“The overall goal was to make this car the most fun-to-drive version possible,” says Todd Hill, carline planning manager for Subaru of America. The arrival of the BRZ tS (short for “tuned by STI”) is a milestone for Subaru in two ways. First, it delivers sharper performance. It also marks the first time Subaru offers the North American market another Subaru Tecnica International (STI)-tuned model to join the WRX.
Limited to 500
The work on the BRZ tS, which will be limited to a production run of 500 vehicles, started from the ground up. “The STI organization took the car and did a lot of additional tuning,” says Hill. Standard 18-inch wheels, for example, are the largest wheels ever offered on a BRZ. Additionally, says Hill, “The tires were changed to very grippy Michelin Pilot® Sport 4.” That extra grip means engineers were able to take the suspension tuning further, with revised springs and STI-tuned SACHS® front and rear dampers. In the engine compartment, unique STI flexible V-Bars stiffen the structure. And the chassis is more rigid thanks to BRZ tS-specific chassis and subframe draw stiffeners. The end result? “The car is much quicker to turn and much more responsive with higher grip,” says Hill.
Drivers can tweak the BRZ tS for track days, too. An STI-exclusive carbon-fiber spoiler is mounted to the rear decklid, and while it’s distinctive looking, the goal remains performance. The spoiler can be manually adjusted to provide greater downforce, and every bit of the aero kit is functional. To that end, STI designed spoilers for the front, sides and rear to provide superior control over airflow, which pays off in traction and stability improvements.
Brembo brakes at all four corners, meanwhile, increase driver confidence by supporting both stopping performance and overall finesse. “These are the same size brakes and rotors that were on last year’s WRX STI, which is considerably heavier than BRZ,” says Hill. “That’s a lot of braking power for this little car.” With an expanded performance envelope, drivers will revel in the thrill of pushing the BRZ tS to its limits.
This kind of special-edition handling demands a signature look, and you’ll be able to spot the BRZ tS by its exclusive exterior accents. Cherry Blossom Red color defines the front grille and unique rear bumper, while badging and blacked-out elements also pump up the visual muscle.
Inside, the interior is finished in black leather and Alcantara upholstery. The seats are embroidered with the logo, and red contrast stitching is a consistent theme throughout the cabin. Racy red front seatbelts and a unique visor above the gauge cluster round out the trimmings.
Taken together, Subaru is giving drivers a way to make the most out of the low center of gravity, light weight and low polar moment of inertia of the BRZ. Hill sums it up best: “The thing with the BRZ is – the harder you drive them, the more fun they get.”
Only 500 BRZ tS vehicles are available. Schedule a visit with your local Subaru retailer to experience one for yourself beginning in spring of 2018.