Toyota wasn’t the only company to surprise attendees at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2022 with a motorsports-themed surprise. Subaru unveiled the STI E-RA concept on Friday, an electric race car to break the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record. According to Subaru Tecnica International, the E-RA idea is all about acquiring expertise with new technologies as the automobile industry evolves to one centered on batteries and electric motors. In addition, motorsport is frequently used to test future technology, making the E-RA a proper testbed.
Subaru intends to take the final E-RA to the ‘Ring in the hopes of setting a lap record of 6:40; however, it’s unclear what record Subaru is aiming for. With a time of 6:05, Volkswagen holds the record for electric vehicles around the German circuit. In 2019, the ID R set the record for the fastest time. Subaru did not respond to a request for comment on the company’s ambition right away. Instead, the business has stated that it will test the race car on Japanese tracks before bringing it to Germany in 2023.
The E-RA will have a lot of power behind any record the automaker wishes to set. The car has four electric motors, one for each wheel, and produces 1,000 horsepower. They can also provide four-wheel torque vectoring. Subaru collaborated with Yamaha to implement the technology, which features a built-in inverter and gear. Multiple sensors monitor everything from the vehicle’s speed, steering angle, G-forces, yaw, and more and send commands to the inverter. For the inverter, all inputs are used to calculate drive and brake torque for each wheel separately—finally, a 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack powers everything.
The entire system, including the E-structure, RA’s adheres to future FIA E-GT standards, which Subaru believed was the most appropriate and best path to go in. So is it possible for Subaru to race with E-RA in the future? We can’t rule it out, but this year will be the first time we see an electric race car on the track.