Subaru has just released test footage of its soon-to-be-launched 2011 Impreza WRX STI sedan from the Nurburgring race track. Described by the Japanese automaker as the firm's "fastest WRX STI ever", the 2011MY turned the Nurburgring race track in an impressive 7 minutes and 55 seconds in the hands of four-time World Rally Champion, Tommi Mäkinen.
For those keeping track, rally legend and Porsche test driver, Walter Röhrl, lapped the 'Ring with the 500HP Panamera Turbo in an unofficial time of 7 minutes and 56 seconds, while Cadillac's 556HP CTS-V clocked a 7:59.32 lap in 2008.
But there's a catch; the 2011 STI that lapped the 'Ring was in Subaru's own words, a prototype model. According to the company, the test car combined a series of production performance upgrades from the JDM-only R205 and C-Spec STIs including a larger turbocharger with some additional mods such as under body aero parts and aluminum fenders.
You can however compare it with similar, previous generation prototypes of the Impreza that Subaru has tested over the years at the Nurburgring. The first Impreza prototype to be clocked at the Nurburgring was a non-STI WRX model in 1992 that marked a lap time of 8:28.93.
After the first introduction of WRX STI version in 1994, a WRX STI version III prototype was raced at the course in 1996, recording a lap time of 8:10.75, or 18 seconds faster than the 1992 model.
The second generation WRX STI, introduced in 2000, was tested at the 'Ring, but according to Subaru, safety measures added weight to the car and the lap time of this model did not meet the company's expectations. In other words, it was most likely slower than the 1996 model. Not surprisingly, Subaru did not release a lap time for the 2000 STI.
The facelifted 2002 Impreza WRX STI test car recorded a lap time of 8:06.59 while the updated 2004 model broke the 8-minute barrier at 7:59.41. That was the most recent Nurburgring lap time as the company claims that even though it lapped the third generation Impreza STI in 2008, "rainy conditions made the tests incomplete for the lap time comparable to the previous records."
So there you have it. Enjoy the videos and the gallery below.
MAJOR SPECIFICATIONS OF 2011MY WRX STI TEST VEHICLE:
- Overall length X width X height; 4,580 X 1,795 X 1,470 mm
- Wheelbase; 2,625 mm
- Engine type; Horizontally-Opposed 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbocharged engine
- Displacement; 1,994 cc
- Transmission; 6 speed manual transmission
- Tyres; 245/40 R18
MAJOR ADDED FEATURES TO THE TEST VEHICLE
<R205* model items> *R205 is a special edition for Japan
- Bigger turbocharger
- 6-pot brake calipers
- Flexible tower bar
- Front lip spoiler
<spec C* model items> *spec C is a special edition for Japan market.
- Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tyres
- Aluminum hood
- Full-bucket seat
- Roll cage
- 5-point safety belts
- Under cover
- Aluminum fenders