Subaru Motorsports USA today reveals the all-new WRX rally car for competition in the Open 4WD class of the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship. The #180 team of driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams will pilot the car in its racing debut at Ojibwe Forests Rally on August 24-25. It was also announced today that extreme sport legend Travis Pastrana will join in a second car in the 2024 ARA season.
For an in-depth look at the all-new WRX rally car, be sure to keep an eye on the Subaru YouTube channel for “Next Stage,” a six-episode miniseries giving a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the 18-month process of designing, building, and testing the new car. The first episode of “Next Stage” will go live Wednesday, August 9th.
Built for competition by technical partner Vermont SportsCar, the new rally car has been engineered from the inside out for maximum performance under current ARA Open 4WD specifications and regulations. Starting with WRX number 1 – the very first current-generation Subaru WRX sold in the US – the new car was designed, built, and tested over a period of 18 months before its debut today. It is powered by a custom-built turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that meets the requirements of its class, including a mandated 33mm restrictor and 22psi boost limit. To spec, the engine produces 320hp and 380 lb-ft. of torque, while a SADEV six-speed close-ratio transmission sends the power to all four wheels. Springs and dampers are from R53 Suspension, working with VSC-designed crossmembers, links, and hubs to manage wheel movement on any surface the Yokohama 15-inch ADVAN A053 gravel rally tires encounter.
Much of the development of the new car focuses on the safety of the driver and co-driver, starting with a fully seam-welded body shell and an FIA/USAC-spec roll cage constructed from T45 steel. The stock WRX gas tank is replaced by an 82-liter Kevlar fuel cell, and Sparco ADV Prime competition seats feature HANS (Head and Neck Restraint System) devices, a self-extinguishing fabric liner and FIA approved energy absorbing padding.
The carbon fiber widebody was designed from a blank sheet with the latest ARA aerodynamics ruleset in mind, with a giant carbon-fiber rear wing that is nearly as eye-catching as the car’s matte WR Blue Pearl and livery reminiscent of classic Subaru rally cars. With new ARA regulations attracting more competition, there is every chance that rally racing could be on the upswing in the United States. Fans should look forward to this awesome new WRX rally car leading the way as Subaru Motorsports USA and Vermont SportsCar enter this new era.