How can Subaru prove its latest WRX STI is more competent that its predecessor? Would beating its own record round the infamous Isle of Man TT course do it? We reckon so.

The company is planning to knock its own car off the top spot, after British rally champion Mark Higgins managed a 19:56.7 lap time in the previous Subaru WRX STI in 2011.

Subaru WRX STI 15 Model Year (2014 onwards)

Subaru sets Isle of Man record

That might not sound like a particularly short amount of time to chuck an Impreza around the Isle of Man, but the TT course is a considerable 37 miles long – meaning Higgins averaged an impressive 115.36mph. The rally ace will be hoping to improve on that time, as Subaru has asked him to take on the challenge of beating his own record.

As with the previous record-breaking run, the new WRX STI is a production car equipped with the standard 300hp 2.5-litre Boxer engine – along with unmodified brake callipers and road-legal tyres. Safety is a factor though, which explains why a roll-cage, race harness and fire suppression system have been fitted.

Subaru has also tweaked the springs and dampers to prevent damage from jumping over the many crests on the route.

Higgins:

“Setting the record was totally exhilarating and one of the highlights of my career. As a Manxman, I love the TT Races and I have a huge amount of respect for the TT riders and what they do. It will be a real honour to attempt a new fastest car lap.”

The driver will get three attempts at breaking the record under closed road conditions on Saturday 31 May, Monday 2 June and Wednesday 4 June. Will he succeed? We’ll the result as soon as it happens.

Subaru WRX STI 15 Model Year (2014 onwards)

Subaru vs the Isle of Man

Subaru sets Isle of Man record

Isle of Man TT 2013: behind-the-scenes photo gallery

On Bing: see pictures of the 2014 Subaru WRX STI