Subaru BRZ gets subtle tweaks for 2017 update

Engine, chassis and interior tweaks for Subaru's twin to the Toyota GT86

As with the broadly identical Toyota GT86, Subaru has revealed a host of small improvements to its BRZ sports car for the 2017 model year.

The updates, says Subaru, cover virtually every area of the car, including its styling, interior, powertrain, suspension and safety - though as with many mid-life facelifts, you'd be hard pressed to spot the changes at a glance.

Visual alterations include a slightly wider front bumper designed to improve aerodynamics, but more significant for most drivers (and to the car's visual appeal) are the new all-LED headlights.

> Also read: Subaru BRZ review - is Subaru's sports car a class-leader?

The rear lamps have also been redesigned and undoubtedly for the better, with a more sophisticated design that edges further away from the spangly early-2000s tuning scene look of the original units. There's a new spoiler too, which unfortunately does look like it's been pinched from a yoof's Civic circa-2002, and a set of new ten-spoke alloy wheels.

The updated BRZ retains the existing model's 2-litre, four-cylinder 'boxer' engine, of Subaru origin but fueled by Toyota-derived direct injection. Subaru says the block is stronger than before, has lower-friction camshafts, lighter rocker arms and polished valve stems.

No power improvement is quoted - Toyota's updated GT86 moves from 197bhp to 202bhp, so expect an identical increase in the BRZ - but better responses and greater fuel efficiency are the claimed benefits.

Cornering (one of the few areas where Toyota and Subaru differed) has been improved with uprated dampers, cutting body roll and improving comfort. A 'Track' mode allows a little more freedom from the stability control and changes the throttle's response curve.

The most notable changes may be in the cabin. There's new leather and some slightly bulky looking buttons for the redesigned steering wheel (claiming another victim in the war against button-free 'wheels), higher quality cabin materials, and a 4.2-inch multi-function display integrated into the instrument panel. Inside the fat new steering wheel, there's also a new airbag.

No pricing information has yet been confirmed but the BRZ range has been consolidated into SE Lux specification alone. That may raise pricing from the current £22,495 of the entry-level SE to nearer £23,995 of the current SE Lux. A manual gearbox is standard, and an automatic is available, if you absolutely must.

Recommended

New 2022 Subaru BRZ revealed – back-to-basics coupe returns
Subaru BRZ

New 2022 Subaru BRZ revealed – back-to-basics coupe returns

But there are no plans to bring the new BRZ to Europe, not with a Subaru badge anyway
18 Nov 2020
BMW M4 mule with aero mods caught in testing
BMW M4 CS prototype 2021 - rear
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M4 mule with aero mods caught in testing

Could a BMW M4 CS, or perhaps even a new CSL, already be in the works?
12 Apr 2021
Car pictures of the week
BMW M4 Competition Sao Paulo on track – rear smoke
BMW

Car pictures of the week

We take a look at some behind the scenes shots from this month’s BMW M4 track review at the Bedford Autodrome
9 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival
Jaguar XJ41
Jaguar

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival

The blighted ’80s ‘F-type’, the demise of which led to the creation of the Jaguar XK8 and launched a new era for Aston Martin
8 Apr 2021
New Mercedes CLS revealed – four-door coupe gets a refresh
2021 Mercedes CLS53 – front static
Mercedes CLS

New Mercedes CLS revealed – four-door coupe gets a refresh

Merc’s sleek CLS has received a few choice updates and a Panamericana grille for 2022
7 Apr 2021
Polestar 2 range expanded – new £39,900 entry-level model introduced
2021 Polestar 2 – front quarter
Polestar 2

Polestar 2 range expanded – new £39,900 entry-level model introduced

New single-motor and a second smaller battery pack soon to be available on Swedish EV
13 Apr 2021