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Top 10 Track Specials Under $60,000
Driving is a mundane task for some people, but for others it’s a sport, and there’s no better proving ground than a track.
Automakers see that opportunity as well, and love to offer up cars that are designed specifically with track use in mind. Take a look at the latest offering from Subaru and Scion, the BRZ/FR-S twins. Both cars were designed with a priority on light-weight, and achieves an impressive weight balance. In true sporting fashion, it’s rear-wheel drive and can be had with a slick-shifting six-speed manual, or quick automatic with race-inspired paddle-shifters.
The FR-S isn’t the only car out there with racing in its veins. Here’s a list of factory-customized machines designed for time at the track.
10. Subaru WRX STI: 305-hp $34,095
One of the most wonderful sensations come when you command a whole handful of power just with the flexing of your right foot. Horsepower is an intoxicating element when it comes to driving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s saved for the most expensive vehicles out there.
The Subaru rallycross team is gearing up for a new season of racing, and is drumming up excitement by releasing this video of the three WRX STI entry cars having some some fun out on the track.
The video features two-wheel corners, high intensity racing, helicopter action shots and slow-motion shoes. The shoes come courtesy of Puma sports apparel, who is the chief sponsor of the team for 2012.
Tire burning action and tough looking race cars always make for an exciting video, and the Subaru rallycross team knows how to entertain.
Watch the video below.
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When the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle first came out, it was powered by a 1.3L air-cooled engine with a mere 44-hp. Considering there are over 70 cars that make 500-hp or more, the stock Beetle powerplant just doesn’t cut it these days.
So imagine what this Beetle feels like packing at least 282-hp with a 2.0L turbocharged, boxer Subaru WRX STi engine in the rear. This swapped Volkswagen Beetle is up for sale on a Romanian website for a ridiculous $79,500 (€59,990). With it though, are Porsche-sourced brakes, wheels, and other accessories.
We imagine it’s probably a ton of fun trying to control this Beetle on the road and is definitely an interesting choice of engine swap donor and donee.
GALLERY: Subaru WRX STi Powered VW Beetle
Subaru has announced that Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude will return as factory team drivers for their entry in the Grand Sport (GS) class of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The first round of the series will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 27th, 2012.
Subaru will be fielding a race-prepped 2012 four-door WRX STI, developed specifically to compete with all the other 400-hp vehicles in the class. Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) has been working on a technical progression for the number-35 STI during the off-season and appears to be optimistic heading into round one of the championship.
SRRT Principal Joe Aquilante noted, “We’ve enjoyed a very productive off-season, and our team is looking forward to getting back to the business of racing our Subaru WRX STI. Our drivers have been focusing on honing their physical fitness while our technical staff has been diligently progressing our car development plan. To say that we’re excited for Daytona is an understatement.”
Round one of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge starts January 27th at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
Some cars handle better than others in snow and as high-performance beasts go, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII is certainly among the best.
The Evo, as it is commonly called by enthusiasts, is a lot like the Subaru WRX STi. They’re both beefed up rally versions of their manufacturer’s humdrum sedans. Stiff suspension, power-a-plenty and a rigorous all-wheel drive systems make these the go-to for off road racers.
That really doesn’t mean anything, though, if you’re caught in a snowy pile up on the highway like the driver in the video below was. Thankfully for him and his car, he understood that driving on an embankment and dinging up his ride was better than stomping on the brakes and sliding out of control. According to the West Virginia Metro News, about 30 vehicles were involved in the crash.
Unfortunately for so many others around him, winter defensive driving is an easily forgotten skill that can save you money and your life. Just remember that front- rear- or all-wheel drive cars cant do diddly without a driver’s due diligence. Stay calm, dress warm and keep a kit in your car in case you get stuck.
That said, there’s a reason our review of the 2011 Evo MR features us hooning around in the snow: it’s damn fun. You don’t buy this car for comfort, you buy it because road gripping, lane churning performance and precision are an enthusiast’s bread and butter.
You can watch the video below, and as always— drive safe. Warning: there is a lot of swearing in the video.
Subaru of America will be showing off several of their record setting race cars alongside custom Subaru Performance Tuning models at this year’s SEMA Show. Also at the Subaru booth this year will be the Isle of Man record setting WRX STI making its US debut alongside David Higgins’ 2011 Rally America Champion WRX STI.
Subaru also plans on debuting several custom performance cars including their Subaru Performance Tuning 2012 WRX STI 4-door, Kicker Audio 2012 WRX STI 5-door, Subaru 2012 Impreza Sport 5-door accessory vehicle, Subaru 2012 Impreza 4-door accessory vehicle and Subaru 1986 XT Drive Magazine restoration project car.
Both SRT USA drivers David Higgins and Dave Mirra will also be at the Subaru booth to sign autographs on November 1st from 11 AM-1 PM and November 2nd from 11 AM-1 PM.
Subaru‘s UK division has just announced a factory upgrade to the WRX STI’s turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder engine that helps deliver an extra 20-hp and 32 lb-ft of torque. Better yet, it’s free!
The offer, which starts April 1st and runs to June 30th, will let new STI owners upgrade to this more powerful version at no extra cost – when purchasing a new vehicle. Plus, Subaru is even tossing in a navigation system.
New power totals reach 320-hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, which Subaru claims will push the car past to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. But straight-line acceleration isn’t the only thing that’s improved, with the factory backed power upgrade bringing full torque at 3400 rpm – 600 rpm sooner.
There’s no word if Subaru plans to offer this upgrade in other countries or if the engine upgrade will be offered as a stand-alone option to customers who already purchased an STI.
Subaru will be represented by Subaru Tecnica International (STI) at this year’s 24-hour of Nurburgring race. Rolling in their new and improved 2011 WRX STI “ts”, the STI team has been very busy testing and tuning in order to compete in the SP3t class. Most recently the STI NBR Challenge 2011, the nickname for the race car, did some testing out at Fuji Speedway.
The car will be powered by a 2.0 Boxer DOHC with a twin scroll turbo pushing out 335-hp and 340 ft-lbs of torque. It’ll be mated to a 6-speed transmission with a front, center and rear LSD. Suspension will be handled by Bilstein while it’ll race on Dunlop tires wrapped around BBS wheels.
Obviously a huge collection of STI products will be on the race car, from clutch and flywheel to trunk spoiler and drive shaft.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: STI NBR Challenge 2011
Yep, we’ve all seen it before walking into car dealerships; those weird aftermarket modifications that they tack onto a car and then jack up the price. Whether it’s adding a set of wheels and tires or an odd graphics package to the car, dealers have always carried on the tradition of overpricing a car with “accessories.”
But this modification probably trumps what any other dealer has ever done. They’ve taken one of the world’s most popular AWD turbocharged sports cars and… chopped off its roof. That’s right, you’re staring at a new-generation Subaru WRX STi sporting a convertible conversion. If its awfully bad looks weren’t enough, Manchester Subaru has attached an extravagant $75,000 price tag to the car. Oh did we say extravagant? We meant ridiculously absurdly outrageous.
And maybe we’re just completely off base here and don’t know the New Hampshire market all that well, but apparently Manchester Subaru will have five of these babies up for sale to whoever is insane enough to purchase one.
Poor concept, poor execution, all the way around.
GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX STi Convertible
It might not be as much of a testament to the durability of Japanese cars as it is to the strength of a roll cage, but either way, it’s impressive to see a vehicle roll completely over, slam into some trees and then drive away.
Just such a crash happened at the recent Rallye Baie des Chaleurs round of the Canadian Rally Championship when Subaru WRX STI driver Pat Richard cut in too tight on a corner only to dip into the ditch that then sent him and co-pilot Alan Ockwell into a barrel roll. The car then slammed into some trees, seemingly ending the duo’s race. But after spectators came to the rescue and flipped the car shiny side up, Richard was able to drive away.
Better yet, the team managed to top the podium, completing the race almost a minute ahead of their nearest competitors.
See the video after the jump:
Cosworth has become synonymous with performance technology over the years. Having tuned and worked with Formula One teams and vehicle manufacturers, their extensive knowledge of engineering is one-of-a-kind. So needless to say when we caught a glimpse of a Cosworth-tuned Subaru Impreza WRX STI we drooled.
With a CS400 attached to the WRX STI name, Cosworth’s rendition features a 400-PS enhanced powerplant, or 395-hp for us Americans. With close to a 100-hp increase then the factory STI, Cosworth has really flexed its tuning muscles in the offering. Horsepower isn’t all it added though, the car features Cosworth-branded AP racing brakes with four piston calipers and 14-inch front rotors, and custom seats. Subaru has also stepped in to say that this CS400 will feature suspension, exhaust and aesthetic upgrades – clearly ensuring no one will mistaken it as a mundane model.
But we’re not highly optimistic that it’ll end up on Stateside, much like other Impreza iterations that North American tends to miss out on. The CS400 will only be made in its hatchback offering with only 75 units. It’ll hit dealerships in June over in the UK, so we’ll keep our eyes out for full car photos. We can always keep our fingers crossed however for our own version, especially considering Cosworth has a significant fan base here in America.
[Source: Car and Driver]