ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Subaru Tecnica International engineers have been unleashed to work their performance magic on the already-legendary handling of the company’s only rear-wheel-drive car: the BRZ.
The result is a limited-production, track-ready sports coupe that delivers even higher levels of cornering grip and balance than in lesser BRZ models.
Extensive chassis tweaks pair front and rear Sachs performance dampers and stiffer STI springs with upper and lower front crossmember braces to further reduce chassis and body flexing.
Big, red-calipered Brembo performance brakes deliver superior decelerative power.
The revised rack-and-pinion power steering keeps the driver acutely informed of the tire/road interplay. Perfectly weighted with excellent feel and a tight, 2.48 turns lock to lock, dial in a line and the front wheels accurately respond.
Sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, mounted on black 18-inch STI wheels, also play a major role in the car’s fantastic grip, adding to driver confidence.
The tS package adds several exterior aerodynamic additions, most noticeably a rather tall, STI carbon fiber rear deck wing. It’s a bit too “Fast and Furious” for drivers who prefer not to draw the attention of patrolmen.
The cabin is definitely designed with the driver in mind. Performance-style buckets offer excellent comfort with generous bolsters to restrain occupants during more aggressive maneuvers. Rear-seat room is minimal, best reserved for packages or maybe ride-along dogs.
A big tachometer takes center stage in the gauge cluster while infotainment and HVAC controls are logically located and simple to use.
Two complaints: Road and engine noise is omnipresent. And speaking of the engine, this sport coupe begs for more power. Its 205 horsepower and a meager 156 pound-feet of torque is far below what the excellent chassis could accommodate.
But it’s still adequate to ensure the car is truly a blast to drive, thanks to its exceptional handling, crisp steering, superb braking, and all-around sporting demeanor.