Subaru Motorsports moved the first current-generation WRX off the line to a factory around 18 months ago and began work on converting it into a rally vehicle. It is now ready to divulge what it has discovered.
The car, designed to compete in the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship, will make its racing debut on August 24-25 at the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota. Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams will pilot it there. Travis Pastrana will join them in a second factory vehicle for the 2024 season.
“I’m really looking forward to the ARA rally championship in 2024,” Pastrana remarked. “The new Subaru platform is incredible, and the opportunity to compete again with two-time and defending champion Brandon Semenuk will be so much fun.”
The WRX has been fully re-engineered inside and out for competition by Subaru Motorsports’ technical partner, Vermont SportsCar. The engine is a custom-built 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged boxer engine with a 33 mm restrictor and 22 psi of boost, as required by ARA rules. Despite the limitations, the engine produces 320 horsepower (239 kW/324 PS) and 380 lb-ft (515 Nm).
A six-speed close-ratio transmission sends power to all four wheels. R53 Suspension springs and dampers, as well as VSC-designed cross members, links, and hubs, are used in a particularly engineered suspension to help manage wheel movement on any terrain.
Furthermore, the body shell has full seam welding and an FIA/USAC-spec roll cage composed of T45 steel. A 21.6-gallon (82-liter) Kevlar gas tank will let the car cross the finish line safely, while Sparco ADV Prime race seats with HANS devices will keep drivers safe. The safety system is completed by a self-extinguishing cloth liner and FIA-approved energy-absorbing cushioning.
External changes include a carbon fiber widebody package that was created from the ground up with aerodynamics in mind and works in tandem with a large rear wing.
“This platform has been completely reengineered, and the car looks and feels more dynamic, resulting in an even better show for the fans,” Semenuk explained. “With the release of the new car comes an exciting future.”
Subaru Motorsports intends to share the tale of how it developed its current rally car in a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary that will be available on YouTube beginning August 9. The series trailer is available below.