Despite Clammoring Within Subaru, the BRZ Won’t Get an STI Version, Yet
The Subaru BRZ has good bones for an every-man’s sports car. Front engine, rear-wheel drive, manual transmission, and a low starting price help make the BRZ a great bang-for-the-buck choice. But a general consensus among enthusiasts agrees that the little two-door coupe lacks power. And sadly, it seams Subaru isn’t currently doing anything about it; that is, except for Subaru Australia.
In an interview with Motoring.com, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior says his local division has been lobbying for an STI version of the car. But in the mean time, Subaru Australia has done its own modifications with items from the STI parts bin. Even though the parts are the same, the car cannot be labeled an STI without being developed by the actual Subaru Tecnica International team.
Subaru Australia’s modified BRZ S Pack went on sale Down Under in 2013 with STI suspension components for better handling and a few sporty cosmetic bits for a unique look.
While it’s hard to blame the blokes for spicing up their own BRZs while begging for an STI version, it’s understandable why Subaru and Toyota haven’t done major modifications to the car. It’s only a few years old and its first refresh is scheduled for 2016. Several reports have confirmed the BRZ and its Toyo twin — the FR-S — will be getting drop-top version in their next life cycle.
Could it be then that an STI version will come along too? We already know the speculation about the 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine from the Forester is a no-go, as the engine simply won’t fit within the engine bay. Some other mode of increasing power would have to be used. While there’s no shortage of aftermarket turbo kits for the BRZ/FR-S, the STI team is quiet on the subject.
Surely Subaru will answer the outcry for a more powerful BRZ with a STI version while Toyota (Scion) could do the same mods but with a TRD badge slapped on. Here’s for hoping as the time draws nearer for official words about the upcoming 2016 refresh.
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Why It Matters?
An STI version of the BRZ (or TRD for the FR-S) would mean the car’s performance levels would increase right from the factory. A tuned suspension and fatter tires would certainly be present to bump up the car’s handling while some much needed horsepower and torque would nestle nicely under the hood. Perhaps a short throw shifter, some Recaro racing seats, and some Alcantara would do their part for a sportier experience.
The Subaru BRZ is one heck of a sports car. A lightweight chassis, a well-balanced suspension setup, and a decent — yet somewhat underpowered — powertrain makes for some continuous smiling amid some rolling country roads and back woods highways. There’s much to love about the BRZ and it all starts with the price.
For $25,595, you can pick up a base model with a manual transmission and have fun. The suspension system and its smallish tires help keep the car’s performance levels at an obtainable level, even on public roads. Sure, the BRZ is slower than a Corvette and fails to handle like a Ferrari, but it has just as much fun blasting down surface streets as the other two have on the Nürburgring. It’s all because its limits are set lower — and that’s not a bad thing.
The BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter, flat four-cylinder making 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear wheels via your choice of a manual (YES) or automatic transmission. Zero to 60 comes in 6.7 seconds with the manual on its way to a 143-mph top speed.