Subaru traveled to the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon to unveil a new race car concept and to announce an ambitious goal. It built the electric STI E-RA design study with help from Yamaha to beat the time set by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS on Germany's grueling Nürburgring racetrack.
While the Japanese company didn't specifically single out the 911 GT2 RS, it said that its goal is to lap the circuit in under 400 seconds, which represents six minutes and 40 seconds; that's the exact time set by a Manthey-Racing-modified 911 GT2 RS in October 2018. Subaru hopes to achieve this by powering the STI E-RA with four in-wheel electric motors whose total output checks in at about 1,072 horsepower.
The motors will draw electricity from a 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and a four-wheel torque vectoring system will help the single-seater get around the track's many corners as quickly as possible. Additional technical specifications haven't been released, but the STI E-RA certainly looks capable of setting a lightning-quick lap time. It's low, wide and fitted with an aggressive-looking body kit.
Subaru plans to start testing the STI E-RA on tracks in Japan later in 2022, and it will send the car to the 'Ring in 2023. Nothing suggests that the concept will spawn a production model, but the lessons learned will help engineers design street-legal high-performance EVs.
Lapping the Nürburgring in under six minutes and 40 seconds is easier said than done. For context, the list of production cars that have set a time of under seven minutes include the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and the Porsche 918 Spyder. Volkswagen's electric ID.R went around the track in 6:05, while the record belongs to the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo with a time of 5:19.