When the Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S sports coupe was introduced, it was an immediate hit with driving enthusiasts but things have changed. Sales are down and the excitement has worn off for both companies. Performance enthusiasts have been asking for a turbocharged Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S almost since the sports coupe was introduced, but more is needed. While more power would be beneficial on the new generation BRZ/FR-S, there’s more that the rear-drive sports cars need to stay fresh and exciting.
We know President of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, confirmed a new-generation Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86 is coming and the relationship between Toyota and Subaru will continue to produce another generation model. Yoshinaga said, “The BRZ is an important model for Subaru, so we will continue to develop the BRZ with Toyota.”
More performance is needed
Subaru COO Tom Doll was asked recently what is going to happen with the next-generation Subaru BRZ. The Subaru of America boss says there is a place for the rear-drive coupe in the lineup and it will need more performance to survive. Doll says, “We will have to do some things to it to enhance the driving performance a little bit more, take it up a little bit. We have learned that if it had a little bit more performance to it, BRZ could increase in sales even more.”
The Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S coupes need more than additional power under the hood to survive. They will also need suspension upgrades to handle the additional horsepower, new exterior styling to mirror the new design language from Subaru seen in the Impreza Concept cars, and it’s been reported that a carbon fiber roof could be added to save weight on the new-generation coupes.
Subaru knew the BRZ would never be a high-volume model. The BRZ / FR-S is due for a refresh. Subaru just launched another BRZ tS that is tuned by Subaru Tecnica International (STI) the performance and motorsport division of Subaru. To create new excitement for the sports coupe around the globe, Subaru and Toyota will need to upgrade the current models with enhanced performance.
STI will provide more suspension upgrades for BRZ
STI enhanced the new 2016 BRZ tS with number of upgrades to the suspension that could get the new-generation model ready for more power. The new tS got a new tuned suspension that included larger STI-designed, black colored 18-inch aluminum wheels with 225/40ZR18 tires wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance tires. New 17-inch Brembo 4-pot ventilated disc brakes in the front with STI logo and 17-inch Brembo 2-pot ventilated disc brakes with STI logo in the rear provided additional stopping power.
STI also enhanced the base BRZ’s chassis performance with upgrades like STI-designed lateral link with pillow ball bush (front inside, rear inside), STI-tuned front suspension (inverted-strut front suspension) and coil springs, STI-tuned rear damper and coil springs, STI-designed flexible V-shaped bar, STI-designed flexible draw stiffener (front), STI-designed large-diameter drive shaft and exclusively-tuned VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control).
Subaru and Toyota are looking at many different options for the next-generation sports coupe. We do know, Subaru Tecnica International will have a bigger influence with the engine and drivetrain for the Subaru BRZ. The Japanese automakers will produce a next-generation Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S with enhanced performance and they will likely arrive in late 2016 or 2017. Stay tuned.