Last year a Lamborghini Huracan Performante went around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 6 minutes and 52 seconds. Although a lot of people thought the lap was faked and the footage was sped up, Nurburgring officials stepped up with a statement confirming that everything was legitimate.

This year, a Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type RA NBR Special (long name but more on that later) blasted around the same track in 6 minutes and 57 seconds.

If critics thought the Huracan’s lap time was suspicious, then what will they think of a four-door sedan blasting around the hardest race track in the world in a time that’s just 5 seconds off a genuine super car?

Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type RA NBR Special
The Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type RA NBR Special at the Nurburgring

Before you jump on the bandwagon and assume that this one’s faked as well, know that the car in question is not your normal, run-of-the-mill Impreza WRX STI. Remember that long name I said I’d get to later on?.

Well, it has something to do with the car’s incredible lap time. What Subaru did is take a normal STI Type RA and turn everything up to 11. As you can imagine, the car isn’t stock, but it isn’t that far off the production car it’s based on.

Tuning legends Prodrive were assigned the task of turning a normal Type RA into a track monster, and they didn’t fail to deliver. The 2.5-liter engine has been replaced with a WRC-spec 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine, running a 25 psi turbo pressure setting.

The intake has been sized up to 75 mm, and even the Symmetrical All-wheel drive system has been modified to cope with the extra power. How much power you may ask?

We don’t have an exact number, but the figure is definitely north of 600 horsepower. Peak power comes in at 8,500 rpm and the top speed is limited to 179 mph via gearing. A far cry from the stock WRX STI’s 300-ish horsepower yes, but it’s amazing to know that the STI platform can handle ridiculous mods and see such an increase in performance.

Subaru WRX STI type RA
Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Set a Sub-Seven Minute Lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife Track (PRNewsfoto/Subaru of America, Inc.)

The stock transmission has been replaced with a sequential one lifted straight from the WRC car, but with over 600 horsepower, it was always going to be the weakest link.

The NBR Special runs full 9-inch slick tires and it uses a redesigned aero package specifically designed for track use. At top

At top speed, Prodrive claims the car produces 650 lbs. of downforce. It’s also got a Drag Reduction System rear wing which can be deployed for drag under braking and cornering, and opened for straight-line speed. Not bad for something with four doors and a large trunk.

Although Subaru won’t sell you an NBR Special, you can still purchase a WRX STI Type RA if you hurry (just 500 are being made).

With 300 horsepower, reduced weight and ultra-lightweight BBS 19-inch forged wheels it is the most hardcore Impreza you can purchase. Alternatively, you can do what I would do and buy a stock Impreza WRX or a WRX STI, and mod the hell out of it. You may not get the full 600 horsepower from the NRB Special, but it will be pretty close.

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Stefan Petrov
I love everything that has to do with cars. I could practically name every manufacturer and model before i could even say mom or dad. Recently i've taken up motorsport, with plans to travel to England and compete should the perfect opportunity arise. In my spare time i like to do some biking, and occasionally play the guitar.