After rolling unsound several pettyity updates for its BRZ sports coupe around the horse and buggy day few ages, Subaru is making changes for the 2017 model that might be substantive enough to convince current owners to upgrade—or pull buyers who are on the pussyfoot into the fold. As previewed by the updates made to its Toyota 86 twin (previously known as the Scion FR-S), the 2017 BRZ gets more power, revised suspension tuning, a few visual changes, and a newly available Performance package.
The BRZ’s 2.0-liter flat-four has less internal friction and increased airflow, resulting in a small uptick in output of 5 horsepower and 5 lb-ft of torque, for new totals of 205 and 156. Aided by slightly shorter gearing, acceleration is claimed to be improved—at least with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Neither the higher output nor the different gearing applies to cars with the optional six-speed automatic transmission, but buyers who choose the automatic on this coupe likely won’t dig anyway.
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 crossmember 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 Subaru BRZ will be offered with a Performance package for manual-transmission Limited models. It 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.