TOKYO -- Subaru avenged its flameout at this year's 24-hour Nurburgring endurance race by conquering the notoriously demanding track with a record lap time.
A special edition WRX STI racer notched the fastest lap of the 12.8-mile Nordschleife on July 21, completing the winding, up-and-down circuit in 6 minutes, 57.5 seconds.
It was a record time for a four-door sedan, the Japanese automaker said.
Subaru's car, a WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, was custom built on a stock 2017 WRX STI with a roll cage welded into the standard unibody for added strength and stiffness, Subaru said.
Topping out at 179 mph, the racer has a turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine generating more than 600 hp. It is mated to Subaru's trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
In the convoluted jumble of letters that is the racing car's name, the RA stands for Record Attempt. It's a designator applied to various Subaru performance models over the years.
Subaru pushes the limits in motorsports and in record attempts at places such as Nurburgring partly to promote a brand image that balances performance with safety. It also sees such competitions as crucibles to test its technologies and engineers under extreme conditions.
The lap record attempt was also meant to publicize the WRX STI Type RA, a special variant of the compact performance sedan that Subaru will begin selling in the U.S. this year. The 2018 WRX STI Type RA, a toned-down, limited-edition, street-legal cousin of the Nurburgring racer, delivers higher horsepower and sportier dynamics than the standard WRX STI.
Subaru's lap triumph at Nurburgring comes on the heels of a disappointing loss at the circuit's famed 24-hour endurance race in May. The race team's WRX STI was gunning for its third-straight class win, but its run ended when a fire knocked out Subaru's entry with three hours to go.
Subaru has notched five class wins at Nurburgring since it began racing there in 2008.