Subaru BRZ gets a power bump, new chassis setup
Just a month after Toyota announced a more power 86, Subaru has revealed its BRZ twin. As well as a mild power boost, the updated coupe has been treated to a stiffer suspension setup to fully exploit the rear-drive balance that had the world's motoring press raving at launch.
First things first - Subaru has heeded the call for more power, but it's not the massive boost many would've been hoping for. All up, the 2.0-liter engine now makes 153 kW (205 hp), meaning the car's new valves, camshaft and cylinder heads have liberated an extra 4 kW (5 hp).
Okay, so those four extra horses aren't going to make all those people who wanted a quicker BRZ happy. Then again, that's never been the point of ToyoBaru twins, and the power boost combined with an extra 7 Nm (5 lb.ft) should work to improve the boxer engine's slightly flat midrange.
These changes only apply to cars with the manual gearbox, which has a revised final drive ratio to improve acceleration. Automatic cars get the same 148 kW (200 hp) and 205 Nm (151 lb.ft) as before, once again raising the question of why you'd buy a compact sports coupe without a stick shift.
Working with the increase in power is a revised suspension tune, which involves new coil springs, dampers and a bigger rear stabilizer bar. Subaru has also worked to improve body stiffness with reinforced strut tower braces, a stronger transmission crossmember plate and reinforced rear wheel housings.
Anyone keen to fulfill their drift-king fantasies without turning stability control off will be pleased, because the thresholds have been made higher to fully exploit the new chassis setup.
Although the BRZ is popular among the tuning community, Subaru will offer a factory-fitted Performance Package with bigger brakes, Sachs shock absorbers and unique 17-inch aluminum wheels for people who really want to push their cars on the track without the hassle of upgrading it through aftermarket channels.
So far, this will be largely familiar to anyone who read about the updated 86. Where the BRZ really differs is on the styling front. Rather than copying the funky, overdone front bar and chintzy headlamps on the Toyota, Subaru's designers have given the updated BRZ a chiseled jaw and attractive daytime running lamps.
Inside, high-spec versions are fitted with a new multifunction display integrated into the instrument binnacle, giving drivers information about lateral G, accelerator position and a raft of other metrics. The central infotainment system has also been upgraded to better fit with the rest of the Subaru range.
The updated BRZ will be available in US dealers from the start of September, while the Performance Pack cars will be available from the start of the winter.