The latest STI-branded Subaru vehicle is here, and it won’t be making any burbly flat-four noises. It won’t be making any internal combustion racket at all, in fact, as it’s fully electric. Oh, and it’s as powerful as three and a half WRX STIs combined.
It’s called the STI E-RA, and next year it’ll be heading to the Nurburgring to go very, very fast.
Subaru is targeting a 6min 40sec lap time, five seconds faster than the Nio EP9 quickest Nordschleife effort, but some way off the VW ID.R’s astonishing 6:05sec outright electric car record at the track. To provide the Subaru with sufficient briskness, it has four Yamaha-developed in-wheel motors.
Combined they’re good for 1073bhp, but exactly how much is sent to each wheel will depend on various factors including steering angle, yaw and individual wheel load. Powering them is a 60kWh battery pack, which should be plenty to get the lap time in the bag. The ID.R, for instance, got through 24.7kWh of charge on its record-breaking run.
Conspicuous aero is a big theme for the STI E-RA, the most obvious feature being a top mount or ‘swan neck’ rear wing. Below that is a gigantic diffuser that wouldn’t look out of place hanging off a Star Destroyer, and nearby there’s a roof scoop for keeping the electric powertrain cool while the E-RA is at full chat. At the other end of the car is a carbon fibre diffuser that sticks out from the car significantly.
Subaru hasn’t said much about the chassis, but we can at least see that the E-RA has a set of centre-locking wheels wearing Falken slick tyres. Under those are some suitably large brakes from AP Racing.
The point of this, other than engaging in some PR-friendly ‘Ring shenanigans, is for Subaru to gain “experience and training of new technologies in the world of motorsports in this carbon-neutral era focused on combating global warming,” the manufacturer says. In the lead up to the trip to Germany, the E-RA will undergo testing on circuits closer to home in Japan.
It’s also worth pointing out the in-wheel quad motor setup is permitted by the recently established FIA E-GT series, which starts in 2023. Don’t be surprised if Subaru ends up fielding the E-RA.