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Subaru's STI E-RA is a 1,088PS track monster | FOS Future Lab

14th January 2022
Bob Murray

The Subaru performance brand STI, famous for WRC rally success in the 1990s and the wild WRX road cars it spawned, is whirring back into the international spotlight with its first all-electric racer. The dramatic looking, 1,088PS (800kW) STI E-RA unveiled today in Japan paves the way not just for Subaru’s electric motorsport future but also hints at future high-performance battery-powered STI road cars.

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Before all that though is just the small matter of proving itself at the Nürburgring Nordschleife next year when Subaru expects the STI E-RA – it stands for Electric Record Attempt – to go round in six minutes 40 seconds. What the record is we are unsure; the Volkswagen ID.R electric racer set the electric Nordschleife benchmark in 2019 with a time of six minutes and five seconds.

If the new Subaru doesn’t match that it won’t be for the lack of power: at a total system power of 800kW from four motors, one in each wheel, the STI has 300kW more than the VW. And with its huge front apron, massive rear diffuser and giant wing, its aero seems just as tailor-made for a time attack car. Ahead of the ‘Ring attempt, the car will be put through its paces at Japanese circuits this year, following its unveiling at the Tokyo Auto Show.

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To Subaru, the STI E-RA is a “near-future” motorsport study project “with the aim of gaining experience and training of new technologies in the world of motorsports in this carbon-neutral era.”

Technology it will be out to prove includes – naturally, for Subaru – all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring which independently applies optimum torque to each wheel. Subaru says harnessing such high power outputs this way will allow it to hold on to typical STI-style driving fun.

According to the company, the four-motor approach with the motors directly attached to the wheels enables a high level of responsiveness, but surely just as significant this layout is written into the FIA regulations for a future electric GT race series.

Meanwhile, Subaru is busy readying its first all-electric SUV, the Solterra and a brother to the Toyota bZ4X, for its UK launch in coming months. So what chance do you reckon that a hot STI version will put in an appearance at some point?

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