One of the longest of long running sagas in motoring took another twist at the Los Angeles motor show this morning with the unveiling of the Subaru BRZ STi concept.
We’ve seen its co-developed sibling the Toyota FT-86 in various guises over the past two years, but this is the first time we’ve seen some sheet metal on the Subaru version.
Up until this stage, Subaru has instead focused on displaying its work in the project, namely the rear-wheel drive chassis and boxer powertrain. This has always been underneath some Perspex bodywork, so it’s been impossible to tell how the Subaru version will shape up.
But today’s concept really does look the business. It’s more aggressive than its Toyota sibling, with more pronounced rear arches, larger alloys and a large fixed rear wing. Colour is down to personal taste, but there’s something about the shade of royal blue Subaru uses that screams performance to me.
Quite how the final production car will shape up when we see it at Tokyo two weeks today is still a bit unclear. The concept’s designer, Osamu Namba, told me that the concept was 100 per cent the work of Subaru, but the final BRZ will have spent more time in the Toyota design studio.
This concept may end up then being more of a forerunner to a high-performance STi version of the BRZ, rather than the base car itself. Namba used the usual motor show line of gauging reaction to the concept before deciding whether or not to do an STi version of the car.
So the campaign starts here: Subaru, please can you make an STi version of the BRZ?