• Subaru Clearly Needs to Build a BRZ STI

If Subaru still says "no," then 2020 really does suck

LISTEN 04:12

The second-generation Subaru BRZ has arrived, and it looks like a winner. But just as everyone is celebrating the arrival of the new BRZ, a certain question that was left unanswered with the first-generation model has slowly crept back into the minds of Subaru fans where: are we finally getting the BRZ STI?

We’re no closer to getting the answer we desperately want, but that didn’t stop X-Tomi Design from whetting our appetites with a rendering of what a BRZ STI could look like.

Why hasn’t there been a BRZ STI yet?

Subaru Clearly Needs to Build a BRZ STI
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Technically speaking, Subaru did launch a BRZ STI in 2017, except that it wasn’t really an STI. It was called the BRZ STI Sport, and outside of the fancy STI badge that Subaru slapped into the sports coupé, it literally had nothing to do with what we know STI to be. It didn’t have any engine modifications. It didn’t have a turbocharger. It didn’t even have a power bump. Not even a bit. All it had was slightly improved string, tweaks to the suspension, and the STI badge. That’s about it. Oh, and it was also sold only in Japan so, really, it didn’t count as an actual STI model. Not even close.

So, why has Subaru held off on launching an STI version of the BRZ? It is, after all, the range-topping version of the BRZ that everyone and their grandmothers have been clamoring for since the BRZ burst into the auto scene back in 2012. That’s actually the worst part about all of this. Subaru hasn’t provided a clear-cut reason. Perhaps it wants us to enjoy the BRZ for what it is and not for what it could be? Maybe the Japanese automaker just doesn’t feel like a BRZ STI would hit in the market. Whatever the reasons are, we’ll never stop wanting for one, and it seems that we’re far from the only ones who share that sentiment.

What’s X-Tomi Design’s interpretation of the Subaru BRZ STI?

Subaru Clearly Needs to Build a BRZ STI
- image 949806

X-Tomi Design has created a lot of good renderings in the past, but his interpretation of what The BRZ STI could look like is mind-blowing. It’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities, beginning with the front section that looks decidedly sportier and more aggressive with the new air intakes and that massive hood scoop sitting on the hood of the BRZ.

The set of matte bronze wheels will catch your attention, too, as will the red Brembo brakes peeking from behind them. The side skirts and the flared wheel arches are juiced up to the extent that it looks like the BRZ STI received a shot of testosterone. Throw in the massive rear wing at the back and the lowered suspension — an STI specialty — and you have a sports car that’s itching to be put through its paces.

What would a Subaru BRZ STI mean to Subie?

2022 Subaru BRZ Drivetrain
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In my head, I think a BRZ STI would serve as the ideal flagship performance car for Subaru. It’s perfectly set up to serve as one, too. You can imagine that with that hood scoop in place, the BRZ STI would have turbochargers thrown into the mix, complementing the 2.4-liter boxer engine to deliver a lot more power than the 228-horsepower output of the naturally aspirated unit that you can find in the second-generation BRZ. Somewhere close to 300 horsepower is a good baseline, but, really, we’re expecting a lot more from that setup.

The frustrating part about all of this is that if Subaru really wanted to, it could roll out a BRZ STI. Needless to say, though, there’s more to it than just “wanting to.”

Subaru Clearly Needs to Build a BRZ STI
- image 949807

You can keep crossing those fingers, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll happen. In fact, it’s unlikely that Subie will go down that path for business reasons. As exciting as the thought of a BRZ STI is — we’ve been dreaming about it for eight years — Subaru has to make sure that it’s going to make a lot of business sense to do it. That’s one thing we don’t have to worry about. Unfortunately, that falls on the plate of Subaru.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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