This Is The 670bhp, 9500rpm Subaru WRX ‘Project Midnight’

This wild WRX-based one-off will go for glory at Goodwood this week
Subaru 'Project Midnight' - front
Subaru 'Project Midnight' - front

Subaru’s North American rally division got us all on edge recently when it started teasing ‘Project Midnight’, a mad-looking one-off based on the Subaru WRX, built with one purpose: going very quickly up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In those teasers, we were promised a “radical departure” from the usual Subaru fare that would “shock the crowd in a completely different way.” Those vague statements made us think that maybe, just maybe, Subaru was lining up something with an electric drivetrain. Erm, no, as it turns out.

Subaru 'Project Midnight' - side
Subaru 'Project Midnight' - side

Project Midnight has now been unveiled in full and, to quote a certain Mercedes Formula 1 driver, crikey. It’s a spiritual successor to ‘Airslayer’, the 862bhp WRX STI built for Travis Pastrana’s Gymkhana 2020 film.

The learnings from that car have been channelled into something designed with one focus: outright point-to-point pace. With a lightened chassis and dramatically widened carbon fibre body, it’s said to weigh in at “well under” 2500lbs – that’s less than 1134kg, for those of us who like our measurements metric.

Subaru 'Project Midnight' - side detail
Subaru 'Project Midnight' - side detail

18-inch magnesium OZ Superturismo wheels are wrapped in some extremely sticky-looking 280-section Yokohama racing slicks – and you know a car means business when you can see most of the tyres’ surface when standing straight behind it. A tarmac-specific suspension setup should keep it nice and controlled up Goodwood’s deceptively tricky hill.

The real piece de resistance, though, the *chef’s kiss* moment, is Project Midnight’s engine. It’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four (what else?) which has had some 670bhp and 680lb of torque extracted from it. Quite impressive numbers, but not as impressive as the 9500rpm redline. Yep, this is a turbocharged Subaru four-cylinder that’ll rev exactly as high as the Ferrari 12Cilindri’s atmospheric V12. And it shoots flames out of an exhaust pipe that exits straight through the bonnet. We might need a minute.

Subaru 'Project Midnight' - rear
Subaru 'Project Midnight' - rear

Although it’ll face serious competition from the likes of Alpine’s Pikes Peak A110 and BMW’s M Hybrid V8 Le Mans racer, something with this singular a focus could well be in with a shot at the fastest run up the hill this year, especially if driver Scott Speed can harness the power of his simply incredible surname. We’ll be watching closely from Thursday onwards (probably with our hands over our ears).

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