Cherry Hill, New Jersey – Subaru has announced two limited-edition performance specials, the BRZ tS and and WRX STI Type RA – each of which will be limited to just 500 units.
The BRZ tS, while boasting no more voomah than the standard BRZ ‘Toybaru’ – 150kW at 7000 revs and 212Nm at 6400rpm – comes with stiffer springs, uprated Sachs dampers, Brembo brakes, flexible V-braces in the engine compartment and new draw stiffeners on the chassis and subframe to improve steering response.
It’s also the the first BRZ to be fitted as standard with 18 inch rims – in this case lightweight STI hoops shod with 215/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres for quicker turn-in.
External mods include a body kit comprising a special, manually adjustable carbon-fibre boot-lid spoiler, a deeper rear apron, side skirts and a front splitter. The side mirrors, roof mounted shark-fin antenna, and special BRZ tS badging are all finished in black, and the foglights have been deleted.
The cabin is trimmed in a mix of black leather and alcantara synthetic suede, with red leather front seatbelts, red leather bolsters on the front seats, ‘tS’ logos embroidered in red on the front seat-backs, and red contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, and gear and handbrake lever boots.
There’s a special binnacle over the instrument panel, a classic frameless rear-view mirror, and the centre console has been updated with a cast black finish.
The RA designation for the special WRX STI stands for “Record Attempt” and goes back to 1989, when a competition-spec Legacy set a world speed endurance record by clocking more than 99,200km in 18 days – that’s an average speed of more than 220km/h – including fuel stops and maintenance!
In this case, a modified WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will attempt a Nurburgring speed record in the third quarter of 2017.
The street version delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. It has a carbon fiber roof and pedestal wing, no spare wheel and lightweight 19 inch BBS forged alloy rims wearing 245/35 R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tyres.
Its 2.5-litre turbopetrol boxer four has been tweaked to 228kW with a new intake and exhaust plumbing, stronger pistons and a new ECU, along with a revised third gear and a short-throw gearlever. Inverted front struts and double wishbone rear suspension with Bilstein dampers all round and upgraded a stability control software keep it pointed in the right direction while Brembo callipers and drilled discs take care of stopping.
Red grille and rear bumper trim, and a special front splitter, get you noticed, as do Recaro sports seats with red bolsters and red stitching throughout the cabin.
The BRZ tS and WRX STI Type RA will be available in black silica, pearl white and Subaru’s signature pearl blue, from the first quarter of 2018; we’re waiting on a reply from Subaru SA as to whether any have been allocated to South Africa.