Higgins’s flying lap record attempt in a Subaru WRX STI is a recently-established tradition. Historically, the TT is a bikes-only event. But Subaru is a major sponsor of the annual two-week racing festival, and Higgins, born and raised on the Isle of Man, is deeply respected in the Manx motorsports world.
This is a significant quote of the article if you’ve been hearing that these attempts are nothing because Isle of Man people only care about motorcycling. I’m pretty sure they care about Higgins just as well as the event itself and history of the event. People that think that the time was slow need to understand that if the time was related to a motorcycle, it would’ve been a qualifying time (ie, it’s running as fast as many of the motorcycles that attend the events). Trivializing the feats is just ridiculous. IMO, the only people that can legitimately criticize the runs are people that have driven their cars at an equal or faster pace at the Isle of Man while also using a 4-wheeled vehicle. And just because other car makers haven’t run their cars in the event, doesn’t make the feats any less significant. Nothing is stopping other car manufacturers from attempting the same, right?
As well, I’ve heard such comments as, “A Z06 or Ferrari 458 Italia can equal the feat”. I highly doubt that, as neither of those will have the AWD advantage to go balls-out like Higgins has been doing. There is no run-off, the streets are bumpy and not designed with speed in mind, yet the Higgins has no problem running the Subaru quickly and without mishap on those streets. Another AWD car (probably of similar genre) would be the better choice. I’ve actually love to see other manufacturers run the Isle of Man!
In the Facebook comments, I already see people equating the upcoming 718 engines with Subaru EJs. Now, when has Porsche ever not blazed their own trail? Porsche will almost certainly ensure this engine will generate glorious (or at least non-nasty) sounds. Subaru’s trademark sounds are due to the EJs running unequal-length headers. I highly doubt Porsche will do something stupid like adopt unequal length headers, especially if they opt to use twin-scroll turbochargers. With luxury-sport cars such as these Porsche variants, they’re going to ensure the car sounds like it looks…fast, powerful, and sleek.
Boxster and Cayman turbocharged flat fours will have between 240 and 370 HP, per Road & Track magazine:
Here’s how the pie is being cut: base model cars should see 240 hp from their single-turbo two-liter. Step up to an “S” and displacement jumps to 2.5 liters, and output would be 300 hp. GTS models would receive a 370 hp 2.5-liter, a little below what Porsche CEO Mattias Müller indicated would be the theoretical maximum output of a turbo flat four in the Boxman.?
Car & Driver reports:
Only the ultra-high-performance Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4 are said to retain their naturally aspirated flat-six engine, a 3.8-liter unit. Which is sure to make them even more highly desired than they already are. Meanwhile, one has to wonder whether the base, S, and GTS versions of the current Boxster/Cayman are destined to become depreciation-proof used cars, in the same vein as the final air-cooled 911 models.
I posted about the upcoming Ford Focus RS a fewtimes already, but R&T apparently analyzed some video footage of a Ford Focus RS on the track and determined that the car is indeed AWD. I’m not sure I believe it. Video analysis of handling characteristics might not be enough.
I posted awhile back that Porsche might be going mainstream with turbocharged flat-four engines. Boxer engines aren’t the most efficient when it comes to making power, but they do offer outstanding balance (center of gravity, which will enhance handling).
“Is the four-banger ‘Stang ready to depose the 5.0? Not quite, says Matt.”
I’m not sure what the above quoted comment is about. The Mustang EcoBoost was never meant as a Mustang GT replacement. It was created as a global car for people living in areas where fuel costs are a concern. As well, the car will benefit those who live in countries that tax car owners based on engine displacement. To expect this particular car to be an equivalent to a Mustang 5.0L is a bit ridiculous…most car makers ensure their product line follows a strict hierarchy and Ford is no exception.
The video footage is pretty cool…I just don’t care for the commentary. I really shouldn’t have expected much from the commentary, since Matt Farah is more of a street scene type of guy (he certainly isn’t of the caliber of most mainstream reviewers, such as R&T, MT, Automobile, and C&D).
If you’re a glutton for punishing commentary, you can also read the R&T’s Facebook comments about this particular subject:
Back in August, we got some bombshell news about the 2016 Ford Focus RS. Not just that it was abandoning its FWD heritage for an AWD setup, or that it was going to produce something in the order of 325 to 350 hp from a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four. The biggest surprise was that Ford is seriously considering selling it in North America, in limited numbers.
…our spies in Europe have captured a Focus RS flexing muscle and dropping camo. What we’re looking at is clearly not just an ST—larger reshaped front intakes direct more air to the intercooler, and larger ducts likewise feed air to the brakes and engine. More air means more power, and that’s exactly what the RS will bring to the table.
An earlier Ford Focus RS mule wore a temporary front clip, while the latest prototype features a more aggressive hood and bumper that look better suited to the task of keeping the more powerful engine cool.
The last-generation Ford Focus RS was powered by a Volvo-sourced 2.5-liter turbocharged I-5 that sent power to the front wheels with the aid of Ford’s Revoknuckle front suspension. Unlike that model and the current Focus ST, the upcoming Focus RS will feature a new all-wheel drive system. Like the last Focus RS mule, this prototype features upgraded brakes behind its larger 19-inch wheels.
The fact that the US-spec version of the Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t turn into a weighted-down pig of a car due to US-mandated requirements is pretty amazing! In fact, the review states that the car being driven was particularly robust.
Although I’m usually pretty vocal about this car not being the end-all-be-all of hardcore sports cars (the car has been quite sensationalized), the car is gorgeous and I love the “lighter is quicker” concept. It’s not the car I desire, but I’d be lying if I stated the car was ugly and not a driver’s car.
Another review is here (Automobile Magazine is the author of the article).
The 2.3-liter runs 18 psi of boost (not that you’d know it)
Where the center dash vent would be on a six- or eight-cylinder, the turbo four’s cockpit embeds a pair of blue-over-black dial gauges. Closest to the driver is oil pressure; next over is a boost gauge. We noted a max of 18 psi (a smidge over 1.2 bar) indicated during the test runs; it appeared to taper towards 15 psi at redline.
Torque felt adequate and spool was quick, though we were expecting a little more pep in its step. The soundtrack is in the same spirit as the Focus ST, though with a bit more grunt and sans induction noise—save one section of full-tilt lift into heavy braking, there wasn’t much sneezing and whirling from the 2015 Mustang’s twin-scroll snail.
Still, they seem to be fudging on the peak HP & torque numbers. I’ve seen 315 – 330 HP and relatively the same in peak torque. And no, it’s not the same engine as the Lincoln MKC (tune and supporting parts will be totally different).