Subaru Unveils Two New STI Electric Concept Cars at Tokyo Auto Salon
Japanese automaker Subaru looks back on its rally pedigree by introducing two new STIs (Subaru Tecnica International) electric concept cars at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Show. But instead of aiming for global rally stages, Subaru is determined to achieve a Nürburgring lap record.
Images: Subaru Corporation
We talk about the TSI E-RA (Attempted Electric Record), an all-electric sports car that Subaru calls “a motorsport STI study project in the near future.” It’s a purpose-built track car unlike any Subaru before it, and its primary goal is to lap the Nürburgring in a record time of six minutes and 40 seconds (6:40).
The STI E-RA has all the characteristic proportions of a dedicated racing model. The low-slung, aero-optimized body with a large rear spoiler helps it slice through the wind effortlessly while producing more downforce. The concept is powered by electric motors mounted on the wheels on all four sides to provide better responsiveness and better control of yaw forces when attacking corners. Subaru says this design complies with future motorsport regulations imposed by the FIA E-GT.
Those four electric motors produce a combined 1,073 horsepower, and all of that power is transmitted to the pavement via Subaru’s Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive system. The transmission uses sensors to analyze many factors such as vehicle speed, individual wheel speeds, steering angle, yaw rates and G-forces to keep the car pointed in the right direction.
The STI E-RA is powered by a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery. This year, the concept will see action on various Japanese racing circuits before attempting to break the Nürburgring lap record in 2023. In addition, high-revving electric motors, integrated inverters and gearbox are courtesy from Yamaha Motor Company.
Meanwhile, Subaru also introduced the Solterra STI concept. There was no mention of any specific performance-enhancing upgrades, but it does have red-themed STI-branded exterior upgrades like a front splitter, new roof-mounted rear spoiler, side skirts and a custom front bumper. It also has new five-spoke black wheels with a red-painted spoke for good measure.
Subaru also introduced STI enhancements for its WRX sedan and BRZ sports car. Standard in the WRX S4 STI performance concept is a red front splitter, redesigned side skirts and a carbon fiber rear spoiler, potentially a preview of the long-awaited WRX STI model coming soon.
Finally, the BRZ STI concept also gets a red front splitter and a large rear spoiler. Does that mean the BRZ gets an STI version from the factory? Probably not, although Subaru says STI body upgrades for the BRZ will soon be available for purchase.