Text: Brent Co / Photos: Newspress, Subaru Press | posted April 02, 2015 11:06
Subaru BRZ STI concept signals performance brand expansion to US market
Subaru unveiled the heavily modified BRZ STI Performance Concept at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
The STI Performance Concept is fitted with an STI (Subaru Tecnica International) race engine also found in their Super GT racecar. Suspension and chassis components as well as aerodynamics were likewise developed by the Japanese automaker’s performance arm.
“At STI we know from our racing that to win, it is important not only to have high power, but also that all aspects of performance are balanced over the whole car,” said Yoshio Hirakawa, president of Subaru Tecnica International, Inc.
The bold move is seen as Subaru’s rapid expansion for its performance division for the US market. This will include aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars and motorsports. Other markets are likely to follow suit.
It has started with phasing in STI-engineered parts to replace Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts and STI increased presence with the Subaru Global RallyCross team is a clear idea of increasing motorsport activity.
The interior also gets STI treatments like a special flat-bottom carbon-fiber/leather steering wheel with racecar inspired buttons and an ignition switch, STI instrumentation, special air-con vent and contrast stitching accents.
“When we achieve this balance, the driver feels that the car is easy to handle and reliable, and he can use it fully to the limits of its performance. Our plan is to produce cars and accessories that drivers can really enjoy,” added Hirakawa.
Subaru revealed that more STI tuned models will be offered for the US market. These models are said to feature more extensive modifications like suspension, performance, braking, chassis, and aero upgrades.
For the Japanese market, Subaru offers STI-tuned models such as the WRX STI S model and tS variants for the BRZ and Forester. It has not confirmed whether the US will follow the same nomenclature.