SUBARU’S BRZ should be pokier, sharper and easier to live with when version 2.0 arrives in Oz later this year.
Exterior-wise, a revised front bar means the ‘new’ BRZ will look even more different to the Toyota 86, while a new low-line spoiler has also been bolted to its rear lid.
It gets the same engine upgrades as the Toyota: an admittedly piffling 4kW and 9Nm more, now 151kW and 214Nm. But a shorter final drive of 4.1:1 in the manual gearbox should maximise acceleration.
Bumps are better handled, thanks to overhauled damper and spring rates, while stiffening its body’s crucial load points should sharpen handling.
The ESP’s ceiling is raised, so much so that Subaru has bumped up its ‘Sport’ mode to the status of ‘Track’.
Tech and luxury levels inside will lift thanks to a new steering wheel, a 6.2-inch touchscreen and interestingly, a new colour TFT info screen beside the tacho.
The ‘Starlink’ touchscreen drastically upgrades the BRZ’s connectivity. But it also debuts satellite navigation and a reversing camera, something that’s previously remained exclusive to the Toyota.
The new TFT dash display puts drivers in touch with the BRZ’s sporting side, providing a glance at either lateral Gs or other vital signs selected via controls mounted on the steering wheel.
Sleeker LED headlights and tail-light internals now slot into its bodywork, and the refreshed look is matched to new-design alloys.
Unfortunately Aussies skip the Performance Pack sold overseas, meaning we’ll miss out on Brembo brakes, Sachs dampers and unique 17 x 7.5-inch wheels.
However, the upside is the local car’s $34K tag won’t drastically change when Subaru lands the MY17 BRZ during this year’s fourth quarter.