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by Tim Beissmann

Images of an STI-badged Subaru BRZ have appeared on the website of the Japanese brand’s official tuning division, raising hopes of an enhanced version of the rear-wheel-drive sports car.

The images feature on STI’s Japanese-language homepage along with the tag line “Purity of handling” and the enticing promise “Coming soon”.

There’s little to take from the two images, however, with STI badging in the front lower air intake and a unique silver STI-branded beam in the side gills over the front wheel arches the only obvious differentiators from the standard Subaru BRZ production car.

subaru-brz-sti-1

Perhaps more revealing are the images’ file names, which save as ‘BRZ_tS_teaser_xx’ when downloaded from STI’s website.

The ‘tS’ designation is short for ‘tuned by STI’, which in the past has been applied to uprated versions of Subaru models that haven’t hit absolute STI levels of performance like the Liberty tS, as well as proper STI models like the recently revealed WRX STI tS Type RA.

It’s unclear at this stage whether the STI-enhanced BRZ will get a full suite of performance enhancements from the brand’s in-house tuner or a smaller list of less significant upgrades.

Subaru-BRZ-STI-Concept

Subaru revealed the BRZ Concept STI almost two years ago at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show, whetting sports car fans’ appetites with an aggressively styled body kit and quad-outlet exhaust system.

Subaru Australia recently released the BRZ S, which features a new STI performance package that brings suspension and styling tweaks to the two-door sports car that went on sale in Australia just over 12 months ago.

The news of an enhanced Subaru BRZ comes just days after reports suggested Toyota had axed plans to build the 86 Convertible, despite unveiling a near-production-ready concept at the Geneva motor show earlier this year.




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