Subaru Technica International, better known as STI, turns 30 this year. Established in 1988, the in-house tuning division has rolled out icons such as the first-generation Impreza STI and Impreza 22B, the latter being released 21 years ago. For the tuning division's 30th anniversary, Subaru has rolled out the WRX STI Type RA-R.
Packing 329 PS, the WRX STI Type RA-R is the most powerful model to come out straight from the factory. That's a gain of 29 PS and it's all down to a tweaked intercooler, a performance exhaust and re-tuned ECU. Unlike most markets, the Japan-spec WRX STI uses a 2.0-liter boxer engine and not a 2.5-liter. Limited to just 500 units, there are no plans of bringing it outside of its home market. Needless to say, Japan will keep the most powerful factory STI for themselves.
Besides more power, the WRX STI was given a diet. Some features were taken out of the car, and carbon fiber was added in as well. As a result, Subaru said it's 30 kg lighter than past Type RA models. As for handling upgrades, it gets suspension tweaks, along with stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and bigger, cross-drilled disc brakes courtesy of Brembo.
From the outside, the special, limited-run model is visually similar to standard WRX STIs but there are a couple of clues that help make it stand out a little more. For starters, there's a red stripe on the grill, along with another red stripe at the rear. The side mirrors, which are now carbon-finished, feature vortex generators and the roof is now also carbon fiber. Wrapping up the changes are a set of larger, 19-inch alloy wheels. The signature rear wing is an option for the Type RA-R.