Subaru’s turbo teaser

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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