There’s RED as far as the eye can see, but a lot of what makes the tS different, is stuff you can’t see – but it matters a lot!
To the casual eye, this is a badge and red trim exercise – to impress your friends. But Subaru is a car company that’s very serious about performance.
This version of the BRZ (joint coupe partner with the Toyota Eight Six), has been fettled by STi – which stands for Subaru Tecnica International – but in this context I prefer to say ‘Seriously Tickled Inside’.
The STi division has a long, glorious and impressive history of taking standard Subaru Imprezas and developing them into giant-killing rally cars, and other high performance models. The engineers in this skunk works don’t mess around. If a Subaru model bears an STi badge, you know it will deliver.
Unfortunately in the case of this tS coupe, that extra power you asked for is not forthcoming – and you know what? It doesn’t matter a damn.
What this car does best is handle – really well. A lot of the under-the-skin changes are all about suspension tweaks.
What you can see is coloured red, just so you don’t forget what it was you forked out AUD$39,894 (base model BRZ is AUD$33,990). So that’s an extra AUD$5900 for the following:
- SACHS suspension
- Brembo brakes with red painted callipers
- STi (red) coil springs
- Flexible V-shaped bar
- Flexible draw stiffener
- Black finish 18-inch STi alloy wheels
- Exclusive front bumper, including grille with tS badge
- Black rear spoiler, mirrors and shark-fin roof mounted antenna
Okay, so that’s a list of extra specification items, but it’s what the STi whizz kids do with that stuff, and it’s all about making this BRZ handle with exceptional precision. You know me – I hate SUVs, but love a good sports car, and driving this BRZ very, very fast, brings a smile to your face.
Yes, it’s stiffer, but it corners flatter, and with steering precision that’s almost uncannily connected to your brain, and how fast you want to go around the corners appearing before you.
The slick six-speed manual is great to use, but I have become so used to driving quickly using ‘paddles’, I would prefer the Aisin six-speed auto with paddles.
However, maybe that would not enhance the BRZ tS’s track day performance.
There’s no doubt that the Toyota Eight Six/BRZ exercise has been a resounding success for both companies, and has delivered to enthusiasts an affordable, high performance car with high integrity credentials.
So, with the BRZ tS, look past all the red trim and enjoy the pure performance. Once you can accept the enormous tyre roar from the Michelin Speed Pilot tyres, the driving experience of the BRZ tS will be a joy.