Subaru has just released details on its latest special edition BRZ, and it comes with subtle exterior enhancements, an upgraded suspension, and enough STI badges to start your own tuning division. Only 300 will be produced, and each will be offered exclusively to customers in Japan.

We’ve seen a few special-edition BRZs in the past, so what makes this one so special? Could it be *gasp* more power finally from that 2.0-liter engine?

Sadly, no, STI instead focused on enhancing the BRZ’s already stellar handling with even more performance underpinnings, like specially tuned coil springs and dampers, big brakes, and additional bracing.

But everyone already thinks the BRZ is a really fun car. It’s won a mountain of awards for being the best “driver’s” vehicle or “enthusiast’s” ride, which begs the question – what can be done to make it even more polished?

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru BRZ tS STI.

  • 2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    32600
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

0Exterior0

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
- image 635649
2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
- image 635653

In stock form, the BRZ is, in my opinion, pretty good looking. Sure, it won’t win any design awards and it won’t impress that rich girl whose parents own a Ferrari, but for an entry-level two-door sports car, it gets the job done. It looks poised over flared wheel arches, the roofline slopes into the trunk just right, and the front fascia isn’t overly aggressive or too cute.

It looks poised over flared wheel arches, the roofline slopes into the trunk just right, and the front fascia isn’t overly aggressive or too cute.

The special edition adds to this aesthetic without dramatically changing it. The extras are subtle, but taken as a whole, effective. Looking at the car, you know there’s something unique about it, but you gotta get up close to see what’s what.

Take a few steps towards the front end, and you’ll start to see the changes. First, there’s a new bumper, which retains most of the old bumper’s lines, but adds things like a matte-black STI-designed under spoiler, an exclusive cherry-red STI badge, a cherry-red air intake liner, and LED lamps. The rounded fog lamps in the corners are gone.

On those bulging fenders you’ll find an STI-designed garnish with another STI logo, this time in black. The electric folding door mirrors are also black, as is the shark-fin roof antenna.

In the back is another exclusive bumper, once again lined with cherry red above the matte-black diffuser and twin polished exhaust tips. More badging, including bits for STI and tS are found on the trunk lid. Finally, there are handsome, STI-designed multi-spoke 18-inch wheels, hewn from aluminum and finished in black with more cherry-red badging on the center caps.

Body colors include Sunrise Yellow, WR Blue Pearl (that’s World Rally for all you newbs), Crystal White Pearl and Crystal Black Silica.

0Interior0

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Interior
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2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Interior
- image 635658
2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Interior
- image 635657

Just like the exterior, the interior is awash with logos and material enhancements, enriching the driving experience with performance-inspired details that complement the already driver-focused layout.

In case you have the memory of a goldfish and forget the acronym for Subaru’s tuning division, additional STI logos are found in the headrests, steering wheel, gear knob, speedometer, and red push-button ignition.

Open the door and you’re met with exclusive side-sill plates adorned with the STI badging. The door is trimmed in black Alcantara with contrasting red stitching on the armrest, while the shoulder pads come in black Alcantara with black stitching. The heavily bolstered bucket seats are from Recaro, and have adjustable backs and slots for racing harnesses, should the owner decide to install something more secure for track day. The seats are upholstered in black leather and black Alcantara with red stitching and red side accents.

Sliding into place behind the wheel, you’ll see additional red in the side vent grille surrounds. Meeting your hands will be an exclusive leather-lapped steering wheel with red stitching, as well as an STI-designed leather-lapped gear knob.

Meeting your eyes from the gauge cluster is an exclusive speedometer, a carbon-tone instrument panel ornamented with limited-edition badging, and an exclusive black Alcantara gauge visor with red stitching.

In case you have the memory of a goldfish and forget the acronym for Subaru’s tuning division, additional STI logos are found in the headrests, steering wheel, gear knob, speedometer, and red push-button ignition.

In an odd conciliation to comfort, there are also exclusive insulators in the instrument panel, trunk trim and door, presumably to reduce NVH when cruising on the highway to your favorite back road.

0Drivetrain0

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Drivetrain
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Yes, yes, I know. You want more power. I do too, and so does pretty much everyone else who has ever had an opinion about the BRZ/FR-S. Unfortunately, the only real opinion that matters here is Subaru’s, and the automaker is undoubtedly the outlier in my little impromptu and highly unscientific public poll.

Instead of tinkering with the output, STI instead opted to delve back into the suspension and chassis tuning.

That means the powerplant remains unaltered – you still get 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter boxer flat-four engine. Routing this to the rear wheels is either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Instead of tinkering with the output, STI instead opted to delve back into the suspension and chassis tuning. The goal was to offer a car that had the lively handling performance of a race car, while still maintaining a high-quality ride. Using its extensive motorsports experience, STI says the result is a car that offers “inherent handling pleasure enabling drivers to control it at will.”

Sound good? Here’s how it happened.

First, those black aluminum wheels were wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, which measure 225/40ZR18 (92Y). Behind the rollers are big brakes from Brembo, with 17-inch ventilated discs, 4-pot calipers up front, 2-pot calipers in the back, and of course, the obligatory STI badging.

STI then threw on specially designed lateral links with pillow ball bushings for the front inside and rear inside. In front are STI-tuned inverted struts and coil springs, while the rear comes with tuned dampers and coil springs. Under the hood is a flexible V-shaped strut-tower brace, while underneath is a flexible draw stiffener for the front.

There’s also an STI-designed, large-diameter driveshaft and an exclusively tuned Vehicle Dynamics Control system. There’s also a new filter from MAHLE for fun intake noise.

0Prices0

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
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Subaru is currently taking orders for the special-edition BRZ, with prices looking like 3,990,000 yen ($32,619, 6/2015) for the manual transmission version and 4,071,000 yen ($33,282) for the slush box. For comparison’s sake, the base model BRZ starts at 2,408,400 yen ($19,704).

0Competition0
12015-2016 Nissan 370Z NISMO1

2015 - 2017 Nissan 370Z Nismo Exterior
- image 552643

When talking about Japanese sports cars, the Z is sure to show its face sooner or later. The latest iteration of this classic two-door, the 370Z, might be a bit long in the tooth, but Nissan still felt it appropriate to bless it with a high-strung, NISMO edition. The exterior sees quite a few modifications, bringing over styling inspired by the GT-R, with aggressive, red-lined aero front to back. The interior gets new Recaro seats wrapped in Alcantara and leather, plus a good deal of available tech. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine gets a new exhaust, and the suspension is extensively upgraded. It’s a premium package, but expect to pay a premium price compared to the BRZ.

Read our full review here.

12014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe1

2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 539890

The Koreans offer a bit of competition as well, with the Genesis Coupe. The exterior is aggressive and swoopy, while the interior comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, 170-watt, 6-speaker premium stereo and a multi-information display in the center stack. Performance comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with up to 274 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It’s bigger and more muscle car-esque compared to the nippy BRZ, but starts at a significantly lower price point.

Read our full review here.

12014-2015 BMW 220i Coupe Sport1

2014 - 2015 BMW 2 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 530071

While bigger, heavier, and more luxury-oriented than the Subaru, this Bimmer can still bring the noise, as under the hood is a 2.0-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The suspension is more for cruising than slinging through apexes, but don’t be fooled – this thing can still hang with more dedicated sports cars. Expect to pay a bit more, especially if you dabble with the options list.

Read our full review of the BMW 2 Series here.

0Conclusion0

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
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Putting the fan boy rally cry of “More Power” to one side, this special-edition BRZ is a nice package. It looks good, and I’m a big fan of the black details offsetting the bright paint (I’ll take the WR blue, please). The interior is exciting, with all the bits you need to play race car driver. The suspension upgrades are sure to make the car even better in the corners, supposedly without sacrificing ride quality — a difficult achievement to say the least. It’s a very solid car for those who love the stock attributes of the BRZ and want something special in their driveways.

If it were my money, this is what I’d do – buy the base BRZ and add the STI wheels and sticky tires. Then turbocharge the thing already, emissions and warranty be damned.

However, it is quite a lot of money for a BRZ. At well over $30,000, I feel like this might be off the mark when it comes to the original philosophy of offering smiles without breaking the bank. At that price point, you’re stepping into some pretty premium territory. Is it worth the extra money? Maybe… but maybe not.

If it were my money, this is what I’d do – buy the base BRZ and add the STI wheels and sticky tires. Then turbocharge the thing already, emissions and warranty be damned. As you up the boost, tweak the suspension to compensate. Anything left over can go towards making it prettier on the outside and interior.

That said, all 300 examples of this are sure to be sold quickly, which means if you happen to live in Japan, look for one soon at a track day near you.

  • Leave it
    • * Where… is… the… power?!
    • * Only 300 produced
    • * A bit on the pricey side

Press Release

Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI)*1 today announced the release of the “Subaru BRZ tS”, which goes on sale on June 30 through Subaru dealerships in Japan.

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
- image 635650

Subaru BRZ tS is an STI complete car which achieves both “agile handling performance evoking a racing car” and “a high-quality ride” at a high level. STI further enhanced the base car’s chassis performance by using expertise developed in its motorsport activities, pursuing the rear-wheel drive sports car’s “inherent handling pleasure enabling drivers to control it at will”.

Exclusive tuning such as adoptions of STI’s unique flexible parts embodies highly responsive handling performance. Driving performance has also been enhanced by adoptions of “brembo” ventilated disc brakes, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a front under spoiler. The model comes with special features including the “STI” / “tS” ornaments and exclusively-made fender garnish on the exterior as well as “Recaro”-designed front bucket seats exclusively made for STI and a speedometer with an STI logo inside, which evoke driving excitement and pleasure of ownership.

Body colors available are Sunrise Yellow*2, WR Blue Pearl, Crystal White Pearl and Crystal Black Silica. The model’s production will be limited to 300 units*3.

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
- image 635651

Main Features

Mechanism

225/40ZR18 (92Y) tires (Michelin Pilot Super Sport)
STI-designed, black colored 18-inch aluminum wheels
Brembo front 17-inch opposed 4-pot ventilated disc brake with STI logo
Brembo rear 17-inch opposed 2-pot ventilated disc brake with STI logo
STI-designed lateral link with pillow ball bush (front inside, rear inside)
STI-tuned front suspension (inverted-strut front suspension) and coil springs
STI-tuned rear damper and coil springs
STI-designed flexible V-shaped bar
STI-designed flexible draw stiffener (front)
STI-designed large-diameter drive shaft
Exclusively-tuned VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control)
Exclusively-tuned filter for Sound Creator®*4

Exterior

STI-designed front under spoiler
Exclusively-made “STI” ornament (front and rear), “tS” ornament (rear)
Exclusively-made front bumper with cherry red colored facing and LED lamps
Exclusively-made rear bumper with cherry red colored facing
STI designed front fender garnish with “STI” logo (black)
Black colored electric folding door mirror
Black colored roof antenna (shark fin type)

Interior

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI High Resolution Exterior
- image 635652

Exclusively-made speedometer with STI logo
Exclusively-made speedometer visor [Alcantara®*5 (black), red stitching]
Carbon tone instrument panel and ornament (“tS Limited Edition 300”)
Exclusively-made leather lapped steering wheel (quality-feel leather with “STI” ornament and red stitching)
STI-designed leather lapped gear knob with STI logo
STI-designed push button ignition (red) with STI logo
Recaro-designed front bucket seats [black leather / black punching Alcantara® combination seats (red stitching and red accents)] with STI logo and SRS side airbag
Side ventilation grill (red)
Door trims (Armrest: black Alcantara® with red stitching / Shoulder pad with black stitching)
Exclusively-made side sill plate with STI logo
Exclusively-made insulators (instrument panel, trunk trim, door)

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Press release
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