Skip to main content

Averaging 116 mph, mostly stock Subaru WRX STI sets new record on Isle of Man TT

Every once in a while you get a reminder that the Subaru WRX STI is basically just a rally car with an infotainment system. This time that reminder came in the form of rally champion Mark Higgins setting a new record for cars on the infamous Isle of Man TT course.

Higgins and the STI managed the course’s 37.8 miles of tight turns, rough surfaces, and shocking elevation changes in just 19 minutes and 26 seconds – an average speed of 116 mph. Think of a Nurburgring that’s more than twice as long and with no safety barriers or banking.

Higgins described driving a TT course in an extremely understated fashion. “There is nothing like the TT course in all racing. Not just because of its length but the elevation changes, constant surface variations as you shift from town to country roads and the fact we run from 30 mph and then up to 160 mph plus for much of the race.”

That is an insane accomplishment; averaging 116 mph means that Higgins slowed down very, very little for the corners. Either that man is not very bright, or he possesses cojones of steel … or maybe boron.

The car itself deserves some credit, and impressively it was essentially stock. The dampers and springs were gone over to allow them to handle the rough road surfaces at such high speeds without shattering into a million pieces. Other than that the only changes were better tires, a fire suppression system, roll cage and racing harness.  

The engine was the same 305-horsepower 2.5 liter BOXER as every other STI, so unless the paint job made it go much faster the fastest lap time ever for a car on the TT course was by a car that costs just $35,000.

I guess we shouldn’t be that surprised. The last lap record was also held by Higgins in the previous generation of STI. The all-time track record is held by a Honda CBR1000RR ‘Fireblade’ superbike. Impressive, but I would prefer the car as it seems like I would be marginally less likely to outright kill me.

So here is to the Subaru WRX STI, one of the few showroom cars that actually holds real world performance records.

Peter Braun
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Peter is a freelance contributor to Digital Trends and almost a lawyer. He has loved thinking, writing and talking about cars…
Best electric car charger deals: $100 off home charging stations
The handle of the Grizzl-E EV charger plugged into a vehicle.

While they may not dominate the market just yet, electric vehicles have become pretty massive in the past few years, with many people seeing them as the perfect alternative to traditional combustion engines. Of course, because EVs aren't as widespread, that means that there aren't always a ton of charging stations around, and sometimes those have inoperative or full chargers, leading to quite a few issues down the road. Luckily, you can get some excellent car chargers at home, which is why we've collected our favorite car charger deals for you below to save you trouble.
Seguma 16Amp Level 1/2 EV Charger -- $120, was $160

If you need a more basic charger, this Level one and two charger from Seguma is a solid option and can deliver 16 amps and 3.84kW, which is pretty substantial. It also comes with a NEMA 6-20 plug and a standardized J1772 connector, which should work on most EV vehicles out there except for Tesla, which has its own connector. There are also some intelligent charging features, which include things such as protection against things like under and over voltage, leakage, and lighting, and it has an automatic cut-off when your EV is fully charged.

Read more
Revamped Lucid Air shows this luxury EV’s bandwidth
Front three quarter view of a beige 2024 Lucid Air Touring.

If you’re only going to sell one car, you’d better make it count.

The Lucid Air electric car finally took flight in 2020 after years in financial limbo. While Lucid plans to launch an SUV called the Gravity and a line of smaller, more mainstream models, the Air remains Lucid’s sole product nearly four years after its launch. The Air has evolved in that time, adding multiple configurations that allow this one car to fill several niches.

Read more
With 1,800 horsepower, Bugatti’s Tourbillon brings plug-ins past the Prius
The Bugatti Tourbillon is a plug-in hybrid.

Plug-in hybrid technology has reached the automotive industry’s upper echelon. Bugatti has unveiled the Tourbillon, the long-awaited successor to the Chiron, with a gasoline-electric drivetrain rated at 1,800 horsepower, 3D-printed parts in the suspension, and an unusual sound system that has no speakers.

Bugatti developed the Tourbillon on a blank slate. The big coupe’s proportions are relatively close to the Chiron’s because the two cars need to fulfill a similar mission: cruise safely and comfortably at jaw-dropping speeds. Bugatti hints that hitting 250-plus-mph is well within the Tourbillon’s scope of capabilities. For context, the Chiron set a speed record and became the first car to break the 300-mph barrier when it reached 304 mph in 2019, so the brand knows a thing or two about speed.

Read more