Subaru has a reputation for making some of the most fun and engaging cars on the market, especially when it comes to their performance-oriented STI models. However, one sports car that has always been missing from the STI lineup is the BRZ, the rear-wheel-drive sports coupe that Subaru co-developed with Toyota. While the BRZ has always been praised for its agile handling and lightweight chassis, some enthusiasts have wished for more power and performance from the boxer engine.
Well, those wishes have finally been answered, at least partially, with the introduction of the 2024 Subaru BRZ tS. The tS stands for "tuned by STI," and it represents the most track-focused and hardcore version of the BRZ ever made. The Subaru BRZ tS is not a full-fledged STI model, as it does not have a turbocharged engine or a significant boost in horsepower, but it does have a host of upgrades and enhancements that make it a formidable machine on the track and on the road.
The new Subaru BRZ tS is based on the second-generation BRZ that debuted last year, which features a larger and more powerful 2.4-liter flat-four engine that produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That's an increase of 23 horsepower and 28 lb-ft over the previous generation, and it's enough to propel the BRZ tS from zero to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. The engine can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
The real magic of the Subaru BRZ tS sports car lies in its chassis and suspension tuning, which the STI engineers have extensively revised to deliver sharper handling, better grip, and more stability. The BRZ tS features exclusive 18-inch aluminum wheels in dark gray metallic, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires that provide excellent traction and feedback. The brakes have also been upgraded to Brembo units, with four-piston calipers in the front and two-piston calipers in the rear, painted in gold to match the STI logo. The braking performance is impressive, as the BRZ tS can stop from 70 mph to zero in just 151 feet, according to MotorTrend.
The Subaru BRZ tS suspension system has been completely overhauled by STI, with new Hitachi dampers specially tuned for better response and control. The dampers are also adjustable, allowing drivers to fine-tune the ride quality and handling characteristics according to their preferences and driving conditions. The BRZ tS also features a V-brace behind the rear seats and a strut tower brace under the hood, both made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), to increase the rigidity and reduce the weight of the body. Additionally, the BRZ tS has a lower center of gravity than the standard BRZ, thanks to a lower roofline and a redesigned rear spoiler that also improves aerodynamics and downforce.
The result of all these modifications is a sports car that feels incredibly nimble, responsive, and balanced on the track. The 2024 Subaru BRZ tS can generate up to 0.99 g of lateral acceleration, according to Car and Driver, which is comparable to some of the best sports cars in its class. The steering is precise and communicative, allowing drivers to place the car exactly where they want it on the road. The chassis is stiff and stable but not harsh or uncomfortable. The BRZ tS is a sports car that rewards smooth and skillful driving, as it can easily rotate around its axis with a flick of the throttle or a dab of the brakes. The BRZ tS is not a car that relies on brute force or electronic aids to go fast; it's a car that requires finesse and finesse.
The interior of the Subaru BRZ tS is similar to that of the regular BRZ but with some exclusive touches that enhance its sporty character. The seats are upholstered in black leather and Alcantara, with red leather bolsters and stitching. The seats are also heated and feature embroidered tS logos on the headrests. The steering wheel is also wrapped in leather and Alcantara, with red stitching and a red center marker. The instrument cluster has a digital display shows various performance data, such as lap times, g-forces, oil temperature, water temperature, and battery voltage. The infotainment system has an eight-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD radio, and a six-speaker sound system. The BRZ tS also comes with Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, pre-collision braking, and more.
The exterior of the 2024 Subaru BRZ tS is distinguished by some subtle but noticeable details that set it apart from the standard BRZ. The most obvious one is the large rear spoiler, which is made of CFRP and has STI logos on both sides. The spoiler is adjustable, allowing drivers to change the angle of attack and the amount of downforce. The front fascia has a lower grille with a tS badge, LED headlights, and fog lights. The side mirrors and the shark fin antenna is painted in gloss black, while the door handles and the rear bumper are painted in body color. The Subaru BRZ tS is available in Ceramic White, Magnetite Gray Metallic, and WR Blue Pearl.
The Subaru BRZ tS is expected to go on sale in the US in early 2024, with a starting price of around $33,000. That's about $3,000 more than the regular BRZ Limited, but considering all the upgrades and enhancements the tS offers, we think it's well worth the premium. The BRZ tS is not a car for everyone; it's a car for those who appreciate the pure joy of driving and want to experience it at its finest. The BRZ tS is a car that will make you smile every time you get behind the wheel, whether cruising on the highway, carving up a twisty road, or lapping a racetrack. The Subaru BRZ tS is the ultimate track toy from Subaru, and we can't wait to get our hands on one.