Subaru has shown its new rear-drive BRZ coupe at the LA motor show
16 November 2011

This Subaru BRZ Concept STI, revealed at the Los Angeles motor show today, could form the basis of a hardcore version of the manufacturer’s forthcoming sports car.

The concept shown at the American event marks the first time the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ has been seen fully clothed, although it still doesn't have an interior. Toyota, which is building the car as a joint-project with Subaru, has shown off its version, the FT-86, with bodywork, but the BRZ has only been seen in less-finished form.

The car displayed at Los Angeles bears the name of STI, Subaru’s performance brand, and could end up forming the basis of a ‘hotter’ BRZ variant, rather than the standard car.

In tandem with the unveiling of the car, Subaru issued some more details of the BRZ Concept STI.

Styling

The ‘boxer’ engine in the BRZ has been installed as low as possible, enabling the car to feature a low hood and sleek roofline. The hexagonal lower front grille, hawk eye headlights and fin-shaped fog lamps are designed to evoke other cars in the Subaru family.

The lower front spoiler and rear wing are STI-made, as is the carbonfibre roof that keeps the weight and centre of gravity down. The bold rear design features rear fender flares, a large rear-diffuser, and twin dual tailpipes to enhance the performance feel.

The Subaru's rear lights feature more aggressive square-edged styling where Toyota uses curvier shapes, also more clearly distinguished by clear lenses. And it gets quad exhaust pipes on the Subura, compared with the pair in the Toyota.

The car is finished in WR Blue Pearl II, similar to the colour feature on many of Subaru’s world rally cars in the 1990s and 2000s.

Engine

The two-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder direct fuel-injection gasoline engine has been developed exclusively for BRZ. The engine has been designed with a square bore and stroke of 86x86 mm. It is combined with Toyota's D-4S direct injection technology.

Chassis and body

Compared with other Subaru models, the engine in Subaru BRZ Concept STI sits 120mm lower and is positioned 240mm closer to the center of the chassis. The car is 4230mm long, 1800mm wide and 1280mm high, with a wheelbase of 2570mm.

Subaru claims the BRZ Concept STI has one of the lowest possible centres of gravity in any production car. The car sits on lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels, performance tyres – 215/45 R18 front and 225/45 R18 rear – with STI-tuned suspension and Brembo brakes. The final, final production version of the BRZ will be subject to a later launch in December at the Tokyo show, making the lightweight rear-drive two-seater the most launched car in recent history.

Read our first drive of the Toyota FT-86 coupe

Subaru UK has also recently confirmed that the BRZ — short for Boxer engine, Rear-drive, Zenith — will come to the UK next spring, although the adverse exchange rate of the Yen versus the Pound is forecast to keep prices high and limit sales to around 500 cars a year in the UK.

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