Subaru’s turbo teaser
durability before any decision is made on a production variant.
Even in a detuned “street” guise, power would be massively up on the 147kW/205Nm naturally aspirated engine in the road cars and would address one of the few shortcomings of the 2012 Carsguide Car of the Year winner: the chassis is capable of handling more power.
Subaru America CEO Thomas Doll says the concept is a mobile testbed to gauge the feasibility of a forced-induction BRZ production car but warns it will happen later rather than sooner.
“That’s the idea,” he says. “We can’t tell you exactly when that’s going to happen but the concept (is a pointer) to achieving extra horsepower. We know that’s one of the issues and that’s part of our plan.
“We are still evaluating how to do all of that. I don’t want you to think that this is coming tomorrow because it’s not. It could, but we have to do some other engineering and testing,” he said.
Subaru America spokesman Michael McHale intervened as journalists started to quiz STI president Yoshio Hirawaka on timing of a turbo BRZ.
“The BRZ has a very tight, compact engine bay,” McHale says, “so how much can we do that doesn’t affect balance, that doesn’t affect feel? This is Mr Hirakawa’s challenge in life.
“He hears that some people would like more power but ... if we listened to everyone in the world we go bankrupt in 10 minutes.”
The STI concept was built to promote Subaru’s performance division as a stand-alone division responsible for developing performance models, aftermarket accessories and motorsport.
Subaru in the US markets itself as a family oriented, safety conscious brand and, according to US journalists, is looking to distance itself from the performance models that don’t fit into that ethos.
The concept car has a reinforced chassis to improve rigidity, race suspension, upgraded brakes and a massive front spoiler and rear diffuser.
Inside there are race-style bucket seats, track-oriented telemetry with G-force monitor and lap-logging capabilities and a steering wheel with LED gearshift indicators built into the rim.