For 2015 Subaru Rally Team USA has debuted the rallycross version of the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI for team drivers Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek.
The team’s technical partner, Vermont SportsCar, first begins with a stock Subaru WRX STI right off the showroom floor. The car’s interior is then stripped bare, and the shell lightened then fully-seam welded for added strength. A multipoint roll cage, manufactured from T45 steel, is then welded into place. Fully prepared, the dry weight of the car is around 2,600 lbs., which is approximately 600 lbs. lighter than a stock STI. Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) regulations require a minimum weight with driver of 2,866 lbs., and ballast is added to meet this minimum.
Major differences from the stock STI include the addition of a competition fuel cell, which keeps race fuel contained within a flexible Kevlar bag tank, and a lightweight carbon/Kevlar RECARO SPA ProRacer competition seat with HANS (Head and Neck Restraint System). Other interior additions include a custom STI dashboard, carbon fiber door panels and an onboard fire suppression system.
One of the biggest differences between the rallycross and stage rally specification cars is the relocation of the radiator to the rear of the car. This is done to protect the radiator from flying debris and impacts typically found in wheel-to-wheel rallycross. Cooling air for the radiator enters through custom carbon fiber ducts on the rear doors of the car and exits the rear of the car.
Under the hood sits a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled BOXER engine. Similar to the stage rally car, the rallycross cars feature launch control, a turbo anti-lag system and a hydraulic handbrake. Another major difference between the rallycross and stage rally cars is horsepower. The Global RallyCross Championship requires a 45 mm restrictor on the turbo whereas Rally America (stage rally) requires a much smaller 33 mm restrictor. The restrictor size difference accounts for an increase of well over 200 hp! The rallycross cars produce in excess of 580 hp and an impressive 660 lb-ft of torque.
A Sadev 6-speed, close-ratio dog-engagement gearbox is used, which allows the team drivers to shift without depressing the clutch. The exterior of the car features a custom wide-body kit developed by Vermont SportsCar that uses carbon fiber, carbon-kevlar and other durable composites. The vertically slotted rear wing is made of carbon fiber and optimized to provide maximum downforce, even when sliding sideways.
The Subaru WRX STI GRC is a Class S rally car that is part of the original lineup of 35 cars.
Initially unavailable for purchase, the WRX was put on sale in late 2016 for 3,950. This price was removed in the Coachella Update, and now requires 30 blueprints to unlock. The WRX has a starting rank of level 40, with oil changes taking 4 hours to complete, and costing 250 per refill.
Prior to the Coachella Update, the WRX was one of the fastest cars available in the game with its incredible top speed and decent overall stats. It was also one of the most expensive vehicles to upgrade. After the Coachella Update, the WRX's max rank performance was nerfed significantly to accommodate the new upgrading system. This nerf transformed what was statistically the fastest rally car in the game, into one of the slowest rally cars in the game.
In comparison to other Class S rally cars, the Subaru has average handling and nitro duration, decent base acceleration, and a top speed higher than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. However, the WRX has the worst nitro power of not only the class-S rally cars, but all rally cars in the game when at the same car level. While drift-boosting helps, it cannot compensate for the lack of overall acceleration, it still can help with cornering, giving it a small edge over the Volkswagen Beetle GRC. Due to the majority of the WRX's speed being in the top speed stat, The speed gain from performing all-in nitro is noticeably weaker in exchange for having a higher than usual long nitro speed. This quirk is also present in the Mercedes-Benz Zetros.
At level 50, the Subaru WRX is arguably the worst rally car in the game. Its abysmal acceleration not only makes getting to top speed difficult, it also makes the WRX susceptible to knockdowns in multiplayer by faster-accelerating cars, as well as not being able to distance itself from obstructive AI opponents in career races.
Acceleration demanding tracks like Gobi is where the WRX is at its absolute worst, and even on tracks like Coachella Valley the Subaru's sluggish acceleration makes it struggle in gaining speed from corners.
The displayed and approximate fake speed of the Level 50 WRX STI GRC are:
(Speed Modifier is ~89.7% when using the Land Rover Defender as a benchmark.)
- Top Speed w/o boost: 183.8 mph (~164.9 mph)
- Top Speed w/ Level 1 long nitro: 190 mph (~170.4 mph)
- Top Speed w/ Level 2 long nitro: 192 mph (~172.2 mph)
- Top Speed w/ Level 3 long nitro: 194 mph (~174.0 mph)
- Top Speed w/ All-in nitro: 200.7 mph (~180.0 mph)
- Max Air Speed: 207 mph (~185.7 mph)
While the long nitro speed is quite high, the all-in nitro speed is only marginally higher than the Lancer Evolution, and is still far behind the ~194 mph the Mini All4Racing X-Raid and Ford Focus RS are capable of achieving. Additionally, due to its poor overall acceleration, there is not much of an advantage the Subaru can gain from utilizing the all-in nitro strategy. For this reason, the Subaru WRX STI can be ~1 second slower than the Lancer, and as much as ~7-8 seconds slower than the benchmark the X-Raid can set on top-speed oriented tracks like Coachella Valley; this only gets worse on acceleration demanding tracks like Gobi and some variations of Nile Valley.
Ultimately, the Subaru WRX STI GRC's colossal fall from grace makes it a poor option to max out. It is not featured in any events and is one of the worst rally cars for multiplayer. However, due to its starting rank being only 10 levels below the maximum rank, upgrading the WRX does not take up as many Class-S Tools as the Ford Fiesta ST GRC does, and requires no rank up tools to upgrade.
| Subaru WRX STI GRC Blueprint – Last checked: Jul 2, 2020|
Rarity: Class S
Vehicle: Subaru WRX STI GRC (30 to build, 70 to upgrade)
Availability: Boxes, Black Market
- Race 288 (Class S, levels 47–50)
- Recommended level: 48