No, this isn’t the turbocharged Subaru BRZ we’ve been waiting for – but that doesn’t mean you should disregard the BRZ tS.
After some tantalizing teasers, Subaru has lifted the wraps off the long-overdue track-tuned BRZ - but it isn’t the turbocharged BRZ STI we’ve been waiting for since the car launched five years ago. Just as we suspected, it’s not a true BRZ STI, but a US-spec version of the Japanese BRZ tS. While it’s positioned above the standard BRZ, there are no power advantages - but that doesn’t mean you should disregard it. Limited to just 500 units in the US, the BRZ tS is more track-focused thanks to a raft of chassis and aero upgrades supplied by STI.
The BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. Steering response has also been improved thanks to new draw stiffeners added to the chassis and sub-frame. For the first time, the BRZ is being offered with 18-inch wheels, specifically a lightweight set of STI wheels wrapped in 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires to improve grip. Rounding out the package are Brembo brakes at each corner for superior stopping power. The most obvious addition to the BRZ tS is its huge rear wing constructed out of carbon fiber. Not only does it make the BRZ look more aggressive, it’s manually adjustable allowing you to fine-tune rear downforce.
STI underspoilers located at the front, rear and side also help control airflow. Further distinguishing the BRZ tS is an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around the front grille and a unique rear bumper cover. The fog lights have also been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers. The Subaru BRZ tS will be arriving in dealerships in early 2018, with pricing and full specifications to be revealed later this year. No doubt many will be disappointed that the BRZ isn’t getting a power boost after five years, but the handling improvements made to the BRZ tS should make it more fun to tame on the track.