Minor changes may not be quite enough to boost flagging sales.
Following updates for the Japanese market, minor improvements for the 2019 Subaru BRZ have today been announced, including a mere $200 increase to the price of the base trim. While there aren't any major changes to the drivetrain, subtle updates to the trim and a bit of new tech have been introduced. The 205-hp 2.0-liter boxer motor has sadly been left untouched, while we weren't expecting a turbo, it could have done with a small power boost similar to what the refreshed Mazda Miata has recently benefited from.
Available in Premium, Limited and new Series.Gray trim, the most noteworthy improvements over the 2018 models is the Subaru Starlink navigation system, as fitted to the top two trim levels, which now offers over-the-air updates.
The Performance Package can be equipped on the Limited trim models and includes upgraded Brembo brakes, Sachs performance shocks and unique 17-inch alloys. Opting for the automatic transmission in this kind of car is defeating the point a bit and Subaru lets you know this by not offering this package on automatics and also by reducing output by 5 hp for good measure.
The manual transmission only Series.Gray trim will be limited to a total of 250 units. Based on the Limited trim, it comes standard with the Performance Package and is finished in Cool Gray Khaki with 17-inch black-finish alloy wheels, foldable exterior power mirrors with Crystal Black Silica finish and black badging. The interior gets contrasting red stitching and a frameless design day/night mirror.
Prices start at $25,795 MSRP for base models, up to $30,140 MSRP for the Series.Gray trim. In all then, not a huge change for the new year and while the BRZ has never been a strong seller here, sales have actually picked up over the past month in the US. With the next-generation BRZ still a few years away, the current model may soon need a more comprehensive update if it is to maintain any sort of sales momentum.