2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI at the NurburgringEnlarge Photo
While straight line and skid pad numbers means something to the performance of a car, they aren’t the benchmarks. The Nürburgring Nordschleife Lap Time is what performance oriented drivers should look at. Many manufacturers come here to test their vehicles and post lap times because it combines all aspects of performance: braking, handling, acceleration, and top speed. Not to mention that the 14.2 mile track provides a simulation for the durability of parts.
Subaru took a 2011 WRX STi Sedan, and took it out to see what it could do. They did cheat a little however as Autoblog is reporting that this car is not a showroom stock model, but tweaked with special factory parts. Also behind the wheel is world famous WRC driver Tommi Mäkinen, who is better known for his career with Mitsubishi than Subaru.
The car managed to complete a lap in 7:55 flat. The previous record for Subaru was 7:59 back in 2004 with a prototype STi. Any lap time under 8 minutes is considered amazingly fast, so this test vehicle is up there with some of the performance greats. For reference, the time is a second slower than what a Porsche 997 Turbo could muster in an independent track test.
[Source: Autoblog, Subaru]