The Subaru WRX, which was remodeled for the 2022 model year, has now introduced a rally variant to its lineup.
This reimagined WRX rally car is set to mark its competitive debut in the American Rally Association (ARA) championship at the Ojibwe Forests Rally scheduled for Aug. 24-25. This new model is set to replace cars grounded in the previous-generation WRX framework.
An Introduction to the Subaru Forester
Subaru’s factory-team driver Brandon Semenuk, along with his co-driver Keaton Williams, will operate the 180-numbered car. However, they are set to be accompanied in 2024 by Travis Pastrana, who is re-entering the ARA series after a one-year break.
The construction of the WRX rally car was handled by Vermont SportsCar. The company is known for building previous WRX rally cars used in ARA races, Pastrana’s Subaru GL Family Huckster, and the WRX STI Airslayer gymkhana cars. Upon the release of the latest-generation WRX in the U.S., Vermont SportsCar spent a year and a half designing and testing the rally car before its grand competitive debut.
The Making of the 2024 Subaru WRX ARA Rally Car
The production process begins with a standard WRX body shell, which undergoes full seam welding and installation of an FIA/USAC-compliant roll cage made from T45 steel. The regular fuel tank is replaced with a 21.6-gallon kevlar fuel cell, while the driver and co-driver are situated in Sparco racing seats, aligned with FIA safety standards.
The vehicle is crafted according to ARA Open 4WD rules, which permits the inclusion of an expansive rear wing and broadened fenders. These components are composed of carbon fiber, and the entire car showcases Subaru’s iconic rally livery of WR Blue Pearl with the brand’s star logo depicted in yellow.
While the regular WRX is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4, the race class requires a 2.0-liter engine with an air restrictor and boost limiter. Despite these constraints, the race engine delivers 320 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, which is 49 hp and 122 lb-ft higher than the regular model. Power is transmitted to all wheels via a Sadev 6-speed close-ratio transmission. The rally car also features an upgraded suspension system, encompassing R53 Suspension springs and dampers as well as crossmembers, links, and hubs developed by Vermont SportsCar, regulating the movement of 15-inch Yokohama Advanced A053 rally tires.
Although rallying hasn’t achieved the same level of popularity in the U.S. as in other nations, Subaru is optimistic that the revised ARA rules will stimulate more competition, consequently sparking greater fan engagement. The brand also views this as a chance to familiarize a new generation with its iconic blue-and-yellow WRX rally cars.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Subaru WRX rally car
When will the new Subaru WRX rally car make its competition debut?
The new Subaru WRX rally car will make its competition debut in the American Rally Association (ARA) championship’s Ojibwe Forests Rally scheduled for Aug. 24-25.
Who will drive the new Subaru WRX rally car in the ARA championship?
Brandon Semenuk, a current Subaru factory-team driver, along with his co-driver Keaton Williams, will operate the car. In 2024, they will be joined by Travis Pastrana, who is returning to the ARA series after a one-year hiatus.
Who is responsible for the construction of the new Subaru WRX rally car?
The WRX rally car is built by Vermont SportsCar. They also constructed previous generations of WRX rally cars for ARA competition, as well as Pastrana’s Subaru GL Family Huckster and WRX STI Airslayer gymkhana cars.
What is the difference in power between the WRX rally car and the WRX road car?
Even though the rally car’s engine is smaller due to class rules, the race engine of the WRX rally car delivers 320 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, which is 49 hp and 122 lb-ft more than the road car.
How does Subaru perceive the future of rallying in the U.S.?
Subaru believes that the latest ARA rules will stimulate more competition and subsequently increase fan interest. The brand also sees this as a chance to introduce its iconic blue-and-yellow WRX rally cars to a new generation.
More about Subaru WRX rally car
- Subaru Official Website
- American Rally Association
- Subaru WRX Features and Specs
- Vermont SportsCar
- Rally Car Rules by ARA
- Travis Pastrana Bio