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2018 Subaru BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition

2018 Subaru BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition

Nope, this one doesn’t have a turbo either!

While not as old as other Japanese carmakers like Toyota and Nissan, Subaru was one of the first companies from the country to open shop in the United States. It happened in 1968 when Malcolm Bricklin established Subaru of America in Philadelphia. Exactly 50 years have passed since them as of 2018, and Subaru is celebrating the event with a range of 50th Anniversary Edition models. The package is available across the entire U.S. lineup, including the BRZ sports car.

Limited to only a couple of hundred units, the BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition shares most of its special features with other vehicles included in this run. So it’s not exactly as exclusive as Subaru wants us to think. However, it has a range of cool features, including a new exterior color and new interior appointments. It’s also based on a higher-trim model, so it gets an extended range of standard equipment. Find out what it’s all about and how much it costs in the review below.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Subaru BRZ STI Sport Edition

2018 Subaru BRZ STI Sport Edition

The sports car gets exclusive with improved handling credentials

The Subaru BRZ has been around for quite some time now, and it’s racked up about as many special edition models as any model that’s out on the market today. Don’t look now but it appears that Subaru isn’t done with this exercise because it’s rolling out a new SE model in time for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The model is called the BRZ STI Sport, and it benefits from getting exclusive upgrades on unheralded sections of the sports car. It does, after all, wear the STI badge and we know what that means, right?

Let’s get this straight from the get-go. The BRZ STI Sport Edition does not feature any engine upgrades. It still carries the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that pumps out 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. It’s adequate power for a car like the BRZ, but not enough to really make a statement. This is where STI comes in because this special edition BRZ isn’t about power gains; it’s about the thrill of the ride and the handles that go with it. A car like the BRZ is prepared to give drivers the thrill of performance driving, regardless of the amount of power it has. That’s what the BRZ STI Sport is all about, and rest assured, that kind of selling point is a big reason why the special edition sports car is expected to be a hot-seller once it gets out in the market. Only a limited number of BRZ STI Sport Edition models are expected to be released, including just 100 units of a high-spec version that will come with an exclusive paint finish.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Subaru BRZ STI Sport Edition.

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2018 Subaru BRZ tS

2018 Subaru BRZ tS

Apex-hungry BRZ gets ready to take America by storm

The Subaru BRZ has had an interesting life over the past five years, enjoying several different iterations, a variety of aftermarket treatments, and even a few Hollywood cameos. Now, the BRZ is getting reinvented once again with the launch of the new tS, a performance-oriented version of the <sports coupe> boasting an array of nips and tucks to the exterior and interior, plus numerous enhanced suspension components. The result is even more performance potential from a two-door aimed squarely at the enthusiast audience, with a laser-like focus on maximum smiles in the corners.

If the BRZ tS nameplate sounds familiar, it’s because Subaru offered it back in 2014 as a JDM exclusive model. Only 750 units were produced, 500 of which came in “standard” tS form, with the other 250 outfitted with the tS GT-Package. The tS is created in part by the automaker’s in-house performance division, Subaru Tecnica International, Inc., better known as STI, hence the name “tS” (“tuned by STI”). While that all sounds pretty good, it’s clear the tS isn’t a full-blown STI model. Instead, it’s got sharper handling chops and a few aesthetic enhancements, with no clear indication of gains made under the hood. And in the U.S., 200 horses can be a tough sell. Nevertheless, does the tS have what it takes to entice stateside buyers?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru BRZ tS.

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2017 Subaru BRZ - Driven

2017 Subaru BRZ - Driven

A mid-cycle refresh brings small changes

The Subaru BRZ has been around since 2013 and has soldiered on unchanged. That is, until the 2017 model year updates have taken hold, bringing a slightly revised face, a new gauge cluster, some minor suspension tuning, and some major engine work that brings, sadly, imperceptible changes. Still, the BRZ makes a solid case for itself as a great driver’s car.

I recently spent a week with the updated 2017 BRZ, driving like I would any normal daily driver. Trips to the grocery store, to church, to the mall, and hauling the wife and kiddo to the in-law’s house all took place. Using the BRZ in this manner revealed some telling negative attributes. Its cabin is loud and cramped, its trunk is small, and the cabin is hard to get out of. However, one trip around a curvy road in the cool of the night with the windows down uncovers the true purpose of this car – to drive. All the negativity falls away revealing a fun, easy-to-handle, machine built to put a smile on your face. Best of all, the BRZ is inexpensive. That character hasn’t changed despite the wide array of changes for 2017.

But beyond these aspects, the 2017 Subaru BRZ offers plenty of desirable attributes for a semi-wide range of customers. Keep reading for the full scoop.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Subaru BRZ GT

2017 Subaru BRZ GT

Japan-exclusive BRZ now arriving in the U.S. as an optional package

Subaru is rolling out another special edition version of the BRZ for the Japanese market and before anybody starts throwing tantrums on why the U.S. market is getting jilted yet again with the special edition love, settle down. We already have it as the optional “Performance Package” that’s available for the manual Limited trim of the 2017 model year BRZ.

Unlike here in the U.S., the Japanese market will get the model as the BRZ GT, otherwise known as the range-topping version of the sports coupe. The upgrades are relatively the same with the only exception being that the GT trim in Japan will also receive some cosmetic goodies to go with all the performance enhancements.

So the BRZ GT really isn’t that much of a special edition model, at least when you compare it to some of Subaru’s past special editions. Nevertheless, it is limited and only our friends over in Japan get it as an actual exclusive. Subaru didn’t say how many of the BRZ GT models would be made available in Japan, but sales are expected to start on November 7, 2016 with the GT available in either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and priced at 3,315,600 million yen ($31,900) and 3,375,000 million yen ($32,500), respectively.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru BRZ GT.

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2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue – Driven

2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue – Driven

Subaru adds blue paint, making us red with lust

The Subaru BRZ and its corporate cousins, the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S, have been around since 2013. Relatively little changes have taken place since then, excluding 2016 being Scion’s last year in existence. However, Subaru has spiced things up with the Series.HyperBlue edition. It’s a play off the Series.Blue edition Subaru offered for 2015, but adds this can’t-miss-it HyperBlue color, black wheels, black badging, and black mirror caps. Beyond the color, a handful of blue accents in the cabin, and its super limited 500-unit production run, this BRZ retains all parts found in the standard car.

Nevertheless, the BRZ Series.HyperBlue is worth looking at. I had the chance to do that a while back when Subaru delivered one to my driveway for a week. It came packing the excellent six-speed manual transmission mated to the standard 2.0-liter flat-four cylinder and rear-wheel drive.

It didn’t take long to find a couple updates Subaru gave the entire BRZ line for 2016, namely the updated 6.2-inch Starlink infotainment system. No longer does it look like an aftermarket head unit, but rather a more integrated and better-conceived design. A frameless rearview mirror also adds a touch of class.

So what’s it like to live with the 2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Subaru BRZ

2017 Subaru BRZ

The BRZ gets some updating for the 2017 model year

Right around the turn of the decade Subaru and Toyota teamed up to jointly develop a compact, rear-wheel driven sports car. Come 2012, and we were graced with Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ. The same car was also marketed as the FR-S through Toyota’s Scion brand until the brand was dissolved in 2016. For 2017, Subaru has revamped the BRZ to bring some new features to the aging sports car. For starters, the front fascia has been revised, and the car will now come standard with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. BRZ Premium models will now get automatic headlights with automatic adjustment, simulated leather on the center dash trim, daytime running lights, hill start assist, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, body-colored aluminum spoiler, and vehicle stability control. Limited models get even more goodies, including LED fog lights, a new instrument cluster, and the option for paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

The new goodies don’t stop there. Limited trim models can opt for those paddle-shift control switches and a shift lever boot with simulated leather and red stitching. All models equipped with a manual transmission can also be optioned with a new performance package that adds on black alloy wheels, Brembo brake system, and Sachs shock absorbers in the front and rear. As you can see, most of the new goodies come the Premium and Limited trims, but they should help to keep the model fresh until Subaru (and Toyota for that matter) can manage to usher in a new generation for the compact sports car.

So, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive on into the details of the 2017 Subaru BRZ and talk about what will help it prevail until that next generation finally comes to be.

Update 07/14/2016: Subaru is preparing to launch the 2017 Subaru BRZ and, as such, has released pricing information for each model and the optional performance package.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru BRZ.

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2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow Special Edition

2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow Special Edition

Subaru rolls out special-edition coupe with updated chassis and exclusive yellow-themed appearance

Launched in 2012, the BRZ is a sports car that resulted from a collaboration between Japanese manufacturers Subaru and Toyota. Launched alongside its identical siblings, the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S — the latter discontinued in 2016 — the BRZ is sold globally with the Subaru-developed, 2.0-liter boxer engine and either a manual or automatic transmission. The coupe was updated for the 2017 model year, receiving revised exterior elements, various interior upgrades, chassis tweaks, and a mild power bump for models equipped with the manual gearbox.

While the BRZ, much like the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S, has been deprived of significant upgrades in its four years on the market, the three companies have rolled out countless special editions as of 2016. The most recent one is the Series.Yellow Special Edition, which Subaru will put on sale for the 2017 model year. If the "Series" nomenclature sounds familiar, it’s because Scion has also launched a couple of versions using a similar badge, most notably the Release Series 2.0. With Scion no longer operating in the U.S., it’s now up to Subaru to provide customers with limited-edition models.

Much like previous special versions of the Japanese coupe, the Series.Yellow sports mild updates inside and out and a special exterior color. However, this model also features a few chassis upgrades that can’t be had on the standard model, unless certain optional packages are selected. Find out more about that below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow Special Edition.

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2016 Subaru Series.Hyperblue BRZ

2016 Subaru Series.Hyperblue BRZ

Ah, special-edition cars. Some are wonderful and add tons of goodies, while others disappoint sorely with little more than a name and a limited quantity. Subaru has decided to toss the BRZ into this ring with the Series.Hyperblue model, which is more of the former than the latter, thankfully.

The BRZ is a polarizing model: some folks find it to be the best inexpensive sports car ever made, while others think it is just expensive smoke and mirrors. I feel the engineered torque curve and skinny tires make the BRZ feel much more fun than it really is. Plus, I think Subaru and Toyota are sandbagging it a bit to help build interest in the much-anticipated and oft-denied turbocharged models.

Regardless of my personal opinion, I am set to give the limited-run BRZ Series.Hyperblue a fair shakedown to see if it is worth the wait and the added expense.

Updated 09/03/2015: Subaru announced prices for the special edition Series.Hyperblue BRZ, which will arrive in retail locations this fall. Prices will start at $28,485, including $795 destination and delivery.

Continue reading my full review of the BRZ Series.Hyperblue to see if it impressed this skeptic or not.

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2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI

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.

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2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept

2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept

Here in the U.S., the Subaru STI is the most extreme version of the WRX all-wheel-drive performance compact, but in Japan, there are STI versions of numerous Subaru products. That could soon be the case in North America as well, as the unveiling of the Subaru STI Performance Concept at the New York Auto Show indicates the brand’s intent to expand STI’s offering’s on this side of the ocean.

The BRZ-based STI Performance Concept heralds Subaru’s announcement that its race-engineering arm will expand its lineup of dealer-installed high-performance parts. This also means more STI models. In Japan, both the BRZ and Forester have high-performance versions modified by STI. There’s a good chance that a car similar to the hot BRZ on Subaru’s stage will make it to the streets.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru STI Performance Concept.

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2014 Subaru BRZ Special Edition

2014 Subaru BRZ Special Edition

Subaru has another special-edition model for the BRZ. Raise your hand if you think it’s becoming a tad too much. I don’t mind that the company wants the sports coupe to improve its on-road presence, but there’s been a lot of these lately and none of them come with the upgrade we all really want. You know, that part about improving the car’s performance capabilities.

Granted, this BRZ Special Edition does have a few nice additions, especially those GT stripes that add an aggressive touch to the sports car. It’s also a different touch from what we’re used to. Heck, some people might think the stripes themselves are worth the "Special Edition" label attached to the model.

Add all the new exterior and interior upgrades, and they all combine to make a pretty appealing package that a lot of customers will definitely be interested in. But even with all those additions, there’s still that one little piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and we all know what it is (read: more power).

I’m not getting my hopes up, but then again, stranger things have happened.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Subaru BRZ Special Edition.

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2014 Subaru BRZ SE

2014 Subaru BRZ SE

The Subaru BRZ isn’t getting a facelift anytime soon, but over in the UK, the BRZ is getting — or at least getting back — the entry level SE trim. It doesn’t sound that sexy, that much I think we can all agree on. But it does give customers in the UK a cheaper BRZ alternative than the ones they’re currently getting.

There’s not a whole lot to be excited about the return of the BRZ SE other than its £22,495 ($37,033 at current exchange rates) price tag. The engine is still the same (ho hum) 2.0-liter flat-four and there aren’t any added features unless you get the higher-grade SE Lux version. At least that one gets Alcantara and heated leather-trimmed seats.

Otherwise, prepare to see standard features like keyless entry and push-button start; dual-zone climate control; cruise control; sports seats; VSC; Torsen limited slip differential; and front, side, curtain, and knee airbags. Satellite navigation is also available, although that one comes as a dealer-fit option.

Judging by what’s being offered, the BRZ SE can be an attractive buy if you’re looking for a sports car across the pond. But you’re probably better served getting the SE Lux trim. For an extra £1,500 ($2,469), you at least get some nice Alcantara-wrapped heated seats.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Subaru BRZ SE.

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2013 Subaru BRZ "Albino Rhino"

2013 Subaru BRZ "Albino Rhino"

I don’t think I’m the only one who has been disappointed with the underwhelming aftermarket programs given to the Subaru BRZ. I’m not expecting anywhere close to the level of a Nissan GT-R, but somewhere with equally impressive performance gains relative to its power wouldn’t hurt. The same disappointing trend continues with the BRZ "Albino Rhino" by RallySport Direct.

To be fair, the BRZ Albino Rhino does have impressive aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades. I have no issues on how the BRZ looks because it looks incredible. The blue alloy wheels, in particular, are a perfect combination of saucy and sexy.

The issue here is the engine upgrade, which isn’t really much, if I’m being honest. RallySport Direct added a Vortech supercharger, which sounds really nice, but at the end of the day, even the supercharger upgrade wasn’t enough to give the BRZ "Albino Rhino" the kind of power its animal namesake is famous for.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Subaru BRZ "Albino Rhino".

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2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 By Cosworth

2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 By Cosworth

There’s a storm brewing over at Cosworth, the kind that can redefine the way we look at the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86. The aftermarket company known for its engine forays in the world of Formula One prepared a new power package treatment for the FA-20 engine that powers all three.

After some teasing in early 2014, Cosworth has finally bared the details on this new power package and it has come at a perfect time for the trio of sports cars. It’s a performance upgrade that has turned the normally tame 200-horsepower sports cars into a fire-breathing bullets that are poised to dominate the automotive scene.

Finally, we can alleviate some of our issues with the BRZ/FR-S/GT86 trio with a healthy injection of power, courtesy of Cosworth. Now, if only we can get the automakers to finally add some of this power straight from the factory, instead of slapping on silly body kits and flashy wheels.

Cosworth’s program comes in three stages, with the details on Stage 1 being the only ones that are available as of June 2, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 by Cosworth.

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2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue

The Subaru BRZ has been around since the 2013 model year and to this day, there’s still little evidence that Suby is prepared to make a more powerful version of the sports car. It’s latest special edition model, the BRZ Series.Blue, follows in what has become an increasingly frustrating trend for Subaru (Toyota and Scion, too, for that matter) enthusiasts. The aerodynamic upgrades are there, and the interior even looks real nice. But for all the upgrades the BRZ Series.Blue received, it still carries that same medicore 2.0-liter boxer that produces 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Care to bump that up a little, Subaru?

The likely answer we’ll get is "not as long as people keep buying it," but we’re still holding out hope that Subaru has some serious plans for the BRZ down the road. The rumored BRZ STi is one that we’re clearly holding on to, and we’re not letting that go until Subaru takes the idea to pasture, kills it and brings us its lifeless body.

The rumored output for the BRZ STi is 250 horsepower, which isn’t much, but still something to look forward to. The biggest thing is that we’d likely see that 151 pound-feet of torque climb to closer to the 250 pound-feet mark, giving the BRZ the ability to pull hard out of corners and from the line. But for now, we’re going to have to settle for the STi-badged BRZ Series.Blue. Only 1,000 models are being made so it does have "exclusivity" attached to it.

Take that for what it’s worth.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue.

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2014 Subaru BRZ Premium Sport Edition

2014 Subaru BRZ Premium Sport Edition

The Subaru BRZ, together with its Toyota and Scion sisters, has become quite a popular sell in a number of markets all over the world. Over in Japan, where Subaru calls home and where special edition models are released at an incredibly rapid rate, the Japanese automaker is joining the fray with the unveiling of the new BRZ Premium Sport Edition.

The car has been hailed as a adult-oriented version of the BRZ and a production version of the concept model that was seen earlier this year at the Tokyo Auto Salon. Despite all the flowery attributes being given to the BRZ Premium Sport Edition, the car does lack all the aerodynamic modifications that were seen in the concept.

Instead, Subaru decided to deck the car with a subtle exterior upgrade that includes a set of black-finished, 17-inch, STI aluminum wheels and...well, that’s about it.

Meanwhile, the car’s interior gets all of the nice upgrades, including tan leather doors, black leather with tan stitching on the manual gearbox levers and the handbrake, plenty of satin silver accents on the cabin, two-tone sports seats and a steering wheel wrapped in tan and black leather, black Alcantara with tan contrast stitching just above the instrument panel, the sides of the center console, and the top section of the doors.

Carbon-fiber trim on the dashboard and a red push engine button from STI, as well as the aluminum pedals, conclude the new upgrades given to the BRZ Premium Sport Edition.

The special edition BRZ is set to hit dealerships before the end of the year at a price of 3,034,500 Yen, which is around a little over $31,000 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read about the Subaru BRZ and to see more details on the Subaru BRZ Premium Sport Edition

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