Spec C dressed to Impreza
Subaru’s future is racing round the Nurburgring, writes PETERLYON in Japan
THE lukewarm reception for the new Subaru Impreza STi has sparked a red-hot response from the Japanese carmaker. It is readying a genuine road rocket to recover the lost ground and give it a sharp new tool to threaten the latest Lancer Evolution and Nissan’s GT-R supercar.
The new car is the STi Spec C and is being given its final tests ahead of sales in Europe and Japan, though nothing is set for Australia.
The testing is being done, like every major new supercar, at the Nurburgring in Germany. And the black beast shown in these pictures is already lapping the track far faster than a regular WRX STi.
The Spec C is, without doubt, the fastest and best-handling Impreza to come from STi’s engineers and every modification from the hot car points to improved high speed performance and quicker cornering speeds.
First things first. STi lowered the regular ride height of an STi Impreza by 10mm and fitted stiffer STi dampers and springs, while adding lightweight aluminium rims and 18-inch Bridgestone run-flat tyres.
Next, they borrowed the sixpiston Brembo brake package from the Legacy STi S402 and slightly bigger rotors.
Finally, they tweaked the turbocharger and exhaust system of the 2.0 litre force-fed boxer engine to generate beefier torque at lower revs and lift power from the STi’s 229kW to about 320kW.
Gear ratios were also revised, with first through fourth positioned closer together while fifth and sixth were
top end lengthened speed.
The Spec C is now expected to clear 270km/h, with a sharper 0-100km/h time.
With the performance aspects of the Spec C out of the way, the design team switched to the area that would pull all of the upgrades together and channel them to the tarmac: aerodynamics.
One source close to STi tells us that, in addition to giving the Spec C a fully flat underbody, the team has also fitted a lightweight aluminium rear diffuser that helps generate twice as much downforce at speed than the current body.
A combination of minor revisions mean the Spec C will lose about 40kg in weight.
No ’Ring lap times are available yet, but eyewitnesses report the Spec C is more composed through both low and high-speed corners and will easily slice 15 seconds off the current STi’s time.
Expected to go on sale in Japan by year’s end and in Europe and the US by mid-2009, the Spec C will pick up a price tag of about $43,000.
Now we only have to wait for a plan for Australia.
Subaru’s Spec C is the fastest and best-handling Impreza, with every modification pointing to improved high-speed performance.