Wicked, 670-Hp Subaru WRX Spits Flames, Goes for Speed Records

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. kicks off on Thursday and one of the stars on hand will be this custom race car built by Subaru’s motorsports division in the U.S., with the help of Vermont SportsCar, in an effort to create the quickest and fastest WRX ever.

Called “Project Midnight,” the wicked speedster takes inspiration from the 862-horsepower Subaru WRX STI a.k.a. Airslayer that pulled off all sorts of crazy drifts and stunts in the 2020 installment of the Gymkhana series, including a 230-foot jump, and then went on to break records at timed events like the Mount Washington Hillclimb, as seen in this blood-chilling video.

The goal is clear: outright speed. And fittingly, Subaru Motorsports USA driver Scott Speed will be behind the wheel.

Photo: Subaru

Project Midnight is based on the latest WRX and features ultra-wide aerodynamic bodywork in addition to a radically enlarged version of the wing found on the team’s WRX ARA24 gravel rally car. Combined, the carbon fibre body and the significantly lightened chassis give it a curb weight of well under 2,500 lbs, making it 1,000 lbs lighter than a standard WRX.

Specially derived tarmac suspension geometry was obviously a requisite. Ditto for the 280/650R18 Yokohama ADVAN slicks that wrap around 18x11-inch OZ Racing Superturismo LMP magnesium wheels.

Photo: Subaru

But wait, it gets even better. Power comes from a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-litre flat-four engine that produces 670 hp and 680 lb-ft of torque, revs up to 9,500 rpm and spits flames from its hood-exit exhaust—for real. It’s the most recent and top-performing evolution of Subaru Motorsports USA’s highly successful engine that helped Scott Speed earn Subaru the Nitro Rallycross Teams Championship in 2021.

We’re really curious to see how the car performs at the famous Goodwood hillclimb this weekend. Meanwhile, we keep doing what many enthusiasts are doing—pray for the return of a road-legal STI. Because more track-focused WRX models and special editions like the one that debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year are just not the same.

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