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Subaru dials up track-ready BRZ, WRX STI specials

Infectious appetite: Subaru has thanked the United States market for being its largest globally with the release of the sharper, powered-up WRX STI Type RA.

US-only BRZ tS, WRX STI Type RA pair revealed, Subaru prepares for ‘Ring record

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Subaru logo12 Jun 2017

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

SUBARU has whipped the covers off a pair of performance-focused specials, with the BRZ tS and WRX STI Type RA limited to 500 units each when they go on sale exclusively in the United States early next year.

Engineered by the STI team, the BRZ tS is the latest track-ready version of the Japanese car-maker’s two-door coupe, but once again there have been no changes to engine outputs or mechanics.

Thus, the 152kW/212Nm 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder petrol engine carries over paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the sportscar instead gaining a raft of aerodynamic, handling and chassis improvements.

According to Subaru, the rear-wheel-drive tS is equipped with flexible V-braces in the engine bay and draw stiffeners for the subframe that help to increase responsiveness while offering superior chassis performance.

All of these parts – including Sachs dampers and coil springs – compliment the BRZ’s existing low centre of gravity.

Additionally, the tS rolls on black-coloured lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

Behind the rims are Brembo brakes with four-piston callipers up the front and two-pot stoppers at the rear, all of which are painted red.

Exterior cosmetic changes extend to a red-accented front bumper with mesh inserts, side skirts and a rear bumper with red highlights. The foglights have been removed and are replaced with STI covers.

Inside, changes include front seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara, red seatbelts and door grips, STI-branded speedometer and a red-stitched steering wheel.

Meanwhile, the WRX STI Type RA offers a revised engine control unit (ECU) tune, reinforced pistons, cold air intake, air cleaner and a high-flow exhaust with rear tailpipes.

These changes to the 2.5-litre turbocharged flat four result in a 10kW boost in power to 231kW, while the standard US-spec vehicle’s 393Nm torque figure is not affected. A six-speed manual with a revised third ratio puts power down via an all-wheel-drive system.

Bilstein dampers and coil springs have also been added, as well as gold-coloured lightweight 19-inch BBS wheels shod in 245/35 Yokohama Advan Sports rubber.

Cross-drilled Brembo brakes feature at all four corners, with silver-painted six-pot stoppers up the front and two-piston callipers at the rear. The stability control system has also been retuned.

Outside, visual differences for the Type RA extend to a front grille with red highlights and carbon-fibre roof panel, as well as a red-accented rear bumper and air outlet grille.

Interior upgrades include a suede-trimmed steering wheel, short-throw gear stick, STI-branded Recaro front bucket seats and an individual build-number plate on the centre console. The spare tyre has been deleted to further reduce weight.

Both models share a number of design flourishes inside and out, such as a front lip spoiler, black side mirrors, carbon-fibre bootlid wing spoiler, black shark-fin roof antenna and a red push-to-start engine button. Other red highlights are found throughout the respective cabins.

Only three paint colours are available with the special editions, either WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica or Crystal White Pearl.

Subaru says the RA in the limited-run WRX STI’s name stands for ‘record attempt’, an homage to the manufacturer as it prepares to set a new Nurburgring circuit speed record.

A special race model – dubbed WRX STI Type RA NBR Special – will go toe-to-toe with the infamous Green Hell during the current German summer.

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