The Hardcore Subaru WRX STI Type RA Is Eye-Wateringly Expensive


Are you willing to pay nearly $50,000 for a Subaru WRX STI?

Whenever a new limited edition Subaru WRX STI is announced they’re typically reserved exclusively for the Japanese market, which leads to us complaining about how outdated the current North American model is. The hardcore WRX STI Type RA is a rare exception however, as Subaru is bringing it to the US next spring along with the BRZ tS. You’ll need to act fast though, as only 500 examples of each model are being produced. You’ll also need deep pockets, because Subaru is charging a hefty premium for their exclusivity.

The Japanese automaker has announced that the Subaru WRX STI Type RA will cost a whopping $49,885 after the $860 destination charge. That’s right, you’re paying nearly $50,000 for a WRX STI. To put that into perspective, you can buy a WRX STI with the Limited trim for less than $41,000. To justify the price, Subaru has fitted the WRX STI Type RA with a retuned engine control unit, stronger pistons, a new cold-air intake and a freer-flowing exhaust. These modifications increase the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine's output to 310-hp, which is a modest 5-hp boost over the standard STI. Acceleration is also improved thanks to a revised third-gear ratio and short-throw shifter.

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Bilstein-sourced and STI-tuned dampers also help apply that power to the road, and the Type RA is also fitted with new Brembo calipers with six-piece monoblock pieces in front and two-piston units in the rear. In addition, a new carbon fiber roof and wing and gold BBS 19-inch forged wheels help reduce weight. Unique parts also help distinguish the Type RA, such as Cherry Blossom Red trim covering the mesh grille and parts of the rear bumper A black finish now covers the turn signals, radio antenna, and fender badges. Inside, the Type RA features Recaro sport seats with red bolsters, and a Ultrasuede-covered steering wheel. A numbered plaque also highlights the car’s limited 500-unit production.

If you can’t afford the Type RA, the rear-wheel-drive BRZ tS will set you back a more wallet-friendly $33,495. Unlike the Type RA, the BRZ tS doesn’t benefit from any performance upgrades, so you get the same 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine as the standard BRZ. Instead, Subaru has focused on improving the car’s handling in the TS edition. Among the BRZ tS’s enhancements include retuned Sachs springs and dampers, a stiffer chassis, a new body kit and a manually adjustable carbon fiber rear wing. Like the STI Type RA, Cherry Blossom Red trim has been applied to the front grille and rear bumper. The interior is a mix of Alcantara and black leather upholstery with contrasting red stitching.

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