5 Amazing Technical Details On The Subaru WRX STI TT Record Car


Subaru and Prodrive have united to produce a modified WRX STI to smash the car lap record around the Isle of Man TT course. I was lucky enough to get up close and personal with the car to see what components make up a car capable of getting around the island at a 128.7mph average speed.

After setting the car lap record for the Isle of Man TT course back in 2014, Subaru decided to not just beat its own record, but to smash it. Calling upon the company’s old alliance with Prodrive, a bespoke time attack-style car based upon the WRX STI was specially designed and manufactured for this year’s TT, where the car has already blown the lap record into smithereens. We headed over to the Isle of Man to take a closer look at this beast, which will take one final record attempt scheduled this Friday.

It has double the standard horsepower

The many demonstrator WRX STIs on display at the Isle of Man TT were not to be sneered at, producing 296bhp from their turbocharged 2.0-litre flat-fours which make for a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds. But Prodrive has completely torn up the rule book, with the TT Challenge car producing 592bhp using a single Garrett turbocharger rated at 2 bar of pressure.

The turbocharger is specially designed to keep maximum boost throughout the rev range, giving rally driver Mark Higgins full access to the monstrous powerplant. Subaru stated that the engine is capable of a slightly higher power setting (spitting out over 600bhp), but the probability of overheating would become an issue on the 37.7 mile TT course.

DRS rear wing

Yep, Prodrive has engineered a bespoke dynamic rear-wing for the one-off WRX, just like the DRS system used in F1. Operated manually by the driver during the record-breaking attempts, the hydraulically actuated spoiler can be opened to reduce drag on the straights, giving the car the equivalent gain of 40bhp when fully opened. It can subsequently be closed for maximum downforce through the bends, as the car hits around 150mph in the fastest corners.

WRC suspension and huge brakes

The standard suspension has been stripped out and replaced with World Rally Championship links and struts. The springs and dampers are also sourced from the WRC, with the latter being four-way adjustable to maximise the car’s setup.

The brakes are simply colossal; 355mm vented discs fill the widened wheel arches, operated with six-piston aluminium callipers producing much-needed stopping force for the hairpins littered around the Isle of Man course.

Flat underside

Like countless Le Mans and GT3 racers, the IoM STI has a flat floor to aid the car’s aerodynamics. Without such a device, the underside components create turbulence and unwanted drag when air flows under the car.

For the TT STI, specially designed panels are implemented to seal the underside of the car, allowing the air to flow smoothly between the car and the road and be put to better use through a diffuser at the back for ground effect.

There are also many areas on the TT course that cause the car to bottom-out on the rough tarmac, making the flat underside perfect for protection of the differentials and gearbox.

Nokia safety phone

Prodrive needed a failsafe solution for communication if the on-board radio system was to fail at any point around the course. Only for emergencies, an old-school Nokia 6310 is ready and waiting in a holster if Mark Higgins ever needs to contact his support crew from a remote position on the island. It’s probably the strongest component on the entire car!

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