Rumor

Don't Be Fooled By That Subaru BRZ STI Teaser, It's Not What You Think

Let us explain why.

A couple of days ago Subaru released a teaser image of a BRZ sporting a large carbon fiber rear wing, complete with these three letters: STI. With a full reveal coming on Thursday, June 8, many of you are expecting the high-performance, turbocharged BRZ we’ve been clamoring for since, well, since the BRZ launched in 2012. Sadly, we’re fairly certain the BRZ STI won’t be that car. More than likely, it’ll be the US-spec version of the Japanese market BRZ tS, which has been tuned by STI.

The BRZ tS, despite an aero package that includes a nearly identical rear wing to the teased image, doesn’t have any additional power over the regular BRZ. Instead, it comes with several chassis and aerodynamic upgrades. Appearance upgrades include 17-inch Brembo brakes up front, 18-inch STI wheels finished in black, more aggressive body styling and unique color choices. We also spoke to Subaru’s Car Line Planning Manager of America, Todd Hill, about a year ago, and we asked him directly about the chances of a turbo BRZ. The reply was that there was literally no chance, and for several good reasons.

For one thing, adding a turbo would add weight and price. The BRZ was also never intended to be a straight-line car, like the Mustang and Camaro, so an OEM turbo would sort of go against the BRZ’s in-house nature. Hill wasn’t opposed to aftermarket turbo kits, but in his opinion, the BRZ’s 2.0-liter box four should remain naturally aspirated, at least from the factory. Given all that, you can understand our skepticism about a turbo BRZ STI. A BRZ tS renamed BRZ STI? Sure, just don't expect it to be turbocharged.

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