It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Toyobaru’s that are the FR-S and BRZ. When it comes to lightweight, rear drive sports cars that go easy on the wallet, you can’t get much better than these two. Designed to be driver’s cars in the purest form, the Scion and Subaru twins don’t leave much to be desired… unless you’re mashing the accelerator with nothing in front of you but a ruler straight road.
At 200 horsepower, the little 2.0L flat four isn’t exactly a powerhouse by today’s standards. Rumors of STI versions for the BRZ have been flying around for months and enthusiasts (including yours truly) have been hoping those rumors are more than just hearsay. Fortunately, the STI version of the BRZ has been confirmed but we still don’t know exactly what the differences between standard awesome and STI awesome will be.
While a turbocharged BRZ sounds extremely entertaining, previous soothsayers have argued that an STI model will remain naturally aspirated due to the lack of room under the hood for an intercooler. Contrary to that depressing foresight, Automotive News has stated that Subaru is indeed developing a turbocharged model that will also utilize a straight direct injection system developed in house rather than the Toyota derived version currently being used.
Power for the new BRZ STI is expected to be somewhere around 280 horsepower which should play nice with the BRZ’s already athletic chassis. Too much power and a dedicated driver’s car, like the BRZ, could become tainted. Anyone that’s driven similar cars like the Mazda Miata will tell you that big power numbers aren’t necessary to put a smile on your face.
While the BRZ will be getting a more powerful version, the FR-S will likely forego such costly developments in order to cater to the lower price point. 200 horsepower was good enough for the BRZ to just miss the podium in Motor Trends Best Drivers Car contest. Easily the least powerful car in the group with only two of the nine cars putting down less than 500 horsepower, the BRZ beat out the likes of the Lamborghini Aventador and… gasp… the McLaren MP412-C. Lap times aside, the BRZ was simply voted a better drivers car. The only glaring weakness in the otherwise stellar resume of the BRZ was its lack of power. Look to see a rematch in 2014 with a possible podium finish for the highly anticipated BRZ STI.