Posts Tagged ‘STI Performance Concept’

Subaru Finally Confirms a BRZ STI Model

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

You may already know that Subaru is on track to hit its seventh consecutive year of record sales in the US. However, the Japanese automaker is never one to rest on its laurels. Today we learned that Subaru is FINALLY ready to talk about a BRZ STI.

2015 Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

You may remember that the Japanese automaker showcased their Subaru STI Performance Concept just a few weeks ago in New York. At the time, we were explicitly told that this concept was NOT meant to prequel a BRZ STI. Now, just three weeks later, an interview between Automotive News and STI president Yoshio Hirakawa has us singing a song of a different tune.

Hirakawa says that Subaru wants “to create a car that drivers can control like their own legs so they can push the car to the limit.” He also says that the US is the highest priority for the STI brand, since it is the single biggest market for complete STI vehicles. Which is honestly a little surprising, since there’s only a single STI vehicle available in the US – the Subaru WRX STI, which is apparently responsible for 6,500 sales in 2014.

That brings us to a discussion of STI as a brand. Inside Subaru, STI has three key roles: complete performance cars, individual performance parts and kits, and then motorsports. Obviously, a new Subaru BRZ STI would fall under that first key role as a complete vehicle.

In other markets, STI is most commonly seen on special edition models. For example, Japan has seen a number of “STI edition” vehicles over the past few years, including the Legacy, Forester and even a BRZ “tuned by STI” edition.

Subaru BRZ Performance Concept

There is a number of obvious incentives for Subaru to create a full-fledged BRZ STI that is more than just a limited edition model. For one, literal hordes of Subaru fans have been begging the automaker to create such a car since… Well, pretty much since the BRZ first hit the market back in 2012.

The other big incentive is profitability – when you consider that a WRX STI has a starting price that’s $8,200 higher than the normal WRX, it’s easy to see how lucrative these models can be. And that doesn’t take into account how many more models Subaru will sell simply by having more performance options available!

We also learned a bit more about the possible powertrain that could be fit into a Subaru BRZ STI. According to Automotive News, we can expect a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder boxer that outputs 345 horsepower, the same exact engine they use in the Super GT racing circuit in Japan.

After all that, Subaru says that the STI Performance Concept shown at the top of this post may indeed preview a possible BRZ STI. Furthermore, the car could come as soon as the end of next year, sold as a 2017 model year.


This Subaru STI Performance Concept Looks Awesome

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 4th, 2015

2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept

Somehow, we completely missed the fact that Subaru had a sweet new concept car planned for the 2015 New York Auto Show in our rundown of NY cars to look out for earlier this week. But, we’re not complaining – this Subaru STI Performance Concept is one of the best surprises we’ve had all year!

2015 Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

Let’s start with intent. Subaru tells us that the STI Performance Concept is meant to “showcase the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI.” Apparently this concept heralds an attempts to expand their performance sub-brand in the US market. Over the next couple years, they plan to pay a lot more attention to upgraded tuner parts and special performance editions. As far as performance editions go, we’re thrilled they’ve started with the BRZ.

We should make a quick disclaimer here though… This car isn’t meant to be the BRZ STI we’ve all been waiting for. It might be, but Subaru isn’t presenting it that way in New York. Instead, as the name STI Performance Concept implies, it really is meant to be all about the STI brand, not the BRZ car.

Unfortunately, Subaru declined to share any hard specs about this new STI Performance Concept. All they told us is that the concept “features enhancements for chassis, body, and air intake/exhaust systems,” and that the “Concept’s engine is based on the racing engine from the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car.”

Subaru BRZ Performance Concept

Even though it’s a little disappointing that the STI Performance Concept isn’t a prototype for an actual model, we can still hope that this means a BRZ STI is in the not-too-distant future. And either way, we love everything about this concept. The black mesh STI grille with that silver textured insert is crisp, the hallmark STI red accents are eye-catching, the chrome alloys are bold and exciting, and of course you can’t miss that ginormous carbon fiber rear spoiler.

From the back, you can see that Subaru’s added what looks to be carbon fiber rear diffusers and a twin sports exhaust, and even the side skirts look to be made from carbon fiber.

Subaru STI Performance Concept interior

The interior is equally impressive. We love the simple all-black color scheme with only a few red accents. The seats look heavily sculpted for plenty of grip and are upholstered in what looks like a mixture of leather and suede. Looking at the dash, you can make out the “Race Widget” on the color LCD, as well as switches for different driving modes above the air conditioning controls.

Subaru STI Performance Concept dashboard

In Japan, Subaru’s STI performance models revolve around the BRZ, Forester and of course the WRX STI. We can’t wait to see those cars (and hopefully more models) develop a bigger presence for STI in the US. Click here to read the full press release.