As if Subaru’s redesigned WRX STI and BRZ weren’t enough on their own, Subaru’s performance division has upped the ante for 2018 with two limited edition models.
STI, otherwise known as Subaru Tecnica International, Inc., are behind the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA and 2018 Subaru BRZ tS upgrades, which include exterior aero and design enhancements, interior styling tweaks, engine mods, weight removal, and revised suspensions.
Starting with body modifications, the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA gets a mesh grille surrounded by Cherry Blossom Red accents, a new rear bumper cap, a special front under-spoiler, black finished side mirror caps, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna, and STI fender badges, while the interior receives an ultrasuede-wrapped steering wheel, Recaro performance seats featuring red bolsters and stitching up front, an exclusive red ignition button, and a centre console-mounted numbered plaque.
Ahead of the firewall, the 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer four-cylinder gets a modified air intake, beefier pistons, and a retuned ECU, while a high-flow performance exhaust system snakes its way to the back. The six-speed manual transmission boasts a short-throw shifter connecting to a revised third gear ratio. The result is stronger straight-line performance, although Subaru isn’t clarifying how much.
For faster cornering and shorter stopping distances, the new WRX STI Type RA gets a lighter weight carbon fibre roof panel and pedestal wing, a set of brilliant gold 19-inch forged alloy BBS wheels on 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports rubber, specially-tuned cross-drilled Brembo brakes with monoblock six-piston front calipers and dual-piston binders in the rear, plus looses its spare tire and tool kit, while a reworked suspension featuring inverted front struts and rear double wishbones, plus Bilstein dampers and coil springs, not to mention better stability control thanks to modified multi-mode VDC, adds to its road-holding prowess.
If you were wondering, RA stands for “Record Attempt”, a race-prepped WRX STI Type RA NBR Special having set a new lap record for a four-door sedan at the renowned 20.6-km (12.8-mile) Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack, its record time being 6:57.5 minutes and its driver one very talented Kiwi named Richie Stanaway, best known for competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (check the photo gallery and video below).
In comparison the 2018 BRZ tS is far from a Nürburgring record breaker, its STI upgrades designed to deliver “the highest level of ‘fun to drive’ and ‘pure handling delight’ through greater flexibility, better control, and stability,” said Subaru in a press release.
Starting from a car that’s already amazingly agile thanks to an extremely low centre of gravity and a well designed suspension setup, the new 2018 BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS dampers and coil springs, plus flexible V-braces under the hood. What’s more, new chassis and sub-frame draw stiffeners improve steering responsiveness, the new lightweight 18-inch STI wheels on 215/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber (a BRZ first) no doubt doing likewise while also providing better adhesion and quicker turn-in. Stopping power is enhanced by a set of Brembo brakes.
The BRZ tS gets an angrier look due to front, side and rear under-spoilers that also aid airflow for improved traction and stability, while an exclusive rear carbon fibre STI spoiler is manually adjustable for fine-tuning rear downforce.
Like the WRX STI Type RA, the new BRZ tS also gets Cherry Blossom Red accents around the grille and a special rear bumper cap, while the trunk lid just above shows off unique BRZ tS badging. Additionally, the front fog lights have been axed for STI fog light covers, while the side mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna, and exterior badging are finished in black.
Inside, the BRZ tS wows with black leather and Alcantara upholstery featuring contrasting red stitching, while red accents highlight key areas elsewhere, such as the steering wheel, dash panels, knee pads, shifter and e-brake boots, and door panels. The front seats look sportier thanks to red leather bolsters, whereas the seatbacks receive embroidered tS logos. Additionally, the gauge cluster visor gets a unique finish, as does the door panel trim, while the centre console sports an exclusive cast black finish and rearview mirror is frameless. Lastly, the BRZ tS receives a set of red seatbelts up front.
Both cars are available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, and Crystal White Pearl exterior paint. Check with your local Subaru dealer for pricing.
Now, check out this video of the new 2018 WRX STI Type RA NBR Special setting a lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack: