Rally driver Mark Higgins has once again broken the Isle of Man TT lap record for a car, driving the latest Subaru WRX STI.

The new time of 19 minutes 26 seconds was achieved using a production version of the 15 Model Year Subaru WRX STI, beating the old 19 minutes 56 seconds record that Higgins set back in 2011 driving the previous generation WRX STI.

On Bing: see pictures of the Subaru WRX STI at the Isle of Man TT

Subaru WRX STI 15 Model Year review (2014 onwards)

19:26 to lap the full 37.8-mile TT Mountain course equates to an astonishing average speed of 116mph – in spite of the famously close proximity of lampposts and houses to the road-based circuit. At points Higgins was flat out at over 160mph.

The Subaru itself was a 300hp American specification 2014 WRX STI, and although closely related to the car you can buy in your local dealership, it wasn’t quite totally standard.

For safety reasons, Higgins’ record rocket was fitted with a roll cage, race harness and fire suppression system, while the suspension was also “adjusted” to better cope with the Isle of Man’s many bumpy surfaces. Grippy Dunlop Direzza tyres were also used.

Higgins said:

“It was quite a lap we did today and I am really happy to have another record in the bank. The chassis of the new car is so much better it really allowed me to pick up time in each sector in the more technical parts of the course.

“There is nothing like the TT course in all of 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 30mph and then up to 160mph plus for much of the race.”

The new Subaru WRX STI certainly impressed us when we drove it in Sweden. On sale now, prices start at £28,995 – some £4,000 cheaper than the previous model.

Quick though it is, the car is still some way off the overall bike record, which was broken earlier this week by Bruce Anstey, riding a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. Lapping the course at 17 minutes 6 seconds, he averaged 132.3mph…

Subaru vs the Isle of Man

Subaru going for Isle of Man record

On Bing: see pictures of the Isle of Man TT

Find out how much a used Subaru WRX STI costs on Auto Trader

Read a Subaru new car review