Spec C dressed to Im­preza

Subaru’s fu­ture is rac­ing round the Nur­bur­gring, writes PETERLYON in Ja­pan

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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

to en­hance

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.

Fast track:

Subaru’s Spec C is the fastest and best-han­dling Im­preza, with ev­ery mod­i­fi­ca­tion point­ing to im­proved high-speed per­for­mance.

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