2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA gets more power, sheds weight

Besides the 2018 BRZ tS, STI has another thing in store for U.S. fans of performance Subarus

It's called the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA, and it's a limited edition model based on the regular WRX STI.

As with the 2018 BRZ tS, only 500 units will be built, with the model arriving in Subaru dealerships across the United States in early 2018. The RA designation stands for "Record Attempt," as the model is inspired by the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special that will try to set a Nürburgring speed record this summer.

In keeping with the tradition of RA-badged Subarus of the past, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA features weight-saving measures such as the standard carbon fiber roof panel, the carbon fiber pedestal wing, and lightweight BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels. To further save weight, the spare tire has been ditched.

The Type RA complements the weight reduction with an engine upgrade that takes the 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine to 310 hp (5 hp more than the stock WRX STI) thanks to an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust, as well as a retuned ECU and stronger pistons.

STI has also made changes to the short-throw six-speed manual transmission, which now features a revised third gear ratio. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the weight reduction, added power, and revised gearing contribute to faster acceleration — however, Subaru is withholding the specs from us.

While at its, STI engineers also modified the suspension, adding inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension, all with Bilstein dampers. The multi-mode VDC system is said to give the car better stability control, while the Brembo brake system with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.

You'll know a WRX STI Type RA when you'll see it thanks to the exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accents on the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover, the STI front spoiler, as well as the black mirror caps, shark fin antenna, and STI fender badges. If those clues aren't enough, there's also the WRX STI Type RA badge on the rear deck lid.

Inside, the Type RA gets Recaro front seats with red bolsters and stitching, as well as red accents throughout the cabin. Finally, the steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede for better grip.