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Subaru, synonymous with the adrenaline-pumping world of rallying, has etched an indelible brand identity linked to the sport. The iconic images of Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Petter Solberg expertly maneuvering Imprezas through dense forests during the 1990s and early 2000s have stood the test of time, embodying the spirit of grit and performance that Subaru has long been associated with.

Now, a fresh chapter unfolds as Subaru introduces a brand-new rally car, the VT23r. Drawing its lineage from the latest VB chassis WRX, which graced showrooms last year, this impressive machine is meticulously crafted to compete in the pinnacle Open class of the American Rally Association, showcasing Subaru’s unwavering commitment to the world of rallying.

Subaru New Rally Car

The WRX has embarked on an evolution, catering to its audience by embracing enhanced creature comforts and cutting-edge technology. While the transition has sparked discussions, certain criticisms need careful consideration. Despite lingering concerns about peak power and the retention of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the WRX’s CVT, while often maligned, does not disappoint, and the option of a manual transmission continues to charm enthusiasts. Remarkably, the powertrain’s optimization for everyday driving is evident, with the 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four generating 271 horsepower at a lower rev range compared to its predecessors.

Size, often deceptive, is an ally of the WRX. Despite growing slightly in dimensions, the sedan exhibits exceptional agility on twisty roads, reinforcing its sporting pedigree. However, the debate over braking performance warrants attention, suggesting that Subaru should consider an upgrade in this crucial aspect.

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A notable divergence is the emergence of the WRX GT, a move that has raised eyebrows. While seeking to entice a broader customer base, this variant, priced $5,000 higher than its counterparts, incorporates an array of customizable tech and sophisticated seats. Interestingly, the WRX GT steps into the realm previously occupied by the performance-focused STI trim, perhaps more as a means to carve a niche than to serve as a direct successor.

The upcoming VT23r Rally Car showcases Subaru’s determination to harness its rally heritage. While ARA regulations imposed limitations on power, resulting in a restrained 22 psi of boost and a 33 mm restriction plate, the car’s interior has undergone a radical transformation, shedding weight for agility. The Sparco ADV Prime seats and FIA-certified roll cage contribute to this endeavor, striking a balance between performance and safety. Noteworthy additions such as a wide-body kit, robust suspension, and signature STI rear spoiler complete the package.

debut at the Ojibwe Forests Rally

With aspirations set high, the VT23r Rally Car is poised to make its debut at the Ojibwe Forests Rally on August 24th, helmed by Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams.

While the unveiling of the VT23r may not precisely align with the expectations of ardent Subaru enthusiasts, the prospect of Subaru delving deeper into rallying remains an exciting proposition. This renewed involvement may even pave the way for a potential return to the World Rally Championship (WRC), providing Subaru adheres to the prevailing regulations or a new class is conceived to accommodate Subaru’s existing arsenal.

As we eagerly await the VT23r’s rally debut, Subaru’s enduring rally legacy continues to captivate, leaving enthusiasts yearning for more, and perhaps holding out hope for the resurgent arrival of the STI in due course.

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Mansoor Ali, a Feature Writer, embarked on his journey five years ago with, fueled by his enthusiasm for cars. Starting as an eager journalist, he quickly became a seasoned professional, expanding his expertise to cover both bikes and cars. (Full Bio)