Better something than nothing.
Exactly two years ago, Subaru unveiled the BRZ tS, the US-spec version of the Japanese market variant positioned above the standard BRZ. While not quite the BRZ STI we had been hoping for, the 2018 BRZ tS was a more track-focused coupe thanks to a number of chassis and aerodynamic upgrades supplied by STI. There was no additional output from the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer four, now rated at 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. Limited to just 500 examples, the BRZ tS did not return for model year 2019 but CarsDirect now claims a return is planned for 2020.
The information itself comes from fuel economy data posted by the EPA website. Why would the EPA post this data for this specific model if it's not going on sale? We've since reached out to Subaru seeking clarification and we'll update this space if we hear back.
The EPA also states the 2020 Subaru BRZ tS is rated at 20/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. That's actually 1 mpg less overall than the standard manual-equipped BRZ. Why the difference in fuel economy? This can likely be attributed to the BRZ tS's larger 18-inch wheels and high-grip tires.
Assuming the 2020 BRZ tS is about the same, if not slightly improved, over its predecessor, expect other features to include STI-tuned front and rear SACHS dampers and coil springs, flexible V-braces in the engine compartment, improved steering response due to new draw stiffeners added to the chassis and sub-frame, Brembo brakes at all four wheels, and that distinctive carbon fiber fixed rear wing. Previously, this large wing was manually adjustable.
Other minor additions include STI under spoilers at the front, rear, and side for improved airflow. There are also some red accents around the front grille while the fog lights were swapped out for STI fog light covers. The 2020 Subaru BRZ is slated to go on sale in the next few months and official pricing and details will be announced prior to that. Hopefully, the BRZ tS will be included.