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Auto blogFri, 10 Jan 2014 13:30:00 EST
Subaru has announced that it will be running a race-spec version of the upcoming WRX STI in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in June. The 2014 race will mark the seventh year in a row that Subaru has campaigned a car at the day-long Ring race, but this will be the first race outing for the new WRX STI, which isn't set to debut until next week at the Detroit Auto Show.
Subaru will be in the SP3T class, for turbocharged engines displacing 1.75 to 2.0 liters, and is targeting its third class win, after finishing second last year. To do that, it'll be going toe-to-toe with racing versions of cars from Audi, Volkswagen and Seat.
The team will be led by Hideharu Tatsumi, who was responsible for last year's team. Drivers will include Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki, while another pair of European drivers will be announced at a later date.
Part of the festivities that encompass the LA Auto Show is the annual LA Design Challenge. This year's winner was the Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept, or SHARC. It envisioned automated, zero-emission highway patrolling.
The 2012 edition of the challenge was to envision the future of highway patrol in the year 2025. The goal was to conceptualize a vehicle that would account for the needs of "dynamic urban environments." In addition to Subaru's participation in the contest BMW, General Motors, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all took part in the challenge.
The SHARC is essentially a law enforcement land-drone. It is entirely automated and runs on renewable energy. Subaru envisioned a future where the Hawaiian Islands are connected to each other by a large highway system. Such an expansive area would require considerable manpower to patrol. The concept of an autonomous patrol vehicle would eliminate the need for a good number of full-time personnel.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI and 2014 Porsche Cayman are both saddled with unfair reputations. The STI with its huge wing and gold wheels has the title of the ultimate boy-racer. On the other hand, Porsche brand snobs look down on he base Cayman as just a wannabe 911. In reality, they are both pretty fantastic performance cars. But what would happen if the two of them lined up at a stoplight, and maybe the guy in the suit in the Cayman started throwing some revs at the young man in the STI? Automobile decided to find out in a recent video pitting the two stereotyped hot rods against each other in a standing-mile drag race.
In terms of raw numbers, they are surprisingly close. Both use flat engines and six-speed manual transmissions here, but the Subaru has more power and torque. However, the Porsche makes up for it with 300 pounds less weight. Neither should have a problem with traction either thanks to the STI's sophisticated all-wheel-drive setup, and the Cayman's mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout.
The comparable specs certainly show themselves in the real world for the race. We're not going to give away the winner here because it's too exciting, but let's just say the finish is very, very close. Scroll down to watch both of them shrug off their stereotypes and show off their real performance.