Subaru has announced a performance boost for its little BRZ sports coupe, though like its 2017 Toyota 86 twin it will only apply to the manual version.
A revised drivetrain and lower gear ratio is behind the extra performance for the six-speed manual Subaru BRZ, which is due in Australian dealerships in November along with the rest of the range.
The automatic version gains internal and external cosmetic upgrades and handling tweaks, which will also be applied to the manual.
The three-pedal version’s power has been upped from 147 to 152kW along with a 7Nm boost in torque from 205 to 212Nm.
The performance increase has been achieved through changes to the exhaust system which has resulted in reduced pressure loss, while a revised intake manifold has improved the intake efficiency.
Other modifications include a new fuel pump and fuel pressure sensor, work to reduce friction in the pistons, valves and camshaft, the addition of ribs to the rear of the engine block for increased rigidity and changes to the airbox and filter resulting in a 30 percent reduction in air flow resistance.
Both variants have received tweaks to the chassis and floorpan for extra rigidity and revisions to the suspension’s struts, shocks and springs to enhance stability and comfort.
An additional Track mode has been added to the Vehicle Dynamics Control, while the newly added Hill Start Assist is the car’s first and only electronic safety aid.
External styling tweaks mimic those of the Toyota 86 including a wider and lower front bumper, newly designed 10-spoke 17-inch wheels and all-LED fog, tail and headlights to reduce power usage and improve visibility.
Cabin upgrades include a new infotainment system which uses a 6.2-inch touchscreen and voice recognition functionality and a new instrument panel with a 4.2-inch colour information screen for displaying the car’s performance metrics.
Other changes include a re-shaped steering wheel, now with in-built control switches, and dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system.
Red stitching on the steering wheel, panel seams, console and door trims round out the internal styling tweaks.
Subaru Australia says it will reveal the pricing structure for the 2017 BRZ closer to the November launch.
The current-model BRZ (priced between $37,150 to $38,650) experienced a 33.5 percent decline in sales during the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
The car’s first update since its 2012 launch is very timely, with Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior hoping they will add fresh appeal “to a car that has gained an iconic reputation among motoring enthusiasts and sports car purists”.
“With good reason BRZ has gained global accolades over the past four years and the long list of upgrades for 2017 will only bring more fun to the many fans that have made it a must-have among true drivers,” said Senior.
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