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by Tim Beissmann

The Subaru BRZ Concept–STI has been unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, revealing more pictures of a show car that hints at a potential future high-performance version of the new sports car.

The unveiling comes two weeks ahead of the highly anticipated world premiere of the Subaru BRZ production car. The all-new rear-wheel drive sports coupe will be revealed alongside its Toyota twin at the Tokyo Motor Show on November 30.

With Subaru tightly guarding many of the production car’s details and specifications, the BRZ Concept–STI gives us our clearest indication yet of what to expect from the new 2+2 sports car.

The front end is clean and uncluttered, and arguably what you would call enthusiastic rather than aggressive. The ‘smiling’ trapezoidal intake, sleek headlights and pumped front guards are reminiscent of a fellow Japanese sports car, the Mazda RX-8.

The muscular rear wheel-arches, high-mounted LED tail-lights, exaggerated diffuser with quad tailpipes and massive rear wing are a little more in your face, and are a clear demonstration of STI’s involvement in the concept’s design. Expect the production version to get a more subtle diffuser and exhaust layout, and do away with the spoiler and honeycomb numberplate backing detail.

Like the WRX STI, the BRZ Concept–STI features a carbonfibre roof designed to reduce weight and contribute to the car’s low centre of gravity, which promises to be one of the lowest of any car on the market.

Subaru is yet to officially reveal power figures for the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine but we do know that it has a square bore and stroke of 86 X 86mm and when compared with other Subaru models (like the Impreza) it sits 120mm lower and 240mm closer to the centre of the chassis.

The link with Toyota has also helped Subaru implement the Big T’s D-4S direct injection technology (fuel injection system).

Leaked specifications of Toyota’s version of the sports coupe that surfaced earlier this month suggested both production models were likely to produce 147kW of power (at 7000rpm) and 205Nm of torque (at 6600rpm).

Subaru Australia is yet to finalise its plans for the BRZ and insists it will make an announcement in December. As previously reported, the rear-wheel drive sports car presents a philosophical dilemma for the local distributor, which has built its brand around all-wheel drive for the past 15 years.

Major specifications

  • Overall Length × Width × Height (mm): 4230 × 1800 × 1280
  • Wheelbase (mm): 2570
  • Engine: 2.0-litre direct fuel injection naturally-aspirated four-cylinder horizontally-opposed Boxer engine
  • Tyres: 215/45R18 (Front), 225/45R18 (Rear)



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