Subaru Tecnica International (STI) has been holding out on us it seems. Whilst we do get the WRX STI, few, if any, other vehicles get the STI badging in the Subaru range. This is because only fully STI tuned and developed vehicles get the badge, whereas more mildly tweaked ones get Ts badges and other names. So what happens when STI gets involved and completely overhauls the BRZ, Subaru’s only non-AWD car?
The STI Performance Concept happens, and it is glorious! So what is it exactly? Well it’s a visual and technical showcase of just what Subaru’s STI department can do when given a very, very long leash. It combines STI’s 3 areas of expertise, aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars, and motorsports – featuring the racing engine developed for the BRZ Super GT racecar, as well as suspension, chassis components, and aerodynamic upgrades.
The engine itself is a STI-tuned EJ20 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo Boxer engine developing 225kW and 450Nm. In combination with the chassis, suspension, and aerodynamic upgrades, the STI Performance Concept should produce some rather cracking performance figures – but since it’s merely a showcase, Subaru hasn’t released any figures for it.
As far as other upgrades go, the BRZ-based concept gets a slew of visual tweaks. Specialised headlamps with carbon fibre inlays, LED DRL’s in the front splitter, an all new front end design with big air intakes and carbon fibre, a new bonnet, flared wheel arches, aerodynamic carbon fibre side mirrors, new side sills, flush-mounted brushed aluminium door handles, and a massive carbon fibre rear wing all make a showing, as well as a new rear end with twin-central exhausts and racing-inspired splitter.
It looks pretty damn vicious, and the interior follows suit. STI bucket seats and a liberal adornment of carbon fibre accompany a racing-style steering wheel with shift indicators, turbine-styled air vents with red surrounds, a short-shift manual gear lever, racing displays, and jet-style toggle switches to make the interior as striking as the exterior is.
Sadly, it’s unlikely to go to production – it’s just a showcase after all – however an uprated BRZ has been demanded for a long time, and Subaru may be willing to oblige when the sports car gets a facelift. If even a smidgen of the concept’s styling gets used, we’ll be happy, but what we really want is a turbocharger added for some extra power. We know the 2.0 NA engine in the BRZ can be turbocharged – the WRX essentially uses that setup – and the BRZ’s engine has been comfortably pushed up to 280kW+ by aftermarket tuners locally with some forced induction.
So, Subaru, any chance of giving us what we want? Preferably with a bonnet scoop – you know how we like that hooligan look.