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A SUBARU WRX STI pi­loted by rally driver Mark Higgins set a stun­ning new lap record around the fa­bled 37-mile Isle of Man TT Road Course on June 6. Higgins (pic­tured) achieved a blis­ter­ing av­er­age speed of 128.73 mph and a lap time of just 17 min­utes 35 sec­onds, shat­ter­ing the pre­vi­ous record — also held by Higgins — of 116.47mph and a time of 19 min­utes 26 sec­onds.

The pur­pose-built 600bhp, 2.0-litre tur­bocharged 2016 Subaru WRX STI Time At­tack car has a top speed of 180mph and weighs 1,175kg. The model is a joint devel­op­ment of Subaru of Amer­ica, and Prodrive, with tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance pro­vided by Subaru Tec­nica In­ter­na­tional (STI).

“It was an amaz­ing run to­day con­sid­er­ing we were run­ning in very hot con­di­tions and the tar­mac was quite soft,” said Higgins.

“With lower tem­per­a­tures we would be mak­ing more horse­power, so I still be­lieve we have more left in terms of speed, but it is great to have an­other record in the bank. The chas­sis on this new car is fan­tas­tic to drive. It re­ally al­lowed me to pick up time in each sec­tor in the more tech­ni­cal parts of the course.”

The ar­du­ous TT Course is sim­i­lar in style to both the Nur­bur­gring and Le Mans in the de­mands it puts on sus­pen­sion and en­gines. Set­ting a new lap record called upon the joint ex­per­tise of Prodrive for the de­sign and build, and Subaru Tech­nica In­ter­na­tional for tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance.

Both have an ex­ten­sive his­tory in build­ing and de­sign­ing race-win­ning cars. Prodrive and Subaru have won three World Rally Cham­pi­onship Man­u­fac­turer ti­tles to­gether and three World Rally Cham­pi­onship driver ti­tles. STI has ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign­ing win­ning road-course cars, de­sign­ing the back-to-back class win­ner at the 2015 and 2016 Nur­bur­gring 24-Hour Races. “We are happy to be back at the Isle of Man as a spon­sor,” said Do­minick In­fante of Subaru of Amer­ica. “There is noth­ing like a lap of the TT cir­cuit to push a car to its lim­its. “As Subaru are the of­fi­cial car of the TT, this record is es­pe­cially grat­i­fy­ing. The Isle of Man re­ally shows the ca­pa­bil­ity of this new WRX STI. “And like its road equiv­a­lent the cen­tral con­cept is Subaru’s sym­met­ri­cal all wheel drive sys­tem, linked to a lowslung Boxer turbo power unit.

“Subaru’s lay­out keeps the car’s cen­tre of grav­ity ex­cep­tion­ally low, max­imis­ing cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity whilst the AWD de­liv­ers in­cred­i­ble grip and trac­tion. Lap­ping on av­er­age just un­der 130mph would not have been pos­si­ble oth­er­wise.”

The event took place un­der full, closed-road-race con­di­tions. The road­go­ing street legal ver­sion of the WRX STI de­vel­ops 300bhp and 407Nm of torque from its 2.5 litre high boost turbo DOHC en­gine and cov­ers 0-60mph in just 5.2 sec­onds. The car re­tails at just £28,995 de­liv­ered to North­ern Ire­land, and can be tested at lo­cal deal­ers East­wood Mo­tors, Lis­burn; West­ern Cars En­niskillen, and Gorm­ley Mo­tors Dun­gan­non.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Subaru WRX STI, visit www.

A Subaru WRX STI pi­loted by Mark Higgens set a new record at the Isle of Man TT

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