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Subaru Technica International (STI) has teamed up with UK-based Prodrive to create a special new WRX STI racer to tackle the legendary Isle of Man TT course. More famous for its success on rally stages around the world, the Subaru WRX STI of late has been the weapon of choice to chase the lap record around the Isle of Man time trial circuit. Behind the wheel of the new WRX racer will be British rally champion Mark Higgins, who already holds the current lap record for a car, which he set in 2014 with a US-market WRX STI, in 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
Higgins set the current record in a largely stock 2015 model-year WRX STI, with the only modifications limited to safety features such as an FIA-spec roll cage and a harness-equipped racing seat, along with modified springs and dampers. The 2014 record bettered Higgins previous record of 19 minutes and 56 seconds that he set in 2011 with a 2010-model WRX STI. Now in 2016, the new Prodrive WRX STI is a rekindling of Subarus relationship with British motorsport company Prodrive, who collaborated with the Japanese manufacturer for nearly 20 years in the World Rally Championship (WRC), winning three drivers and manufacturers titles.
The 2016 WRX STI racer has had a few nips and tucks over the base car, with a significant aero package, stripped out interior and a roll cage, clearly stating its go-fast intentions. It is unknown whether any tweaks have been made to the engine that, in standard Australian spec, produces 221kW of power and 407Nm of torque (UK models list the same outputs). The Isle of Man time-trial event takes place on a 59.54km (37 mile) course, almost three times longer than the Nurburgring race track. The demanding course is a public road for most of the year, and with no official speed limits enforced on the Isle of Man outside built-up areas, practicing for the event is exercised all year round.
New South Wales Police has unveiled the latest edition to its crime-fighting squad: the V8-powered Lexus RC F. The Japanese high-performance coupe has been provided on loan to NSW Police by Lexus Australia as part of a campaign aimed at promoting safer roads and increasing community engagement. Unlike the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 that was loaned to Victoria Police as a bonafide highway patrol vehicle - a rare arrangement - the the RC F will be confined to promotional duties for the duration of its stay. Among the RC Fs duties will be appearances at motorsport events, including this past weekends Bathurst Six Hour, where it was used as a race control vehicle to open and close the circuit.
Based in Wollongong, the RC F will primarily service NSWs southern region, getting maximum exposure in roadside campaigns and will travel as far west as Goulburn. Inspector Jim Fryday of the NSW Police's Southern Region says the RC F will be a useful tool in the fight to create safer NSW roads. "The RC F will be a major help in our efforts to engage with the public at major gatherings around the state. "There will be further opportunities at motorsport events to communicate our message to race fans while showing off the RC F in a very appropriate setting, Fryday said.
Under the RC Fs bonnet lies a 5.0-litre V8 engine pumping out 351kW of power and 530Nm of torque, coupled with an eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels. On the power front, the RC F trumps highway patrol mainstays in the Commodore SS-V and the Ford FG Falcon XR6 Turbo, which produce 304kW/570Nm and 270kW/533Nm, respectively. Lexus Australia chief executive, Peter McGregor, says the manufacturer is happy to assist NSW Police in a project they think the public will enjoy" It gives us great pleasure to provide the NSW Police with a stunning RC F coupe to assist them with their important task of promoting safety on our roads - a critical issue for all road users as we enter the Easter Period and colder months of the year," Mcgregor said.
The Nissan GT-R has been heavily revised for the 2017 model year, with the new car unveiled at this week's 2016 New York International motor show. Extensive exterior updates, a new interior and a 15kW power increase headline the most significant update since the car was launched in 2007, with Australia now due to receive the Premium Edition and Nismo-tuned Track Edition from September 2016.
At the front, the GT-R gets a larger grille aperture to help cooling, a newly designed bonnet and a reshaped front bar that give the big Nissan a more aggressive face, all while contributing to aerodynamic downforce. Wider sills lead into an updated rear end that keeps the trademark 'stove top' tail lamps but raises the rear diffuser and valance to create a wider looking rump - if that is at all possible.
Inside though, are where the most noticeable changes reside. A completely new 'horizontal flow' dashboard and driver oriented console present a more modern and simplified instrument array. There is a new eight-inch touch screen and console-mounted control device that drive revised infotainment and vehicle management software.
One area wherethe GT-R was often criticized, the shift-paddles mounted on the steering-column, has been addressed. These are now fixed to the wheel. Under the bonnet, power from the twin-turbo V6 is up 15kW and torque up 4Nm to 419kW and 632Nm.The output improvements come from increased boost through the turbos and improved ignition timing control.
The six-speed dual-clutch transmission has also been revised, to provide faster gear changes and less of that 'trucky' idle noise the GT-R is known for. Speaking of noise, there are new titanium mufflers and a sound-simulation system (ASE: Active Sound Enhancement) to help make the 2017 GT-R sound as mean as it looks.
Handling hasn't been overlooked, with new suspension, rigidity improvements and new, 20-inch Y-spoke wheels all working to deliver the famous tarmac-chewing GT-R performance. We have continued to push its performance boundaries to the outer limits", says Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist of the GT-R. "Its even more potent than before. At the same time, more refinement has been added to take the entire driving experience to an entirely new level."Were proud to bring you what we feel is the ultimate GT that possesses amazing performance, newfound civility and a rich racing history."
Local pricing and specification of the 2017 Nissan GT-R in Australia have not yet been announced.