Subaru likes to have some fun with this crazy time-attack WRX STI. With Manx rally legend Mark Higgins at the wheel, it set an automotive lap record on the Isle of Man TT circuit and went under 7:00 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Recently, Subaru decided to bring it to Romania to rip up and down the Transfăgărășan Highway, the road Top Gear famously dubbed the best in the world. Subaru and Higgins set a new record while there.
Of course, no one else has made a speed run on this road, but that shouldn’t diminish the achievement here. The Transfăgărășan is 52.2 miles long, with 6699 feet of elevation at the top, and 688 corners to contend with. And since it goes up and down a mountain, the weather on the road can change dramatically in just one run. Going fast here is not just a matter of holding your foot to the floor and hoping for the best.
Higgins, with his co-driver, Darren Garrod, completed the run in an amazing 40:58.08, which translates to an average speed of around 76 mph. For these two, it’s basically an incredibly long tarmac rally stage.
Such speed isn’t totally surprising, however, when you consider this WRX STI was prepped by legendary UK motorsports shop Prodrive and is making around 600 hp—double that of a stock STI road car. It sends all that turbocharged flat-four power to all four wheels via sequential gearbox. The aero package is unique, too.
Also, Higgins is an incredible shoe, with thirteen British rally championships to his name, and tons of Hollywood stunt-driving work. He is 100 percent the right man for the job.
Now, Subaru is seeking challengers to beat this record. If anyone attempts it, they’re going to have a lot of work cut out for them.
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