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Subaru WRX STI Sets New Record on the ‘Ring
The team at Subaru specifically set out to make the 2011 WRX STI the fastest one ever, and it looks like things are off to an excellent start. Driven by four-time World Rally Champ Tommi Makinen, an early ‘11 WRX STI sedan built for Subaru R&D recently carved up Germany’s grueling Nürburgring racecourse in just 7 minutes, 55 seconds—quicker than any previous Subaru by a full 4 seconds.
According to Makinen, “The car was controllable with precise and faithful handling even on tricky corners. I could easily predict the car’s behavior. That is exactly what Subaru is offering, confidence.”
Well, confidence and a pair of heavily revised WRX STI models, marking the first time Subaru’s high-performance flagship has been available in both sedan and five-door hatchback configurations in the same model year.
Improvements over 2010 include significantly revamped chassis tuning that leverages higher-rate springs for both the front and rear suspension setups, thicker front and rear stabilizer bars, a lowered ride height, new subframe bushings, lighter 18-inch wheels and the proverbial much, much more. Further helping the WRX STI deal with those “tricky corners,” whether on the Nordschliefe or in the neighborhood, is a Brembo Performance Brake System with ventilated four-wheel “Super Sport” anti-lock disc brakes and electronic brake-force distribution.
Both models also showcase a new “wide-body” exterior design that ups the ante on the vehicles’ aggressive looks while noticeably improving aerodynamics. And naturally, the WRX STI sedan brings back its bold, iconic rear wing, too.
What won’t change for 2010, however, is the motivational force behind the vehicles’ athletic performance. The cars holster the automaker’s proven four-cylinder boxer engine, intercooled and turbocharged to make a robust 305 hp. That mill is then mated to an enthusiast-oriented six-speed manual transmission, which routes power through a a unique version of the Subaru symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, featuring a “Multi Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential.” The bottom line here: three automated driver-selectable driving modes, along with a separate manual mode offering six driver-selectable differential settings.
When the WRX STI sedan is done breaking records, it will break cover at local Subaru dealerships around the world this summer, with the updated hatchback to follow soon after.
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