2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA essentials: All gold everything

What is it: The WRX STI Type RA is Subie’s namesake for its “record attempt” vehicle it used to blister the Nurburgring with a time of 6 minutes, 57.5 seconds. That was basically a race car, hence it doesn’t make it into the grand list of lap times on the most famous and possibly the most challenging race course in the world.

Key Competitors: Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus RS, Nissan 370Z Nismo

Base Price: $49,855 As-Tested Price: $49,855

Full Review: 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA first drive

Highlights: The Type RA badge and red accents signify that this STI gets 5 more horsepower, a carbon fiber roof, a new pedestal wing, upgraded suspension, BBS wheels, a retuned ECU, a new cold air intake, high-flow exhaust and a revised third gear. It’s basically a list of what an enthusiast would do to a car, had they the money and time. The cost? About $50K. That’s $13K more than the basic WRX STI.

Our Opinion: I have thoughts, lots of thoughts. Let’s start with the good. It looks awesome. I will never tire of Subaru’s WRC Blue and gold wheels. It’s classic, it’s timeless. I want everything to have gold wheels, including my Mustang. The wing still sort of sits right on the horizon line in the rearview mirror, but it seems to take up less space than the stock unit. The carbon fiber roof is sweet, again, something I’d love to do to my own car, and takes weight off the top, which is the most important spot to take weight off. It dropped 68 pounds, by the way.

The Type RA is both rougher and smoother than previous models. The upgraded suspension really takes the choppiness away from our crappy roads here in Michigan. The STI version used to be too stiff for anyone but an enthusiast. Now, it’s downright perfect. It still feels taut and controlled over bigger bumps, but smaller ones are just smoothed out.

It's louder inside than the previous model, which is good for me, because I complained about the WRX getting too refined like the VW Golf GTI. It almost takes away the fun. On the other hand, trying to hear the kid in the back seat with the air conditioning, radio, road and wind noise going is a little tough. Despite the general loudness, I want a louder exhaust anyway.

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