By Wayne Gorrett
Subaru have upgraded its popular BRZ Sports Coupe for the 2017 model year to further reinforce the BRZ as a driver’s car of choice.
For their brief, Subaru designers and engineers were given pink slips for every facet of the BRZ update – exterior, interior, powertrain, suspension and safety, refining the driving experience whilst enhancing and retaining that sports car appeal.
While the sleek coupe lines remain, the 2017 BRZ wears a wider, lowered stance at the front end. This is not for show, but to assist the ‘go’ as the 45⁰ stepped accent on the bumper limits airflow into the air intake, which purportedly improves handling and ride. There’s full LED headlights, new rear light clusters, pedestal spoiler and new, 10-spoke alloys.
Inside, designers have focussed on upgrading the tactile elements by introducing higher quality materials throughout the cabin, including Alcantara and leather seats.
The original BRZ (Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith), which arrived in the UK three years ago, was built to ‘deliver a linear driving feel, ensuring that the car responds exactly as the driver intended’. Staying tru to that automotive idyl, the 2017 model year BRZ has seen its suspension, engine and drivetrain further refined to enhance the car’s handling and driving experience.
Inside the BRZ’s hallmark Subaru boxer engine, the strength of the cylinder blocks has been increased. The valve stems have been buffed and polished, the camshaft is lower friction and the weight of the rocker arms has been reduced. Together, these changes result in a more responsive and fuel efficient engine.
Down below, the dampers have been redesigned to reduce body roll, increase precision whilst cornering, as well as damping vibration to deliver improved ride comfort with more entertaining dynamics.
For the sportier driver, the new ‘track’ mode increases the stability of the car and allows for more refined accelerator inputs when driving on race circuits and consolidates the previous five vehicle dynamic modes into four. For urban situations, there’s a new type of hill start assist to help with uphill starts or downhill reversing. There is also an advanced, next-generation airbag system which uses upgraded sensors for a greater level of safety.
From spring 2017, the UK-bound Subaru BRZ will be available in SE Lux trim only with either a manual or automatic transmission.
More details and perhaps a first-drive report to follow…