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Not content with beating his own road car lap record on the formidable Isle of Man TT road course in 2014, British rally champion Mark Higgins is taking on the 60.7 km Snaefell Mountain Course, again in a Subaru WRX STI. But while Higgin’s previous efforts were attempted with near-stock road cars, this time he and Subaru are pulling all the stops by creating a purpose-built tarmac-tearing machine.

This time attack car is being prepared by Prodrive, rekindling the engineering and racing outfit’s 18-year partnership with the Pleiades brand, when the former managed the latter’s championship-winning WRC foray between 1990 and 2008. The new car looks the absolute business, with flared wheel arches, a large front splitter, bonnet vents and a massive rear wing.

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No details of the build have been revealed just yet, but expect the car to feature a heavily modified version of the STI’s 2.5 litre turbocharged flat-four, which sends 296 hp and 407 Nm to all four wheels via a six-speed manual in stock form. Also anticipated are significant suspension tweaks and race-spec tyres to take on the punishing mountain roads.

It would take a lot to break Higgins’ current record of 19 minutes 26 seconds, itself beating the 19 minutes 56.7 seconds set by the Manxman in 2011. Both were attempted with lightly modified WRX STIs, equipped with only a roll cage, race harness and fire suppression system for safety, uprated springs and dampers to tackle bumps and jumps at high speeds, as well as a high-decibel straight exhaust for crowd safety.


GALLERY: Subaru WRX STI in Malaysia