This past June, the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special made the ambitious attempt to set a new Nürburgring lap record for a four-door sedan, giving us a glimpse into the Japanese automakers Type R spec STI.

Performance

Now, a more ‘toned-down’ version will be arriving this Spring: the 310-hp 2018 WRX STI Type RA with a 2.5L turbocharged engine under the hood mated to a 6-speed manual transmission equipped with a revised 3rd gear ratio and a short-throw shifter. But Subaru is only producing 500 units of the special edition WRX STI when it arrives to dealers in Spring 2018, along with its BRZ tS cousin also in limited quantities.

What sets this track star apart from the other WRX STIs is the cut in weight and revised gearing responsible for faster sprints off the line; coupled with a some serious braking power new for 2018 which includes stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear and larger, cross-drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation, all by Brembo.

Interior

The Type RA model inside gets good old Recaro sports seats, signature red stitching and accent trim throughout, and Ultrasuede wrapped steering wheel, and of course, a centre console plaque displaying the number count of this rare beast.

Unlike most track stars void of the bulky features, this rocket finds a 7.0” Multimedia Plus System that includes smartphone integration, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming as well as an extensive list of STARLINK cloud apps, so everyday driving and chores like getting groceries in a rigid machine won’t be all that bad.

Exterior

If the WRX wasn’t invasive-looking enough, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA steps it up a few notches with an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover along with BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels in gold finish. To handle those higher speeds, an STI front underspoiler adds stability while exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now in a black finish round things out.

Price and Availability

Price is set at US$48,995 when the 2018 WRX STI Type RA arrives to Subaru dealers in Spring, but add a destination & delivery fee of $860 ($1,010 for retailers in Alaska) – if you’re lucky enough get your hands on one.

Also check out: 2018 WRX Pricing and Release Date: Starts at US$26,995