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Subaru's building an electric race car, hopes to set Nürburgring lap record

The STI E-RA concept is a first look at the project. Engineers want this bad boy to lap the 'Ring in 6:40.

Subaru STI E-RA concept
Who had "Subaru builds electric race car" on their 2022 bingo card?

Toyota wasn't the only automaker to bring a motorsports-focused surprise to the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. Subaru on Friday revealed the STI E-RA concept, an electric race car hellbent on setting a new lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Subaru Tecnica International said the E-RA concept is all about gaining experience in new technologies as the automotive world shifts to one focused on batteries and electric motors. Motorsport is often the place to test tomorrow's technologies, making the E-RA a real rolling testbed.

Subaru wants to take the final E-RA to the 'Ring to try and record a lap record of 6:40, though it's unclear what specific record Subaru's gunning for. Volkswagen holds the record for electric vehicles around the German circuit with a 6:05. The ID R set the blisteringly quick time back in 2019. Subaru did not immediately return a request for comment on the company's goal. The company did say it plans to test the race car at Japanese circuits this year before heading to Germany sometime in 2023.

Whatever record the automaker wants to set, the E-RA will have a lot of power behind it. The car packs a total of 1,000 horsepower with four electric motors -- one for each wheel. They also supply four-wheel torque vectoring, too. Subaru worked with Yamaha to adopt the technology, which includes an integrated inverter and gear. The inverter takes instructions from multiple sensors that monitor everything from the vehicle's speed, steering angle, G-forces, yaw and more. All of the inputs help calculate drive and braking torque for each wheel independently for the inverter. And, finally, powering it all is a 60 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

The whole setup, including the E-RA's structure, also follows guidelines for future FIA E-GT regulations, which Subaru felt was most appropriate and the best direction to work in. Could Subaru go racing with E-RA one day? We can't rule it out, but we'll get our first taste of the electric race car on track this year.