The Subaru BRZ, for the most part, has remained completely unchanged since its 2013 debut. Last year, however, it received a slightly more powerful engine, a few other mild changes to its powertrain, and some new features. While we were hoping for a complete redesign, the 2018 BRZ will get just one big change: a new performance-oriented model.
Visually, the 2018 BRZ will be a carryover, as its looks -- inside and out -- will be virtually identical to the current model. The only change will be to the new-for-2018 BRZ tS, which will gain an exclusive STI manually adjustable carbon-fiber rear spoiler, STI front, rear and side underspoilers, Cherry Blossom Red accents around the grille and rear bumper, black-finished shark-fin roof-mounted antenna and mirrors, and STI fog light covers.
Inside, the standard BRZ will remain the same, but the tS model will add some new twists. It will add black leather and Alcantara upholstery, contrasting red stitching, red leather front seat bolsters, embroidered tS logos on the seats, unique gauge cluster visor and door trim, a cast-black-finished center console, red front seat belts, and a frameless rearview mirror.
We expect the BRZ’s powertrain to remain completely unchanged in 2018. If this proves true, look for it to continue with a 2.0-liter boxer-four engine that will produce up to 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Models with the automatic transmission only produce 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.
While the base BRZ performance will remain the same, the new tS model turns things up a bit. Sure, engine output remains the same, but it gains new handling bits, including flexible V-braces in the engine compartment, new draw stiffeners, 18-inch lightweight STI wheels shod in 215/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, and STI-tuned SACHS dampers and coil springs.
Safety is far from the first concern for sports cars, but the current BRZ isn’t terrible in this area. The IIHS rated it good in four of the five crash tests, with the only iffy area being its acceptable rating in the small-overlap test. We expect no changes in the safety department in 2018.
Expect a full review closer to launch.