Subaru WRX STI Type RA – is it better?
The Subaru WRX STI Type RA, or Record Attempt, may seem only marginally better than a regular STI on paper, but there are a variety of differences when you take a closer look. Subaru designed the Type RA to be a better STI on the track, hence the Record Attempt name. As far as performance, the Type RA blows the regular STI out of the water with factory upgraded parts that brought the standard 305 horsepower up to 310 hp.
A retuned ECU, a higher flow exhaust, updated intake, and stronger pistons are all installed to give the Type RA a little more get up and go. While these changes might seem a little excessive for a modest gain of 5hp, they were made so that the Type RA could spend the whole day at the track and drive home after.
To help squeeze more performance from the 2.5-liter boxer engine, the Type RA is 68 lbs lighter than a regular STI. Subaru designed a carbon fiber roof, added 19″ gold BBS wheels and replaced the spare tire with a tire repair kit, which when added together brought that total weight of the car down.
Other improvements include Bilstein coilovers, a short throw shifter, and a more acceleration-biased 3rd gear. These upgrades completely change the driver experience by allowing the car to corner flatter and accelerate harder out of corners – all while making the Type RA a more precise and effective track car.
Visually, the Type RA received some new flare in the form of red accent trim, a larger carbon fiber spoiler, and vents behind the rear wheels.
The interior has also been upgraded with the addition of a thicker suede steering wheel and a unique number plate (out of 500).
Although it may seem like these upgrades are small or insignificant, they add up to make a much better car. Take the carbon-fiber roof, for example. Not only is it unique to this model and looks cool, it also lowers the center of gravity and adds body rigidity to improve the car’s cornering ability.
All in all, the Type RA comes with a lot of features that improve the way the Type RA handles, performs, and looks. Typically these types of improvements would be left to aftermarket companies, but the WRX STI Type RA was built with the reliability that Subaru is known for, so you’ll never have to worry about making it back from track day.