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Subaru BRZ ‘S’ touches down

All show: Subaru BRZ sport pack adds suspension mods and bling but no kilowatts.

BRZ gets retrofit Subaru sports package – but no word on turbo

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8 Jul 2013

A RACIER-looking – but no faster – version of the Subaru BRZ is now available in Australia, and existing owners are invited to the party.

As reported in March, the BRZ ‘S’ package brings a range of aerodynamic and stylistic changes to the popular coupe – a twin of Toyota’s even bigger-selling 86 – but no engine tweaks such as the fitment of a factory turbo.

The kit – which Subaru said existing owners could retrofit – costs $7195 when added to a six-speed automatic BRZ or $7995 when fitted to six-speed manual versions. The regular BRZ costs from $37,150 driveaway ($39,730 with the auto), and can still only be ordered online, rather than at a regular Subaru dealer.

For your money, you get front, side and rear under-spoilers, a contrasting black boot lid spoiler, 17-inch black alloy wheels (not STI gold), push-button start for the engine and a different rear diffuser.

Also included are a flexible tower bar that reinforces the struts, just like on the STI performance pack for the WRX, and lower coil springs. Manual versions also get a gear-shift lever assembly and a Duracon STI-style shift knob.

All components are made and tested by Subaru Tecnica International (STI).

In welcome news for the 955 Australians that have already bought a BRZ, according to VFACTS sales data, Subaru Australia dealers will also retrofit the package to existing cars. However, the retrofit kits only come with a two-year warranty, compared with three years if bought new with the car.

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said customers had frequently asked for something like the S package for their cars.

“All indications are that many BRZ buyers want to add some performance touches to their cars and choosing Subaru-backed equipment offers great design, quality and peace-of-mind that isn’t necessarily guaranteed by after-market suppliers,” he said.

The company also sells a range of official BRZ accessories such as roof stripes, faux carbon-fibre dash inserts, parking sensors and STI battery clamp holders, oil caps and valve caps.

While Subaru fans should welcome the factory add-ons, there is still no official word on speculation that Subaru and Toyota are working on hotter versions of their respective 147kW/205Nm BRZ and 86 twins.

This speculation has covered almost every feasible option including supercharging (possibly a better option under the crowded bonnet), turbocharging, or even a formula one-style hybrid-electric system.

However, neither Japanese company has gone on record with their plans, if indeed there are any.

One derivation both companies have talked about is a soft-top cabriolet version, with Toyota revealing a production-ready 86 soft-top concept at the Geneva motor show in March, and Subaru’s international representatives previously saying that such a car was feasible.

Subaru Australia recently said it still had a waiting list several months long for the BRZ, which are largely built to order. Despite tight supply from Japan, the company has sold 755 units this year.

This same Subaru plant also builds the 86 for Toyota. Despite Subaru building both cars, the 86 has outsold the BRZ four-to-one in Australia this year.

Unlike Subaru, Toyota sells the 86 at its brick-and-mortar dealers.

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