Subaru has released a next-generation electric race car concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon. The STI E-RA produces 1073bhp from four electric motors and features a bespoke, high-downforce body.
The STI E-RA adopts a number of contemporary Subaru styling cues, such as C-shaped LED running lights, but the rest of the car is unrecognisable from any road-going Subaru. A large carbon-fibre splitter juts out at the front, and deep bonnet vents channel air from the front grille and over the top of the car.
Gaping wheelarch cutouts are designed to relieve air pressure and add downforce at the front, and the wheels themselves are racing centre-lock items, wrapped in Falken slick tyres.
The body is pinched in behind the front wheels to accelerate airflow along the sides of the car, and a large roof scoop has been fitted, presumably to cool the car’s battery during extended track sessions.
At the rear, there’s a huge swan-neck rear wing and a tall diffuser arrangement, designed to create a low-pressure zone at the rear of the car for more downforce.
The STI E-RA uses a four-motor arrangement for four-wheel drive, powered by a 60kWh battery pack. The electric motors are supplied by Yamaha and mounted to each wheel, enabling precise control of power delivery. The car analyses wheel speed, vehicle speed, steering angle, lateral force, yaw, brake pressure and individual wheel loads to determine how much power should be applied to each wheel.
Such precise control is only possible with wheel-mounted electric motors – the tech is permitted by the FIA E-GT regulations, and Subaru will pursue it further for its future race cars. The STI E-RA is set to begin testing at Japanese circuits this year, before tackling the Nurburgring in 2023. Subaru is aiming for a lap time of 6 minutes 40 seconds – five seconds quicker than the NIO EP9 electric hypercar.
Now read all the latest news on Subaru’s latest foray into eco-motoring – the pure-electric Solterra SUV…