The prospect of a Toyota GT86 or Subaru BRZ with extra power is a tantalising one. While the cars’ 197bhp outputs look good on paper the effort required to deliver the promised punch, and the lack of aural joy in doing so, often leaves us wanting just a little more.
More power is exactly what you don’t get with the latest Subaru BRZ tS STI launched in Japan, but virtually every other aspect of the car has been enhanced.
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Breathed upon by Subaru Technica International, the model sits atop the BRZ range with a series of suspension, braking and visual modifications to heighten the car’s agility and appearance.
Rolling stock comprises STI-designed, black-coloured 18in alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. Behind those lurk 17in Brembo brakes front and rear, with four-pot calipers up front and two-pot calipers on the rear discs.
STI also provides new inverted-strut front suspension with new springs, and retuned rear springs and dampers. Draw stiffeners connect the front crossmember to the chassis for extra rigidity, and STI provides new lateral links in the suspension.
Visually, the tS STI is distinguished by a front splitter, rear spoilers and redesigned front and rear bumpers. STI logos also abound, both inside and out – applied to everything from the front wings to the speedometer, gearknob, starter button and Recaro seats.
Japanese customers also get the option of Sunrise Yellow, WR Blue Pearl, Crystal White Pearl and Crystal Black Silica paint finishes, though a limited run of 300 vehicles means only a small selection will be painted in each colour.
No such luck for UK customers, as Subaru still has no plans to bring any STI-badged BRZ to Europe. As evo discovered in issue 210, strong Subaru sales in the US mean the UK market isn’t a priority.
For the time being, that means those seeking extra power from their BRZs (and GT86s), must continue to turn to the aftermarket.