Since its initial reveal at the LA Auto Show, Japanese car manufacturer Subaru have remained relatively tight lipped about their souped-up 2014 BRZ STi. In a conversation with Auto Express at the 2011 show, Subaru global marketing manager Atoshi Atake said only the following,
“We can develop the [engine’s] intake system; there is certainly room for improvement there.”
A second showing held at last year's Tokyo Motor Show showed that the performance of the BRZ, which is considered to be an already impressive car, would be innovatively increased by the addition of custom aerodynamics, a custom exhaust, larger wheels, a light weight carbon fibre bonnet, and a carbon fibre roof.
However, a substantial amount of information on the BRZ STi's specifications has since been leaked following the spotting of a prototype version of BRZ with STi badging being test driven at Germany's Nürburgring track. This prototype was seen to be sporting numerous features from both the 2011 LA Auto Show and 2011 Tokyo Motor Show concepts, as well as parts previously unseen. Included were 17 inch light alloy wheels, an oversized rear wing, side sills, a rear diffuser and a front spoiler. Of course, only superficial additions to the car could be made out, with no information on the internal workings being revealed.
The STi boasts a hearty 220-230bhp
This information has, however, now been revealed via a recent a report by Auto Express which details a freer flowing exhaust which will modify and improve the sound of the engine as well as reducing back pressure. A tweaked valve control system will be included and the removal by Subaru of the current rev limit will allow the car to surpass 7,500rpm. Such modifications should in theory raise the BRZ's power from 197bhp to approximately 220-230bhp.
In addition to this, the report was also able to confirm the testing of the BRZ STi prototype at the Nurburgring track and that the car is in fact fitted with 18 inch alloy wheels with wider tyres for increased grip, as well as four piston STi brakes. The increase in horse power also means an upgrade to the springs and dampers, tweaking the STi's suspension which will result in better control around corners. Modifications to the car's interior include dashboard extra dials and supportive, STi badged bucket seats which are supposedly offer better comfort than those found in the 'standard' BRZ.
Space constraints means no turbocharger
Those hoping to find a turbocharger under the bonnet of the STi will unfortunately be disappointed. The space constraints posed by the engine bay rule out the possibility of the installation of a intercooler and its required piping. It is thought however that turbocharger would conflict with the 'purist' sports car philosophy that Subaru engineers have adhered to in their workings with the BRZ. A supercharger has also been ruled out due to the resulting reduction of the 2.0 litre engine's fuel efficiency. Lastly, four-wheel drive will not be made available, with Subaru instead sticking with rear-wheel drive for packaging reasons.
It has been speculated, however, that the omission of a turbocharger may have been implemented in order to keep the performance of the STi from reaching levels comparable to Subaru's next-generation WRX which, it has been claimed, will include a electrically powered turbocharger.
As allegedly revealed by a source close to Subaru in Japan, Auto Express also claims that the Subaru BRZ STi will be made available at Japanese dealers in the spring of 2013. As for the costs of the new car, the price is expected to be around £2,000 more than the £24,995 'standard', entry level BRZ. While this would be considered by many to be a relatively low price rise considering the substantial extra boost to power and additional visual flair there is still plenty of time to gather funds or consider car finance deals before the STi's estimated arrival in the US and Europe which is set to be sooner after its Japanese release.