Subaru of America Inc. commissioned the bespoke 2016 WRX STI Time Attack car from Prodrive Motorsport with the goal of setting a 4-wheel vehicle benchmark lap time on the Isle of Man TT course.
In 2016, it achieved a record for the fastest automobile lap of the Mountain Course, driven by Mark Higgins, at an average speed of 128.73 mph. That record still stands today. In 2017, it also secured a record for the fastest four-door car lap of the Nürburgring at six minutes, 57.5 seconds; driven this time by New Zealander Richie Stanaway. Then in 2017 Mark Higgins made a return appearance to achieve third place in the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill-climb shoot-out.
The car as it stands here today (‘warts and all’!) is exactly as it returned over the weekend from achieving a record setting run over the Transfăgărășan highway in Romania, again in the hands of Mark Higgins.
This AWD car is based on a 2015 MY Subaru WRX STI production car – rebuilt to a specification that is similar to an FIA World Rally Championship car (although not complying with those regulations). It packs a significantly more powerful engine and uses components and technology from an S14 Subaru Impreza WRC car.
The FIA-compliant roll-cage was incorporated into an optimised 2015 body-shell, with the addition of composite panels to further reduce weight. Several similar body modifications are featured on the limited edition production 2018 WRX STI Type RA (’Record Attempt’) cars.
The car features active-aero by employing a semi-automatic hydraulically adjustable rear wing.
The latest available driver safety features include an 8862-compliant safety seat, protection nets, a facility for the use of a HANS device by the driver, and WRC style-side impact protection.
The production derived—but Prodrive tuned—2 litre Boxer Four engine generates 600 bhp at 7750 rpm and 447 lbs ft. of torque.
A unique Prodrive / Xtrac six-speed, semi-automatic transmission with active centre differential puts the power on the road. This automated H-Pattern shift system can change gear in 25-30 milliseconds.
The suspension front and rear is MacPherson strut with WRC springs and dampers, 355-millimetre vented discs and 6 pot calipers nestle under a bespoke 9 × 18 wheel package.
Car displayed courtesy of Automotive Events from Monday 16 July to Sunday 22 July 2018.