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by David Zalstein

Subaru has all but confirmed a high-performance Subaru BRZ STI model will become a reality, expanding the range beyond the current single rear-wheel drive variant.

AutoExpress learned about Subaru’s plans for a BRZ STI from global marketing manager Atoshi Atake, who admitted: “We are already working on a faster version [of the BRZ].”

A BRZ STI would benefit from tweaks to the standard 147kW 2.0-litre ‘boxer’ motor that would reportedly peak power rise closer to 180kW. Other potential upgrades include modifications to its variable valve control system, re-developed intake, freer-flowing exhaust, and a raised rev-limit of 7500rpm.

Subaru’s STI concept, shown at both the 2011 Los Angeles motor show and 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon in slightly different guises, give a guide to the car’s styling. Expect less weight than the standard BRZ through racing bucket seats and the possibility of a carbon-fibre roof and bonnet. Other STI trick bits will be lower and stiffer suspension, larger and lighter 18-inch alloy wheels and bigger brakes.

Atake also put to bed suggestions of the Subaru BRZ being turbocharged saying there is simply no space for an intercooler. He added, “We want to keep turbocharging separate. It is for models like the WRX STI.” Supercharging has been dismissed too due to the negative effect on fuel consumption.

Prices for the Subaru BRZ in Australia are still to be confirmed but are tipped to be on the mid-to-high side of $40,000 when it hits showrooms mid 2012.




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