Monday 28th January 2013


Inevitably it's (currently) only for Japan but that doesn't stop us wanting one

The long-held Japanese tradition of building super cool, super nerdy sub variants of our favourite cars and then not exporting them outside of the domestic market is being upheld with news of a new Subaru BRZ RA Racing.

Stripped back to what you need for track fun
Stripped back to what you need for track fun
Back in the glory days of the Impreza the Type RAs were among the most coveted of JDM imports and while the BRZdoesnít quite live up to that illustrious history the fact Subaru is selling stripped back versions ready for a bit of track action is enough to have us rifling back through those old grey import contact books.

And, no, before you ask, it doesnít have any more power. So letís not even start down that road again Ė itíll either be an issue for you or it wonít.

What it does have is a bunch of sensible mods geared up for making your BRZ ready for a bit of track hoonage, including a roll cage with door bars (best not take it to the íring then), harnesses, extra ducting for the front brakes, removable towing eyes and an oil cooler mounted in the front bumper. It would also appear to have a slightly lower 4.1:1 final drive ratio from the auto version, perhaps offsetting the additional 28kg worth of heft the roll cage and other mods bring. 1,230kg still isnít bad though. In the small print thereís a charmingly Japanese apology for the fact that itís a little bit of a faff to get in and out of now, a tad noisier and, due to the cage, thereís no sun visor any more. Thereís also something about a special floor mat and a stern warning not to use any other type. And no, weíre not sure if thatís OCD or for some deeply technical reason.†

BRZ designed to fit track wheels from the start
BRZ designed to fit track wheels from the start
Subaruís also left it on black steelies on the assumption most enthusiasts will have their own favoured wheel/tyre combo. But we think it actually looks rather cool like that. Bear in mind also the BRZ/GT86 interior has been designed to fit in a set of track wheels, so you can take your choice of grippy or slippy tyres depending on whether youíre going for speed or sideways style. Yo. †

Thereís no talk of suspension mods either, again Subaruís likely reasoning being many enthusiasts will have their own preferences for retro-fit options. This differs from the upgraded Toyota GT86s we drove a little while back with their TRD approved suspension and braking packages but perhaps more in keeping with Subaruís enthusiast image.

This isnít the only pared-back BRZ option available for the JDM, the even more basic RA more intended as a blank canvas for the street tuning/styling brigade. This one, with the mechanical mods for track driving, is rather more appealing though. The 2,868,000 yen cost is an additional 500 quid or so on top of the top of the line JDM S model, which seems pretty reasonable all told.

As it stands the RA Racing is a JDM-only deal but we did report some time ago on the possibility of Subaru bring a stripped out BRZ to the UK. Is this it? Letís hope so!

Author: Dan Trent
Want more PH news like this daily - then signup for the PH newsletter here!