SUBARU will attempt to break the electric vehicle lap record at Germany’s famed Nürburgring next year with its newly released STI E-RA Concept, the model debuting alongside the road-going Solterra eSUV at the Tokyo Auto Salon this weekend.
The 800kW quad motor electric race car took pride of place on the Subaru stage in Tokyo, Subaru saying the model was developed “with the aim of gathering experience with new technologies in the world of motorsports for the carbon-neutral era.”
Subaru Tecnica International, the company’s motorsports division, will test the car on Japanese circuits this year before it attempts to break the Nürburgring EV record in 2023. To take the title, it must better a time of less than 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
The designation E-RA is short for “electric record attempt”, Subaru says. The vehicle sports a proprietary four-motor, four-wheel torque vectoring system with motors developed and supplied by Yamaha. To keep weight down, the STI E-RA Concept is powered by a 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Subaru says the torque-vectoring system of the STI E-RA concept is designed to deliver maximum grip and control by “monitoring and adjusting to a complex calculation of inputs such as wheel speed, vehicle speed, steering angle, G-force, yaw rate, brake pressure, and wheel load”.
Meanwhile, the battery electric Solterra STI Concept also made its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the STI-enhanced concept a look at what could be a performance variant of Subaru’s first mass-market EV set to go on sale towards the middle of this year (2022).
The Subaru Solterra STI on show remains powered by the same 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack as regular Solterra variants and is available in two- and all-wheel drive configurations, the latter featuring the brand’s trademark X-Mode AWD Control system and Grip Control function.
All-wheel drive versions of the Solterra are powered by a pair of electric motors, one situated on each axle.
The concept model does not feature any performance upgrades beside the body kit, wheels, and Hyundai N-esque periwinkle blue paint. Subaru said of the concept: “the model inspires Subaru’s superior driving dynamics” and little else.
It’s understood that if the Solterra STI is built, it will share its powertrain and underpinnings with its twin-under-the-skin Toyota bZ4X.
Subaru says it plans to derive 40 per cent of its global vehicle sales from electrified vehicles by the end of the decade.