Could the Japanese boxer Subaru Levorg GT eventually conquer the BTCC?
The British Touring Car Championship is known by the wide variety of body styles of the cars which competed in it, with eleven manufacturers represented with their respective models at the end of 2015 season. In 2016, Infiniti was dropped out from the list but another Japanese manufacturer with a completely new car, different from any other, entered the competition. It was Subaru Levorg GT.
All because of marketing
The road version of the Subaru Levorg is a 469-cm long mid-size tourer introduced in 2014. It was hard to believe that such a car can be suitable for racing, but with proper preparations everything is possible. Subaru Levorg was chosen because of the marketing reasons, to help the British branch of the Japanese manufacturer to increase the sales numbers. The deal was made with the Team BMR and the development of the Levorg race car started in late 2015.
A unique rear-wheel drive Subaru
Lots of changes had to be done. The all-wheel drive system, which is standard for every Subaru, had to be disconnected and converted to the rear-wheel drive. Mountune Racing was hired for the tuning of the 2.0L turbo engine, according to the NGTC regulations. Standard 2.0 DIT boxer engine, which usually has about 300 horse powers, was reinforced to 350 hp. The maximum speed of the 1280kg car is about 160 mph.
Boxer engine sounds different from rivals
Levorg isn’t a first tourer car that competed in the BTCC. Back in 1994, Tom Walkinshaw Racing and Volvo entered the competition with an estate version of the Volvo 850. They competed without victories but Honda Racing Team was much more successful in 2014 when they used a Civic Tourer. Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal scored four wins with the estate version of Civic.
Except for the unusual body style, as the only sports tourer on the 2016 BTCC grid, the most distinctive feature of the Subaru Levorg is its sound. As you know, Subaru is using a boxer engine and it is the only boxer engine among all cars, so even when you don’t look, you can recognize the Levorg from others.
Video: Subaru Levorg BTCC race car
Photos: Team BMR, btcc.net