Regular readers of our little corner here at TechnologyTell.com will recall I had the pleasure of test-driving a pre-production Subaru WRX STi a few weeks ago. I was not shy about saying the car was far more capable than I’d ever be able to fully use. It was borderline scary fast not solely because of its sheer momentum — which was nothing to scoff at, itself — but also because of its huge all-wheel drive grip that refused to break traction on pavement.
Well, just in case you didn’t want to take my word for it, consider that a U.S.-spec ’15 Subaru WRX STi set a lap record on the Isle of Man recently.
A press release from Subaru said the 2015 Subaru WRX STi was piloted by Mark Higgins, who drove the car to an average speed of 116.47 MPH around the island course, laying down a time of 19 minutes, 15 seconds.
Higgins said, “This was a great run when everything came together and I was able to do a much cleaner lap as I am still learning where I can go flat in this car. I am really happy to beat the lap records set by John McGuiness in the Zero Bikes and the sidecar lap record as John was riding me about that! I can’t say enough about the new WRX STI and how much abuse it has taken as we have really ridden it hard over this course for three very fast runs and this is definitely not an easy course. The chassis on this new car is just night and day.”
The release claimed the car Higgins used to lay down the impressive time was a stock, U.S.-spec 2015 Subaru WRX STi, with a couple of exceptions: It had to have an FIA-spec roll cage, racing seat, and harness. Also worth noting is the fact that the car had to be outfitted with different tires — Dunlop Direzzas — to handle the speeds the car was capable of without its U.S.-spec rev limiter. It also got a completely unmuffled exhaust — a move Subaru said was “for crowd safety,” Subaru said. Whatever. We’re sure the fact that it probably sounded awesome had nothing to do with it, right?
Subaru said a full video of the lap is coming soon. That smell you’re smelling is our baited breath.