Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Tuesday July 25, 2017
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > General Community

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads. 
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-09-2010, 09:00 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 247590
Join Date: May 2010
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: The Dungeon....
2010 Legacy GT

Default 2011 STI sedan on the 'Ring

Car and Driver - 2011 STI sedan around the 'Ring.

The Nürburgring. You may have heard of it. It’s a popular place of late, with industry test periods filling the schedule Tuesdays through Thursdays—providing ample fodder for spy-photo junkies—and sanctioned racing on weekends. And then there are the secretive private sessions, out of which come that trendiest of bragging rights, the manufacturer-generated, unofficial Nordschleife lap record. This is the story of one of those records.
First things first, here’s what you want to know: Subaru got an STI sedan to lap the ’Ring—helmed by rallying legend and four-time-in-a-row WRC title holder Tommi Mäkinen—in 7 minutes and 55 seconds. That’s quicker than the quickest production sedan to date, Porsche’s Panamera Turbo, which clocked a (still-unofficial) 7:56 lap, which in turn is quicker than the CTS-V, which posted a 7:59.32.
Not So Fast, But It’s Fast
The stickler is that the Subaru in question wasn’t a production car, it was, in the words of the company, a 2011 Impreza WRX STI prototype. The car is basically the bastard child of two JDM-only models with some extra bespoke aero bits thrown in for slipperiness and high-speed stability.
The car starts with the suspension from the improved-for-2011 WRX STI—it’s 5 mm lower than the 2010 model, with 1-mm-thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, higher-rate springs all around, stiffer rear-subframe bushings, and new front-suspension pillow-ball bushings. The engine is the Japanese-market STI Spec C’s, a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four that’s been given the larger turbo from the R205, another Japanese special-edition STI model. It’s now putting out a claimed 320 hp, which makes the time that much more impressive when compared to the Panamera’s 500 turbocharged ponies (although the Porsche is surely carrying around a few hundred extra pounds). The R205 also donates six-piston front brakes and a front strut-tower brace; it features a flexible center portion that allows vertical motion but maintains lateral stiffness. Weight is saved through the use of an aluminum hood from the Spec C, unique aluminum front fenders, the Spec C’s smaller battery, and the deletion of the radio as in the R205 and Spec C. Extra aero parts specific to this car include a full undertray, a front-lip extension tacked onto the R205’s lower spoiler, and a Gurney flap added—taped, really—to the rear at Mäkinen’s request. (The car was getting a bit out of shape without it in the high-speed sections.) A full roll cage and race buckets fitted with a five-point harness for the driver and a four-point for the passenger make things safe.
Taken for a Ride
A month after Subaru set its time, and just days after the Nürburgring 24-hour race, we were invited to meet with Mäkinen and the STI team to have a look at the car and for to experience what a record-setting lap feels like. And we did, for the most part. There was a narrow window early on a Tuesday morning, which only allowed track time for two flying laps. The first was interrupted by a truck that snuck onto the track—no joke, watch the video—which reminded me why you should always pack an extra pair of boxers, and the second was a flying, full-speed blitz, at least until the end when Mäkinen realized we were running out of fuel.
But the ride was no less of a thrill. Flying over German hill and dale, all of which looks the same—Armco, very green trees, graffiti—but every twist and kink of which is unique, learning the intricacies of the ‘Ring, let alone getting comfortable hurtling through at eye-popping speeds, is no small feat. Muscles ached from attempting to keep planted in the seat, eyes hurt from scanning the graffiti-plastered pavement, and we weren’t even driving. Afterward, when we asked how much time Mäkinen had on the track before the record run, one of the Subaru guys laughed. “We asked him to learn the circuit on PlayStation, but he never did it.” The Finn’s response: “I wanted to, but it was the Japanese version.” A certain Herr Schmidt, a German member of the STI development team who is very familiar with the ‘Ring, took Mäkinen out the first time he was at the track and showed him around. He told me that a normal person needs about 50 laps to improve their time. Mäkinen did so in maybe five. “He ran unbelievably quickly.”
Mäkinen says that, as a rally driver, he’s developed good “road memory” and didn’t need to run the track too many times. He said he viewed it like any rally stage, except without any pace notes, and shrugged it off by saying the hardest part for him was adjusting to the car’s right-hand-drive setup.
Why Bring a Prototype to the ‘Ring?
Subaru brought this prototype to the Nürburgring because that’s what it has done with past models. The automaker first lapped a non-STI WRX prototype in 1992, posting a time of 8:28.93. It then returned in 1996 with a prototype of the version III WRX STI, and turned in an 8:10.75. The heavier second-gen WRX STI, which bowed for 2000, posted a lap that “did not meet our expectations” (Needless to say, we didn’t learn that car’s time.) A 2002 STI prototype picked up the baton, setting a lap time of 8:06.59. Most recently, a 2004 prototype got down in the 7s with a 7:59.41. Subaru contends that time spent on ‘Ring times is a very helpful R&D exercise for the development team, providing an opportunity to try out new parts that can and sometimes are applied to future models. (We don’t expect to see a full undertray on an STI any time soon, however.) With this year’s car, STI project boss Hiroshi Mori aimed to create “the fastest WRX STI ever,” but he was quick to mention that fast doesn’t necessarily come from maximum speed and engine output.
Indeed, the ‘Ring offers a little bit of everything, and—more than any other track—it offers a simulation of real-world roads. Altitude varies by about 1000 feet, and there are loads of blind corners. Pictures don’t do the elevation changes justice; the deceleration from a few of the more drastic uphill portions had us wondering if the harness would hold. Blind corners appear and disappear, but luckily we didn’t have enough time to process them, or the thought that there might perhaps be another utility truck just past the apex.
You’re probably wondering, like we were, what any of this has to do with reality. Well, besides this particular car’s tenuous R&D connection, vanquishing the Panamera Turbo was a point of pride among the Subaru delegation. However, if Porsche wanted to build something analogous to this amalgamated STI, a ‘Ring-specific Panamera Turbo, we have no doubt that the Stuttgart boys would have their mark back in a heartbeat. What the Subie’s time really proves, though, is that the STI continues to be enhanced, iteratively. Plus, the PR machine loves to be fed.
The latest prototype is easily “the fastest WRX STI ever,” at least among those built by Subaru. You just can’t buy one, which is kind of a bummer. Our ride in the prototype does, however, have us a little more excited to experience the 2011 hatchback and sedan, which we’ll get to drive soon enough.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
BlueLGT is offline  
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Old 06-09-2010, 09:11 AM   #2
Yoo Shin
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 87327
Join Date: May 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Bama but coming back to TEXAS
2010 12 parsec Evo X
I still kill threads


That sedan, though a "prototype" looks hawt. I like. But I'm not saying yay/nay until I see it pitted in road tests against the Evo X again.
Yoo Shin is offline  
Old 06-09-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 237195
Join Date: Feb 2010
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Casper, WY
2007 Impreza 2.5i
WY Scooby Lover


I seem to be seeing a lot about 'Ring lap records as of late. It's nice to see a subie in the news for once though
Ty55 is offline  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:39 AM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 183875
Join Date: Jul 2008
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: waterloo, ON
2007 WRX STi Stg2


prototype, huh... ?

i wonder what the final production version's lap time will be. esp against more reasonable comparisons like the evo X.
simonella_virus is offline  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 151079
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: College Park, MD
2005 2.5RS RBP
too many friction losses


I honestly don't care how it does against an evo. If I was in the market for an evo x or a new STI sedan, I would just drive both of them and choose the one that I liked to drive the most.
chazly413 is offline  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
Trust no one
Member#: 11170
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NYC
02 WRX
15 WRX/05 GTO


Mulder is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2011 STi Sedan at NY Auto Show Interior Flair Texas Impreza Club Forum -- TXIC 54 04-05-2010 07:31 PM
2011 STI PICs heres the LINK.. eng4280 Mid West Subaru Owners Club Forum -- MWSOC 2 04-05-2010 08:33 AM
2011 STi sedan remotehuman New England Impreza Club Forum -- NESIC 55 04-04-2010 10:48 PM
new Skyline GTR on the 'Ring! *video* hellafastwrx Non-Subaru News & Rumors 66 01-01-2007 03:17 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2017 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2017, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.