Has Subaru suspended production of the BRZ? No, the Tokyo-based brand has just released an updated model.
The updates to the 2017 model year Subaru BRZ are claimed to improve the car’s performance and handling. Those who were hoping for a factory-made turbocharged/supercharged version will, however, be disappointed as the power upgrade amounts to a mere 6 kW. The standard BRZ overseas was released with a 147 kW output, whereas SA’s local model was sold with a performance exhaust as standard and produced peak power of 155 kW. The new model will produce 153 kW, so that’s still less than the model previously sold in SA. Torque does however, climb from 205 Nm to 211 Nm.
Most of the upgrades to the BRZ serve to benefit its handling. There are uprated coil springs and a larger rear anti-roll bar. Subaru has also increased the car’s rigidity with reinforcements to the strut tower braces, transmission cross-member plate and rear-wheel housings. To complement the BRZ's bigger performance envelope, the traction control systems have been remapped and Subaru has changed the “Sport” mode to read “Track” mode.
Available spec options include Brembo brake calipers with enlarged discs, a SACHS performance shock absorber kit and 17-inch alloys.
The inside has also undergone some slight changes with a 6.2-inch screen available that displays telemetry data. You can view your lateral Gs, throttle and brake positions, braking force and steering angle on the screen. Subaru has further built in a stopwatch function into the system to record track lap times.
The Infotainment system is updated to integrate mobile apps such as Stitcher and TravelLink and display the view from a new reverse-view camera.
The bad news is that the BRZ did not sell particularly well in South Africa and was quitely removed from the market in 2015. Hopes that this updated model will come to South Africa are then quite slim. Hopefully, we will get to see these sorts of upgrades on the BRZ's sister product, the Toyota 86 soon.