Subaru is making changed to their BRZ sports coupe for the 2017 model that might be substantive enough to convince current owners to upgrade – or pull buyers on the fence into the fold. As previewed by the updates made to its Toyota 86 twin, the 2017 BRZ gets more power, revised suspension tuning, a few visual changes, and a newly available Performance package.
The 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine’s output has grown from 147kW (197hp) to 153kW (205hp), while torque has also received a small bump from 205Nm (151lb-ft) up to 212Nm (56lb-ft). These minor increases are for the manual transmission models only, with the automatic equipped cars retaining the outputs of the current model. Toyota is promising “additional performance” thanks to different gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission, and there’s now Hill Start Assist Control.
Subaru also applied some tuning changes to the BRZ’s already nicely balanced chassis. The springs and dampers are new, and the rear anti-roll bar is larger than before. Structural rigidity increases thanks to new reinforcements for the strut-tower braces, the transmission cross member plate, and the rear-wheel housings. The stability-control system also has been revised, with the previous Sport mode permitting more slip angle before intervening, prompting Subaru to rename this mode “Track.”
For the first time, the BRZ will be offered with a Performance package for manual-transmission Limited models that includes upgrades for those who plan on frequenting track days. Larger front and rear brakes with Brembo calipers promise improved stopping power and greater fade resistance; the package also includes Sachs performance dampers and black-painted 17-inch wheels.
Subtle styling changes include a mildly revised front end with new LED headlights and a reshaped bumper cover, while full-LED taillights and a new rear spoiler dress up all trim levels. New 10-spoke wheels also are on the menu. On the inside, the biggest change is a new 4.2-inch LCD display in the gauge cluster (for Limited models) that can display performance metrics including lateral and braking g’s, steering angle, and lap times. The steering wheel also is new.
Expect a small bump in the pricing for the 2017 BRZ. We don’t yet know how much the Performance package will cost – or if the Toyota 86 will offer a similar option—but information is likely to become available as we near the updated BRZ’s on-sale date later this year, so stay tuned.