Subaru over­hauls BRZ

Bit faster, new sus­pen­sion, nicer in­te­rior and more dif­fer­ent to 86

Motor (Australia) - - THE NEWS -

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.

New in-dash TFT screen dis­plays driv­ing data and is part of an all-round up­grade to BRZ kit

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