• Jun 9th 2010 at 3:00AM
  • 62
2011 Subaru WRX STI sedan at the Nürburgring – Click above for high-res image gallery

Quick: What's the fastest production sedan in the world? Does it wear a Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW badge? What about the Porsche Panamera Turbo or the Cadillac CTS-V? There's no doubt that each of these vehicular behemoths is capable of ripping off some fast times on a race track near you, but Subaru is out to prove that its new 2011 WRX STI sedan has the chops to keep pace with the best from the rest of the world.

To prove its point, Subaru recently sent test driver and four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen out to the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife course in Germany with a 2011 STI test car. According to reports, the vehicle used in this testing was equipped with a few significant upgrades including a larger turbocharger that normally sees duty in the Japanese R205 model and some lightweight aluminum bits, but one thing is for certain: the 7:55 lap time is a mighty impressive result.

For those keeping track of such things, the previous best lap set by a Subaru WRX STI was in 2004 at 7:59.41 and the new mark set by Subaru – albeit with a prototype, not a production car – is quicker than any of the aforementioned competition. Best of all, there's a video of one entire lap around the 'Ring and you can find the in-car footage after the break.

[Source: Subaru]

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Subaru Releases Test Footage of Advanced Subaru WRX STI Research and Development from Nurburgring, Germany

CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru today released footage covering advanced research and development carried out at the Nurburgring's racetrack in Germany, using a 2011MY Subaru WRX STI 4-door (sedan) test vehicle. Subaru has been using the famous Nordschleife course since 1992 for advanced R&D as well as tests of the WRX and WRX STI models. The video uploaded on the Subaru Global Site www.subaru-global.com features this year's development work. It is presented as a highlight of Subaru's persistent effort to stretch vehicle performance to unprecedented levels.

The concept of the 2011MY WRX STI is "The Fastest WRX STI Ever." At Subaru, the phrase "Fastest" refers to more than just top speed or maximum engine output. It implies driving with confidence. The WRX STI can be taken to its "fastest ever" performance by providing the driver with total driving control with confidence. Major upgrades to the 2011MY WRX STI focused on the chassis and suspension set-up, and tests at the Nurburgring demonstrated the supreme overall dynamics and linear behavior of the new STI. Tommi Makinen, the legendary four-time World Rally Champion, piloted the test vehicle for the development. He commented, "The car was controllable with precise and faithful handling even on tricky corners. I could easily predict the car's behavior. That is exactly what Subaru is offering, confidence. As a result, the 2011MY WRX STI test vehicle recorded 7'55''00, Subaru's fastest lap time ever, which is 4 seconds faster than the previous fastest time recorded in 2004."

The 2011MY WRX STI 4-door will go on sale world-wide this summer. Upgrades to the 4-door version will be carried over to the 5-door model.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      so what's the fastest production sedan in the world?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice, looks great too!
      • 5 Years Ago
      oh snap 5th to 2nd and 9000rpms! I've done that, great times great times...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gotta love em STi
      • 5 Years Ago
      Might want to check to see what times BMW have posted and notice the E46 CSL did it in 7:50 and the Michelin Pilot Sport cut-slick tyres were standard fit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I'm not mistaken, the CSL was a coupe only, not a sedan. This story mentioned the fastest sedans of which the STI is one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a two-door sedan, despite what BMW call it, but I see your point and noticed myself after I posted it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would like to see the Volvo Polestar C30 prototype in a full fight and road test with this Scooby prototype.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dam I want one in white now!!! but I dont want that boy ricer image!!! NOT FAIR NOT FAIR!

      Beautiful car!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fast cars, brightly colored can get expensive!...

        "I am sorry sir. I was going how fast?"

        But it does look great in white.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BS! How can this be the fastest production car, when it has non-production mods in it. Talk about blatant dishonesty.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It has a turbo from a production japanese model (r205), not a hand-built custom mod, and some aluminum parts from the Spec.C and R205 models.

        The only difference in the turbo is a ball bearing center cartridge, the impeller and compressor are not really different than the needle-bearing cousins. The R205 only makes 315hp, not gobs more than the UK or US market variants.

        This is not a tuner-house car... just a car prepped for the rigors of the track with alternate factory parts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did he intentionally mess up that last turn to cross the finish faster?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe if Subaru put this hardware in an actual performance car body, instead of a blunt, chunky econobox + bodykit.

      The hardware under this car is fantastic... but damn that car looks like a cinder-block, and the 5-door version doesn't do much better, and looks like Quasimodo, the hunch-back of the auto industry.

      Imagine if they put an actually aerodynamically efficient, down-force generating, performance coupe body on top of those mechanicals, and with some weight distribution work (rear battery, aluminum hood, etc...) on those STI-grade mechanicals, and some additional suspension tuning to really get it right.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I want a 3-door fastback coupe bodystyle badly, and not just minus two doors on the 5-door impreza's hunch-back profile. Something more like the Fourth generation / T160 Series (1985–1989) Toyota Celica, both generations of Ford Probe, or Subaru's own GL10 hatchback.

        Although pepople might be surprised how close the 2005-2009 Legacy and 2008-current Impreza are both to each other, and to the SVX.

        The SVX is much lower in height, very slightly wider, and a bit longer than the impreza, but similar to the 05-09 Legacy's length. My SVX's roof is below the window-sill of most mid-size or larger SUV/CUV, and pretty much the bed rails of any current production truck larger or taller than a base-model Chevy Colorado. It is that low, with a normal ride-height and ground clearance.

        The '10 Legacy is much bigger in every dimension than an SVX. An SVX can fully hide behind a 10 Legacy, easily, and SVX is not a small coupe. A '10-current Legacy-based coupe would be needlessly bulky, much moreso than an original SVX.

        Cars have gotten significantly larger in the last 2 decades, class for class. While getting larger, they've gotten taller, and more blunt.

        I thought that was supposed to be one of the benefits of a Subaru boxer engine... lower height allowing a lower cowl and lower frontal area for less drag and more visibility from the driver's seat. Subaru is proving that isn't their point anymore.

        I have a feeling that low, sleek cars, at least at any mainstream price point, are becoming a thing of the past.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup, I'd like nothing better than the Impreza rebodied as a 2+2 XT coupe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Suby could just keep it simple as just a 3-door hatch.rebody on top of the WRX STi mechanicals. Drivetrain part-for-part swappable keeps the cost down on the XT.

        Going to a full-size Grand Tourer like the SVX really wants a larger platform to work in the current environment, so that the low-slung bodywork isnt 911-claustrophobic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      While I don't think it's "cool" to claim a 'Ring lap record with a modified car... I don't think that was Subaru's intention. Seems like they wanted to show what the platform can do, maybe the changes will be stock in the near future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Adding a cage is a *huge* change, and Suby's using one for stiffness, same as GM did in their Vette.

        If the larger turbo is part of their parts catalog, available to the customer, it's a legit swap.

        Competition wheels, tires and brake pads are completely legit for performance runs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Adding some safety equipment or a fire extinguisher is not the same as changing the turbo, tires and lighter chassis/suspension components... all those changes can add up to quite a few seconds on the track.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gotta love it...
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