A new version of the Subaru BRZ is here, and as suspected, it’s not packing a single horsepower more than the standard model. It’s the latest BRZ tS, and unlike the original, Japan-only version, this one’s heading Stateside.
500 examples will make their way to US Subaru dealers - and US Subaru dealers only - in early 2018, with a raft of aero and chassis improvements.
On the bodywork front, it’s rocking a massive, manually adjustable carbonfibre wing, STI front, rear and side “underspoilers” and a Cherry Blossom Red grille accent.
The BRZ’s handling has been spruced up thanks to the addition of Sachs springs and dampers, backed up by V-bracing in the engine compartment and draw stiffeners under the body to reduce flex.
Lightweight 18-inch STI wheels have also been added, wrapped in 215/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres front and rear. Peer through the new multi-spoke rims, and you’ll spy beefy Brembo brake callipers.
On the inside, you’ll find a massive serving of Alcantara, splashes of red for contrast, and a smattering of tS logos. You also get a unique gauge cluster visor, a “cast black” finish for the centre console and a frameless rear-view mirror.
So it’s another Toyobaru BR-86 with a bunch of tasty changes, without the boost in power we’re - rightly or wrongly - craving. But don’t worry, as this isn’t the only car Subaru is revealing today.
The company has also cooked up a special edition WRX STI that revives the legendary Type RA (Record Attempt) name. Unlike the BRZ tS, it’s actually been given a small increase in power: it produces 306bhp, thanks to the presence of a new STI cold air intake and freer-flowing performance exhaust. It’s also been given beefier pistons and a fettled ECU.
It’s lighter than a standard STI too, thanks to its carbon fibre roof, missing spare tyre, carbon fibre rear wing and lighweight forged BBS wheels. On the subject of the rims, they’re wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sports boots.
The six-speed manual gearbox has been given a shorter ratio third cog, plus a short shifter. The suspension meanwhile has been thoroughly re-worked with inverted struts at the front, double wishbones at the rear and Bilstein dampers all round. Bringing things to a stop are Brembo six-piston callipers at the front backed up by dual piston jobbies at the rear, squeezing cross-drilled rotors.
Like the tS, only 500 will be built, all available through US Subaru dealers in early 2018. Pricing and full specifications for each will be available later this year.