While the Subaru BRZ
and its Toyota GT-86 / Scion FR-S
equivalent are two of the most anticipated Japanese sport coupes in history, critics have complained that their 200-horsepower output simply isn’t enough.
Subaru has heard those comments, too, so the automaker has already begun working on an STI version of the BRZ. As Subaru’s global marketing manager, Atoshi Atake, advised Auto Express
, “Let me say this - we will certainly satisfy our customers. We are already working on a faster version.”
The news should come as no surprise, since Subaru showed a BRZ STI concept
at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s very likely that a production version will closely resemble the concept, down to the aerodynamic body kit and lowered suspension. We’re not sure the oversized rear wing will come as standard equipment, though.
Under the hood, the BRZ STI will likely go a different route than current STI models
. Since there’s no room for an intercooler up front, turbocharging is out. You can cross supercharging off the list, too, as Subaru is concerned that it would impact the BRZ’s fuel economy and require a larger gas tank.
Instead, Subaru will improve the car’s air intake, add a less-restrictive exhaust, increase redline to 7,500 rpm and revise the variable valve control system for optimized performance. These modifications are expected to boost output to around 250 horsepower, a full 25-percent increase over the base model.
The STI version will be lighter in weight, too, thanks to racing bucket seats, a carbon fiber hood and, potentially, even a carbon-fiber roof. Lighter wheels will be used, and the car will further benefit from upgraded brakes and a stiffer suspension for track day use.
Unfortunately, there’s no timeline on the BRZ STI, and Subaru’s biggest problem at the moment is ramping up production to meet demand. In Japan, Subaru has sold over 3,500 BRZs in the past two months, some four times the number it expected to sell.