No this isn’t a very late April Fool’s joke, this is very much real. After years of teasing with a number of concepts, Subaru Tecnica International’s President Yoshio Hirakawa confirmed that a BRZ STI has been given the green light. This will be part of a new goal set by parent company Fuji Heavy Industries to enhance their brand value and performance credibility by the end of the decade.
Hirakawa made it clear that the BRZ STI won’t be a drag strip rocket, it’ll still adhere to the philosophy of driver engagement and connectivity. That means despite the STI Performance Concept car from the New York Motor Show having a turbocharged boxer engine shared with the GT300 racer, the production road car won’t be turbocharged. There’s yet to be official details but I’d place my bets for the BRZ STI to have around 250-300bhp/183kW-220kW. For comparison’s sake the turbocharged concept car had 345bhp/253kW.
The announcement of the BRZ STI is part of an expanding STI lineup. Subaru hopes to increase sales and profits of STI cars by better integrating the STI brand into the Subaru range. At the moment most people only know of the WRX STI but in Japan there are STI versions of other Subaru models such as the Legacy, Exiga, and Forester. This could be the decade for Japan’s tuning arms to further their reach. Nissan are working hard to establish Nismo as a credible performance brand while Lexus’s F Sport have proven their ability with the LFA and RC F. Toyota better do something about TRD soon.
It is not known if Toyota will also produce a performance version of its 86 twin to the BRZ. Now there’s no date of expected release yet but let’s hope STI will get on it sooner rather than later. Remember how long it took for the 86/BRZ to go from concept car and into showrooms? So how does a BRZ STI sound to you, would it be something to get you into Subaru showrooms? And is an expanded STI lineup good or will it dilute the legendary nameplate?