The year 2016 is turning out to be insane at the Isle of Man. After veteran Michael Dunlop ran the first ever sub-17 minute lap on his motorcycle, the Subaru WRX STI shattered its previous lap record by a staggering 111 seconds. Rallyist and stunt-driver Mark Higgins piloted the purpose-built Subaru around the 37-mile course to retain his record as the fastest man on four wheels.
The Isle of Man TT is an annual spectacle of inane bravery by riders cutting through the regular city roads at mind-boggling speeds, often a breath away from a certain death. And all of this to emerge as the fastest man around the 37-mile country course on an island off the English coast. And then, almost matching those two-wheel speeds on the narrow two-way road in a car is an achievement in itself owing to the sheer randomness in the terrain, corners and altitudes.
The car in question, the Subaru WRX STI, was built in collaboration with Prodrive – Subaru’s partner through three World Rally Championships. The measly 2.0-litre petrol engine is turbocharged and develops a massive 600bhp of power propelling the 1175kg four-wheel-drive car around the mountain in 17 minutes and 35 seconds at an average speed of 128.73mph (207.17kmph).