Ever since the BRZ was released Subaru fans have been holding out for the possibility that an STI version would be on the horizon. Just as the WRX has its ultimate version, the BRZ is begging for a bawls-out, track weapon variation. For years Subaru has trolled and teased a BRZ STI but has yet to say anything official on the possibility of one in the future. At New York this week Subaru may have finally given their fans some real hope of a BRZ STI by way of a concept that sits center stage at their booth.
Dubbed the “STI Performance Concept” this wide body BRZ is meant as a showcase for everything that STI can do with existing Subaru platforms. It looks like Subaru may be moving to position STI to produce aftermarket products as well as top end performance models, essentially replacing the Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) brand in America. So perhaps Subaru may not release an STi version of the BRZ but release an “STI package” that any BRZ owner can bolt on and achieve STI-level performance. I just wrote “STI” a lot… Anyhow while it may not be what we imagined its still a step in the right direction.
As for the concept itself, its essentially a slightly toned down version of the BRZ Super GT race car. In fact this concept has the same engine as the Super GT version under the hood. Some chassis components, the intake, and exhaust are “off the shelf” STI parts while the crazy wide body kit is likely a one-off. Although it would be pretty awesome to make the kit available for production.
What do you think about the STI Performance Concept”? Do you think this could really mean a future BRZ STI or do you think Subaru is just trolling us again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype. For HD resolution pics of the STI Performance Concept just click the thumbnails and for more info see the press release below.
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. UNVEILS STI PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2015 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
• Concept showcases Subaru Tecnica International (STI) vehicle performance capabilities
• Concept features enhancements for chassis, body, and air intake/exhaust systems
• Concept’s engine is based on the racing engine from the Subaru BRZ Super GT race carNew York, N.Y. – Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the STI Performance Concept at the New York International Auto Show.
The STI Performance Concept signifies a plan for U.S.-expansion of Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the performance division of Subaru, in its three core business areas; aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars and motorsports.
The expansion has already begun, with STI-engineered parts replacing Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts in the U.S. market, and with STI’s increasing engineering presence in Subaru of America’s Global RallyCross team.
In the future, further models tuned by STI will be available in the US. These cars could feature more extensive modifications from the factory than previously offered, such as suspension, performance, braking, chassis and aerodynamic upgrades.
“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. “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.”
The STI Performance Concept is a showcase for the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI, featuring the racing engine developed by STI for the BRZ Super GT racecar, suspension and chassis components and aerodynamic upgrades.
Complete cars (extensive tuning by STI) and performance parts available now in Japan focus on the WRX STI, Forester and BRZ models. The Japanese domestic market uses the nomenclature “S model” as its naming for the WRX STI and uses “tS” on BRZ and Forester vehicles that have STI components, but a naming convention for any future US models has not yet been established.
STI was founded as Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries’ motor sports division in 1988. In 1989, a first-generation Subaru Legacy, tuned by STI, broke the FIA-certified world speed record over 100,000 kilometers. From there, STI moved on to the World Rally Championship, winning 3 constructors championships and 3 driver championships for Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg. It currently competes in the Nurburgring 24 Hour Challenge race winning its class two times in 2011 and 2012 and also in the Super GT series with its BRZ-based Super GT.
For more information on Subaru Tecnica International go to http://www.sti.jp/en/