Subaru BRZ tS: undercooked tuner?

Published: 09 June 2017

Subaru BRZ tS revealed
For USA market, not UK
Big wing, chassis upgrades

This is the Subaru BRZ tS, a track-focused version of the boxer-engined coupe, created specifically for the USA market. Sadly, it’s not intended for sale in the UK.

Has Subaru finally turbocharged the BRZ?

When Subaru USA tweeted a teaser picture of the BRZ tS bootlid complete with an oversized wing, performance car fans got quite excited. Could this be the long-rumoured hotted-up Subaru BRZ STI to finally unlock the potential of the chassis?

No, in a word – the tS gets plenty of chassis tweaks, but no extra power to go with them.

And those chassis tweaks are?

New Sachs dampers and coil springs front and rear, extra V-shaped braces in the engine bay and a stiffened front subframe for sharper steering response.

Lightweight 18-inch wheels the largest yet to be fitted to an OEM-spec BRZ

A rather tasty set of 18-inch STi wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport tyres replace the regular BRZ’s comparatively skinny low-rolling resistance tyres. They’re the biggest rims yet fitted to a factory BRZ, to accomodate bigger Brembo brakes.

Does that wing actually do anything?

Subaru says the stilt-mounted, manually adjustable carbon spoiler does increase downforce. To what extent you’d notice that on the road is debatable, but it does make the BRZ look a whole lot more serious, as do the rally-style STi covers over the foglamps.

Subaru BRZ tS spoiler

Hasn’t there been a Subaru BRZ tS before?

Yes, launched for the Japanese market only, in 2015. It followed a similar formula of suspension and trim improvements, but did without the outsized rear wing.

The US-spec BRZ tS goes on sale early in 2018 with pricing TBC, in three colour choices: black, white, or the World Rally-spec WR Blue Pearl pictured (the correct choice).

Click here to read CAR’s long-term test review of the original UK-spec Subaru BRZ

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer