Sunday, June 8


WE were amused when the Driven section of the New Zealand Herald repeated Subaru's recent PR blurb, to the effect that the new WRX STI in the hands of British rally champion Mark Higgins had managed to struggle around the 37 3/4 mile Isle of Man TT course in an underwhelming 19 minutes and 26 seconds to set a "new four wheeled lap record around the savage Isle of Man TT circuit."

When you do the calculations, you discover that despite being fitted with a 305 horsepower turbocharged 2.5 litre four cylinder engine, the vaunted new WRX STI took 1166 seconds to travel 37.75 miles, which works out at 116.552 mph.


Meantime, old grandma Herald failed (or course) to mention that Wellington's Bruce Anstey had just last week set an new absolute Isle of Man TT lap record of 17m 06.682s -  two minutes and 19 seconds faster than the Su-ba-ru.

Yep, Anstey, riding a Honda Fireblade, strafed around the TT course on his final of six laps in the Superbike TT, at 132.298 mph.

So where does this slug of a Su-ba-ru fit into the motorcycle lap record books for the TT?

Well, even the 600cc Supersport machines are running around 128 mph.

OK then, how about the Lightweight TT, which is dominated by the $13,000 Kawasaki ER6n?

Well, even these bikes are faster around the TT course than this Subaru slug.

The Lightweight TT lap record is  119.130 mph  set by James Hillier on a  Kawasaki ER6n in 2013 while this year's Lightweight TT race average speed was 117.460 mph (Dean Harrison, Kawasaki ER6n).

So, we'd say that WRX STI is a bit of a failure.

American Car & Driver magazine reports that the "305-hp, 2.5-liter turbo-four carries over, paired with a six-speed manual, limited-slip differentials, and torque vectoring to keep the STI glued to the road.  The result is one extremely solid and stable platform, but it comes at the price of a punishing ride — and a punishing price -  $US 27,090 base price."  

That's more than $NZ 30,000.

Makes the $12,995 Kawasaki ER6n look like damn good buying to us!

And you don't have to wear a baseball cap back-to-front to be cool on a Kawasaki...