Subaru WRX STI race car

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Just a day after the all-new Subaru WRX STI was leaked, the Japanese car maker has revealed a motorsport version of the highly-anticipated hot four-cylinder sedan.

The new racing car is the first official look at the new WRX STI, which will make its competitive debut at the Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance event in Germany, which runs June 19 through 22.

It marks the seventh consecutive year that Subaru Tecnica International, aka STI, has competed in the gruelling 24-hour endurance race, having twice been victorious in the SP3T class.

Subaru has not revealed technical specifications for the WRX STI race car, nor even the production car that is due to make its global debut on January 14 at the 2014 Detroit motor show.

The road-going Subaru WRX STI will arrive in Australia about a month after the regular WRX, in late April or early May, and is expected to pump out more herbs than the current car's 221kW/407Nm.

Only one CG image of the STI race car has been released (first image), whose major changes comprise a lower ride height, aerodynamic rear wing and front spoiler.

There's also a roll cage evident and light weight materials are likely to be in use, but it's not clear what tweaks STI has made to the car's powertrain - or what engine type it will run with.

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It could be a 2.0-litre or a 2.5-litre turbo-petrol boxer four-cylinder powerplant.

Whatever the case, Subaru is treating the race car as a development machine to further enhance its production vehicles, increasing the prospect of a WRX STI Spec R model in future.

"Through the participation in the race that demands speed and stability, Subaru will further enhance its engineering excellence," said the Japanese company in a press statement.

Subaru says its new race car "boasts a higher level of competitiveness" because it makes use of new technologies found in Subaru's road-going models.

The new WRX STI race car will be driven by Japanese drivers Toshihiro Yoshida and Kouta Sasaki at the 2014 Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance battle, and Subaru will announce two more European drivers in due course.

By Feann Torr, of www.motoring.com.au

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