When Subaru teased the STI E-RA concept last month, we had big expectations. Some suspected it could be an electric version of the WRX STI we all know. After all, the automaker did just reveal its first EV earlier that year – the Solterra. Now that the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon is in full swing, it seems the STI E-RA is very different from what we imagined.
For starters, the STI E-RA is not a road car, to say the least. Instead, it’s a purpose-built race car and looks more akin to something you would find at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Subaru says the vehicle’s first goal is to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 400 seconds or 6 minutes and 40 seconds by 2023. Before that, it will continue to be developed, tested, and attempt to set new lap records at circuits in Japan.
Lapping the 20.83 kilometer Nordschleife in 400 seconds is no easy feat. That’s why Subaru gave the STI E-RA a very aerodynamic body similar to WEC’s LMP1 challengers with a large wing, front splitter, and aggressive diffuser. It has the power to match too. The automaker says the time attack challenger will have maximum system output of 800kW or 1088 horsepower from a new proprietary 4-motor 4-wheel torque vectoring technology. The electric motors are then powered by a 60kWh lithium-ion battery.
With a torque vectoring system, Subaru says the STI E-RA can deliver the optimum grip for all tires, giving the driver more control while maximizing the car’s handling. To do so, it uses a wide range of sensors and signals to calculate various driving parameters and send power to each wheel as necessary. Since the motors are also directly connected to the wheels instead of the axles, drivers will also have a better response.
With Subaru looking to set a lap record of 6 minutes 40 seconds with the STI E-RA around the Nurburgring, we certainly cannot wait for them to have the car ready for the track come 2023.