Here’s the most extreme official version of the current Impreza, the Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R. Limited to 500 units in Japan, the Type RA-R is “the complete model” to commemorate STI’s 30th anniversary that falls this year.

Developed under the concepts of “light weight, speed and enjoyment,” the Type RA-R pursues “running, turning and stopping” as fundamentals. At 1,480 kg, Subaru says that the Type RA-R is 30 kg lighter than previous flagships S208 and S207, and is also 10 kg lighter than the standard WRX STI.

The reduced weight is coupled with S208 levels of output, which is 329 PS at 7,200 rpm and 432 Nm of torque from 3,200 to 4,800 rpm. The 2.0 litre EJ20 boxer is paired to Subaru’s signature AWD and a six-speed manual gearbox.

The engine features a performance shroud with high rigidity for the intercooler to work at its best, while a performance exhaust system with lowered back pressure contributes to the higher engine output and more direct response. Also in are a specially tuned ECU, balanced clutch cover and flywheel, twin scroll ball bearing turbocharger and STI-designed strengthened silicon intake duct.

The dampers and coil springs are have been specially designed for the Type RA-R, which rolls on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres wrapping STI-designed BBS 18-inch alloys. For brakes, there are Brembo 18-inch ventilated discs with six-pot calipers in front and two-pot fists at the back.

The Type RA-R is nothing much to look at though, being a stripped down minimalist version. Without the big wing, it looks tamer than a regular STI, never mind the pumped up S208. For the purists (in Japan), this limited edition costs 4,998,240 yen (RM182,502).


GALLERY: Subaru WRX STI in Malaysia