New models - Subaru - WRX - NR-4
Subaru to import motorsport-only WRX
Rally and tarmac racers can order Subaru’s stripped-out WRX direct from the factory
20 Jul 2015
By TIM ROBSON
SUBARU Australia has added a motorsport-only version of the WRX STI to its local catalogue, becoming the only mainstream car-maker in Australia to officially offer a racing car direct to the public.
Known as the WRX STI NR4, the four-door sedan is essentially a stripped-out version of the road-going STI, fitted with Subaru’s EJ20 2.0-litre turbocharged flat four as opposed to the road-going car’s 2.5-litre version.
“These cars represent fantastic value for motorsport enthusiasts that want the amazing All-Wheel Drive advantage that has made WRX such a legend over the past 20 plus years,” said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior, who masterminded the company’s domination of the Australian rallying scene in the mid-1990s.
Eighteen-inch Enkei rims, Brembo brakes and a stock interior that’s designed to be replaced with racing equipment are supplied with the car, which will be priced from $38,000, including GST, and shipped to Australia via Port Kembla in New South Wales.
It is not a turn-key racing car as such the NR4 allows potential competitors to buy a ‘donor’ car from the factory for conversion into a rally or circuit car, without having to pay unnecessary registration and taxes.
Subaru Australia is planning to assist potential customers prepare the car for motorsport by offering an approved roll cage that can be fitted at the factory prior to delivery.
It is also working with its New Zealand-based motorsport partner, Possum Bourne Motorsport, to prepare a range of upgrades and modifications to meet the category requirements of both gravel and tarmac motorsport.
The NR4 regulations have replaced Group N4 and R4 rules in international rallying. The WRX can also be prepped for use in WRC2 events, as well as production-based circuit racing events such as the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Australian Production Car Championship.
Subaru Australia has imported ten vehicles for sale, with several reportedly purchased for use in the Australian Rally Championship. The company walked away from the ARC in 2005, after claiming ten consecutive championships as a works team in partnership with Possum Bourne Motorsport.
Despite rumours from a recent Australian Rally Championship round suggesting that the renowned rally preparation outfit Les Walkden Motorsports has purchased two of the cars, Subaru Australia has dismissed speculation that the company will return to the forests as a factory force.
“There is no plan to return to the ARC in the foreseeable future,” said Subaru Australian national corporate affairs manager David Rowley. “This doesn’t represent a return to the ARC for Subaru.”
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