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18 November 2011

Subaru stabs the BRZ concept with STI goodness

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.
Even before Subaru's front-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupe hits production, the chaps at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. is already stabbing the BRZ concept with some STI goodness. By tapping into Subaru's tuning arm, they've turned what was a sexy sports car into a track weapon that has gotten us lusting for it even more. 
First on the list of any performance upgrade typically has something do with what goes under the hood. Surprisingly, the chaps at STI left the 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine untouched and had no mention of its power output. It does, however, makes full use of Toyota's D-4S direct injection technology and designed with a square bore and stroke of 86 x 86 mm, which should push the numbers close to or higher than 200 hp.
From the looks of it, STI focused all of their efforts on aerodynamics, handling, and weight savings. There's a new front splitter and rear wing to improve downforce and, in true STI fashion, slapped on flared rear fenders, a rear diffuser, and twin dual tailpipes. The BRZ STI concept is also fitted with Brembo brakes, STI tuned suspension, and STI's lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels. But the best mod of all is its lightweight carbon-fiber roof that lowers the BRZ's center of gravity and adds a dollop of eye candy at the same time. 
What is technically Subaru and Toyota's love child is the ultimate interpretation of the “boxer sports car.” And as a testament to their search for optimized performance, the BRZ STI concept sits 120mm lower than any of Subaru's previous models to date and carries a center of gravity that's 240mm closer chassis' centerline. Although there's still no official launch date, I bet the tuners are more than ready to turbo-charge that 2.0 liter boxer past the 300 hp mark. Plus, STI also has plans to campaign the BRZ in Japan's Super GT300 series for the 2012 season.