Subaru Tricks Us With Latest BRZ STi Teasers. The Internet Forgives.

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, August 8th, 2013

There aren’t very many cars so universally beloved as the Subaru BRZ. Together with its twin brothers, the Scion FR-S and the Toyota GT86, the automotive world has fallen in love with the coupe’s excellent handling, astonishing speed, aggressive aesthetic and, of course, surprisingly affordable pricing.

But, every car could be better. Since 2011, we’ve been waiting for the STi update to BRZ which promised a more powerful engine than the 200hp one being used now. This past weekend, we thought the time had finally come. Little did we know that it was all a malicious ploy. Read on to learn more.

First, let’s examine the photographs Subaru posted Sunday night:

BRZ Teaser 1
BRZ Teaser 2
BRZ Teaser 3
BRZ Teaser 4

As you can see, we have two images with clear STi logos, a third image with the tagline “PURITY of HANDLING,” and a fourth with the words “COMING SOON”. What’s a poor guy to assume… That the BRZ STi is not, in fact, coming soon?

Unfortunately, yes, that’s exactly what we should have assumed. Thanks to some stellar investigative work by the folks over at, we now know that the images published by Subaru actually depict the Subaru BRZ tS. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, the tS stands for “tuned by STi”, which is a far cry from the actual STi model.

Long story short, the photos we thought were the BRZ STi actually depict an aesthetically upgraded tS version of the BRZ, which boasts no real mechanical upgrades. The most noteworthy additions include the front spoiler and sidesteps, some neat interior trim upgrades, Recaro front seats, and several alloy add-ons all over the body. But no upgraded engine, and no mechanical tune-ups (except brakes, which won’t really have much purpose without the additional power).

So, what started as a joyous teaser has now been tainted with a certain melancholy. I’m sure that the Subaru BRZ tS is an excellent vehicle, but it’s missing the key powertrain upgrade that we were all holding our breath for. One can’t help but think the STi-themed teasers were intended to draw extra attention to the otherwise (potentially) overlooked tS release. The way things look right now, we won’t see the BRZ STi until 2015. Sigh.

Of course, even as we lament the prolonged wait, nobody holds it against the BRZ. The car is still well-loved, and we’ll all still be just as excited when the real STi model finally does make production. And Subaru knows it, too; all’s fair in love, war and automotive manufacturing.

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