The Isle of Man TT, From a Car's Perspective + Video

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

The Isle of Man TT is the most well known motorcycle race in the world, its 37 miles of country roads making it a spectacle for all to see. On average, at least one rider and one spectator dies every year, and yet the Isle is witnessing a surge in popularity lately as more and more competitors and spectators are attending. There are numerous videos out there with a motorcycle going full speed around the Isle, but what would it be like to take a flying lap in a car? That’s exactly what Subaru was able to pull off, as professional rally driver, Mark Higgins, piloted a WRX STI on a full-speed blast.

The car itself is largely stock, though some concessions were made for safety reasons. Also, Subaru disabled the standard speed limiter, with the hopes of reaching 160-plus mph on many of the course’s long sections (the fastest motorcycles reach speeds around 200 mph). In standard trim, the WRX STI makes roughly 300 hp, and feeds its power to all four wheels. But since this is a motorcycle site and not a car site, I won’t bore you too much with the specifics. Still, the lap is a fun watch, and, personally, is as exciting to watch as a bike lap. Higgins ultimately crosses the line in 19 minutes, 16 seconds, with an average speed of 117.510 mph.

For reference, the outright lap record on two wheels around the Isle is 17 minutes, 06 seconds, averaging 132.298 mph, set by Bruce Antsey this year. More interesting, however, is the TT Zero electric motorcycle record of 19 minutes, 17 seconds, 117.366 mph/average, set by John McGuiness aboard the Mugen Shinden.

See the video below, with a cool overlay of the speed, and G-forces of the car, combined with Higgins’ heart rate, skin temperature and respiration rate. Also included is a lap timer and course map.

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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