New Subaru WRX rallycar for American rally series

Subaru, once a dominant force in the World Rally Championship, may no longer have a presence in the international arena but the carmaker’s US subsidiary has been keeping the brand visible in rallying, at least in America.

It now has an all-new WRX rallycar for competition in the Open 4WD class of the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship which will be driven by Brandon Semenuk, with Travis Pastrana joining in a second car in the 2024 season.

Subaru USA WRX rallycar [2023-2024]

Developed with technical partner Vermont SportsCar, the new rallycar has been engineered from the inside out for maximum performance under current ARA Open 4WD specifications and regulations.

Starting with WRX number 1 – the very first current-generation Subaru WRX sold in the USA – the new car was designed, built, and tested over a period of 18 months. It is powered by a custom-built turbocharged and intercooled 2-litre 4-cylinder boxer with a mandated 33 mm restrictor and 22 psi boost limit (as per regulations).

Subaru USA WRX rallycar [2023-2024]

The engine produces 320 bhp/515 Nm which goes to all 4 wheels through a SADEV 6-speed close-ratio transmission. The springs and dampers are from R53 Suspension, working with VSC-designed crossmembers, links, and hubs to manage wheel movement on any surface the Yokohama 15-inch ADVAN A053 gravel rally tyres.

Much of the development of the new rallycar has focused on the safety of the driver and co-driver. The bodyshell is fully seam-welded with the mandatory roll-cage constructed from T45 steel.

The standard WRX fuel tank is replaced by an 82-liter Kevlar fuel cell, and Sparco ADV Prime competition seats feature HANS (Head and Neck Restraint System) devices, a self-extinguishing fabric liner and FIA approved energy absorbing padding.

Subaru USA WRX rallycar [2023-2024]

The carbonfibre widebody, with a giant rear wing, was designed from a blank sheet with the latest ARA aerodynamics ruleset in mind. The bodywork also has the matte WR Blue Pearl and livery reminiscent of classic Subaru rallycars.

Subaru USA WRX rallycar [2023-2024]

Subaru USA WRX rallycar [2023-2024]

The last time a World Rally Championship round was run in America was in 1988 and there are efforts to bring back the event. With new ARA regulations attracting more competition, Subaru is optimistic rallying could be on the upswing in the country. This would encourage organisers to start looking at matching regulations (the US ones differ from the WRC) and getting funding (WRC events require a lot of money).

Subaru in WRC 2003
The Subaru World Rally Team won 3 manufacturers and 3 drivers titles in the World Rally Championship between 1995 and 2003.

Latest Stories