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability.
BRZ is renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precision handling, and the new BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS® dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-in. lightweight STI wheels (the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels) mounted with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires for superior grip and quicker turn-in. Brembo® brakes at all four corners round-out the package.
The exterior also adds a more aggressive look with an exclusive STI rear carbon fiber spoiler. The spoiler is manually adjustable to fine-tune rear downforce. The addition of STI front, rear and side underspoilers helps control airflow for better traction and stability.
The BRZ tS is also adorned with an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around the front grille and unique rear bumper cover. The rear hatch displays the official BRZ tS badge. The exterior foldable mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna, BRZ and SUBARU badging all have a black finish. Also, the fog lights have been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers.
The cabin features black leather and Alcantara® upholstery with contrasting red stitching and accents throughout the interior, including steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, shifter and emergency brake boots. front seats have red leather bolsters and the seatbacks are embroidered with the tS logo. The visor over the gauge cluster is unique to this model, as is the interior door trim. The center console has been updated to a cast black finish. The BRZ tS also comes standard with red front seat belts and a frameless interior rear view mirror.
Both the 2018 WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS will be available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl. Both models will be distributed throughout Subaru’s retailer network beginning in the first quarter of 2018.
Exact specifications and pricing will be announced later this year.