Monday, May 27, 2024

Subaru Motorsports WRX Rally car to debut at Ojibwe Forests Rally

Subaru Motorsports USA has revealed the all-new WRX Rally car for competition in the Open 4WD class of the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship. The #180 team of driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams will pilot the car in its racing debut at Ojibwe Forests Rally at the end of this month.

A second team will join the fight, that one led by motorsport icon Travis Pastrana, in the 2024 ARA season.

The WRX Rally car itself is powered by a custom-built turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with a 33-millimeter restrictor plate and 22-psi boost limit. As a result, the powertrain produces a modest 320 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, while a SADEV six-speed close-ratio transmission sends the power to the all-wheel-drive system.

Springs and dampers are from R53 Suspension, working with VSC-designed cross-members, links, and hubs to manage wheel movement on any surface the Yokohama 15-inch ADVAN A053 gravel rally tires encounter.

Built by Subaru’s technical partner Vermont SportsCar, it has a fully seam-welded body along with custom suspension and other modifications to make it a monster on the dirt. The stripped-out interior likewise features an FIA/USAC-spec roll cage constructed from T45 steel. The stock WRX gas tank is replaced by an 82-liter Kevlar fuel cell, and Sparco ADV Prime competition seats feature HANS (Head and Neck Restraint System) devices, a self-extinguishing fabric liner, and FIA-approved energy-absorbing padding.

The carbon fiber widebody was designed from a blank sheet with the latest ARA aerodynamics ruleset in mind. Its giant carbon-fiber rear wing is nearly as eye-catching as the car‘s matte WR Blue Pearl and livery reminiscent of classic Subaru rally cars.

“The release of the new car will bring an exciting future along with it,” Brandon Semenuk said in a statement. “This platform has been completely reengineered, and the car looks and feels more dynamic, which will translate to an even better show for the fans! We will also have Travis coming back to the championship next season, which I’m looking forward to. Not only is it more fun having a teammate, but you learn so much more with a two-car team, and this will be important for the ongoing development of the platform.”

It is currently unclear if the company has any plans to put an STI version of the high-performance sedan into production. In the meantime, Subaru will post a video series about the rally car’s development on its YouTube channel.