Japan gets the best WRX STI ever made with the RA-R.
Subaru is all about making special versions of their flagship sedan, the WRX STI. In February, the company announced 50th-anniversary edition vehicles of all their cars, including the WRX STI, and then after breaking the Nurburgring lap record for sedans, they announced the WRX STI RA (for “record attempt”).
Now the Japanese carmaker synonymous with sporty all-wheel-drive vehicles is making yet another special edition WRX STI, but only for the Japanese market. They call it the WRX STI RA-R.
What’s with the extra R? We have no idea. We do know that it was "developed under the concepts of ‘lightweight’, ‘speed,’ and ‘enjoyment’.” It said so in their press release.
We also know there will only be 500 ever produced and they will only be sold in Japan.
And it will be the best WRX STI ever made. Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber in the side mirrors and roof, the car now weighs 10 kg (or about 22 lbs) less than a standard WRX STI. It also has an entirely new engine. Rather than the big 2.5-L boxer 4-cylinder engine, the new RA-R has a 2.0-L EJ20 Boxer 4-cylinder engine producing 324.5 hp. That’s nearly 15 more ponies than the 2019 WRX STI, which produces 310 hp.
The new engine comes with a new performance shroud for the intercooler as well as a new performance exhaust system that improves airflow as well as the engine noise.
It’s not just engine upgrades for the RA-R. The new Subaru gets a suspension upgrade too with new coil springs, dampers, and Brembo brakes with 6-piston calipers up front and 2-pistons in the rear. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires adorn all four wheels, which are STI-designed BBS 18-inch×8 1/2JJ alloys painted in matte black.
The WRX STI RA-R goes on sale December 17th for a total of roughly $41,500 USD each. But remember: they’re only selling them in Japan, so if you’re the biggest Subaru fan that you simply must have the best WRX STI ever made, you’ll have to not only import it but also switch the side the steering wheel is on.