Subaru Unveils Two New Electric STI Concept Cars At Tokyo Auto Salon

Japanese automaker Subaru is harking back to its rallying pedigree by introducing two new STI (Subaru Tecnica International) electric concept cars at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. But instead of affixing its sights at worldwide rally stages, Subaru is dead set in achieving a Nürburgring lap record.

We're talking about the STI E-RA (Electric-Record attempt), an all-electric sports car that Subaru refers to as "an STI near-future motorsport study project." It's a purpose-built track car that looks unlike any Subaru before it, and its primary goal is to circle the Nürburgring with a record lap time of six minutes and 40-seconds (6:40).

The STI E-RA has all the hallmark proportions of a dedicated racing model. The low-slung, aero-optimized body with a largish rear spoiler lets it slice the wind effortlessly while producing more downforce. Powering the concept are wheel-mounted electric motors on all four sides to deliver better responsiveness and better control of yaw forces when attacking corners. Subaru claims this design is compliant with future motorsport regulations mandated by the FIA E-GT.

Those four electric motors produce a combined 1,073 horsepower, and all that power goes to the pavement via Subaru's torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The drivetrain utilizes sensors to analyze many factors like vehicle speed, individual wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rates, and G-forces to keep the car pointing in the right direction.

Powering the STI E-RA is a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This year, the concept will see action at various Japanese racing circuits before attempting to break the Nürburgring lap record sometime in 2023. In addition, the high-revolution electric motors, integrated inverters, and gearbox is courtesy of the Yamaha Motor Company.

Meanwhile, Subaru also presented the Solterra STI concept. There was no mention of specific performance-enhancing upgrades, but it does have red-themed, STI-branded exterior upgrades like a front splitter, a new roof-mounted rear spoiler, side skirts, and a bespoke front bumper. It also has new black five-spoke wheels with one spoke painted red for good measure.

Subaru also showcased STI upgrades for its WRX sedan and BRZ sports car. Standard in the WRX S4 STI performance concept is a red front splitter, redesigned side skirts, and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, potentially a preview of the much-awaited WRX STI model arriving soon.

Finally, the BRZ STI concept also gets a red front splitter and a large rear spoiler. Does this mean the BRZ is getting an STI version from the factory? Probably not, although Subaru claims STI body upgrades for the BRZ will be available to purchase real soon.