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!
I’ve flown 10 hours to listen to an engine. Which isn’t that big a deal, really. I once drove 20 hours straight for a corned beef sandwich. But the stakes here are considerably higher. See, Porsche is replacing the near-perfect flat-sixes in its Boxster with brand-new, turbocharged flat-fours. The 718 Boxster now has a 2.0-liter four making 300 horsepower and the 718 Boxster S has a 2.5-liter good for 350 hp.
I shared the following news about the Porsche Boxster and Cayman flat-four engines:
Yeah, I’ve been fixated on that car because…well, because of the flat-four. I’m interested in seeing how a non-Subaru manufacturer extracts power from a flat-four. As well, I’d like to hear how they sound. I’m also wondering how the Porsche purists will respond to those two cars and their flat-four engines.
Sadly, I’ve not seen or heard much yet, but I’ve no doubt I’ll have my questions answered once the first real reviews are made public.
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.
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.
There’s a story behind the below article and I’ve asked Road & Track to clarify (on their FB page).
Apparently, a rear wing on a 2015 Subaru STI must’ve broken off, because Subaru replaced it with a WRX trunk lid (that’s an assumption of mine).
And, of course, that spurred some pretty ridiculous comments on their FB page. People call the rear spoiler ‘gaudy’, or ‘rice’. The wing is actually functional, for one. As well, every USDM STI sedan ever made has a rear spoiler. A spoiler-less option has never existed (ie, you can’t request that the dealer remove it).
IMO, an STI isn’t really an STI without a spoiler (unless it is a hatch). And, as mentioned in the FB comments, an STI without a wing is like Batman without a utility belt.