The BRZ/GT86 collaboration between Toyota and Subaru has been knocking around for a few years now. When it was initially released the car was received well by critics, a relatively affordable sports car that harked back to a simpler time – when enjoyability was more important than top speed.
One criticism some people had of the GT86/BRZ was that the car was slightly underpowered, however to date neither Toyota nor Subaru has released a performance boosted production ready version of the 86. At this year’s New York Auto show it seemed Subaru had addressed this issue with an STI version of the BRZ, though as it turns out it’s only a one-off concept.
Subaru announced that this ‘STI Performance Concept’ is simply marketing tool to better acquaint the US market with the brand.
The performance injected BRZ is noticeably different. It has been treated to lower, stiffer STI-spec suspension, new 18-inch alloy wheels, custom Brembo discs and pads, a monster rear wing, a full new body kit (new front and rear bumpers, carbon fibre mirrors and side skirts), chassis improvements- to better control body roll – a flexible tower strut bar designed by STI, and a beefed up engine.
For this concept Subaru has done away with the BRZ’s factory 2.0-litre boxer engine and replaced it with the EJ20 2.0-litre single-scroll turbo boxer from its GT300 race car.
Subaru officially quotes power at 345bhp and 332lb ft. of torque, but Subaru’s Dominick Infante says the concept actually produces closer to 450bhp. “They quote it lower on the stand, but that’s just an agreement between the Japanese manufacturers,” he smiles.
On the interior front, custom gauges have been added, as well as Recaro seats, an Alcantara steering wheel, a new centre console and on the exterior a custom matt blue paint job has been added.
Here’s the bad news, though: it’s not a pre-production car and is unlikely to appear any time soon, according to Subaru USA President Tom Doll “We’re still a little way off. We have to do lots more engineering and testing.”
Subaru’s Michael McHale was even more adamant: “This is not a production car, and we do not intend to bring it to market.”
Come on Subaru, make this a reality…. we’d even settle for factory turbocharged version of the standard 2.0-Litre!