Subaru spilled all the oily beans today about two new enthusiast-targeted cars, the BRZ tS and the WRX STI Type RA. While some may be disappointed by the lack of a power bump to the tS (remember, tS stands for Tough Shit if you wanted a turbo) both cars do seem like a hell of a lot of fun. Here’s what we know about them:
Subaru reminds us that “RA” stands for “Record Attempt,” not a reference to the guy on your college dorm floor who talked to you about condoms.
The STI Type RA reduces weight, adds power, and upgrades the suspension, all very good things. Weight is reduced with a carbon fiber roof panel, lightweight BBS 19-inch wheels with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tires, and the fact that Subaru is using a spare tire made of air and wishes for this model.
The same 2.5-liter flat-four we’ve grown to know and love since the Shogun era of Japanese history is still there, but now it:
... increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance.
The six-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.
So, five horsepower more, a new third gear, less weight, all of that means a quicker car. Subaru’s suspension and handling tweaks include:
Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein® dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. The Brembo® brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.
Of course, there’s Type RA badges and logos everywhere, red piping around the grille, red accent trim inside, Recaro seats, and a carbon fiber, manually-adjustable wing.
The focus for the tS is all about handling, with Subaru PR saying:
The 2018 BRZ tS (tuned by STI) delivers the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability.
The highest level of “fun to drive” I think is measured in nanowhoos or something. Here’s what Subaru actually did to the car for it to merit those two extra intercapped letters:
... BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS® dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-in. lightweight STI wheels (the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels) mounted with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires for superior grip and quicker turn-in. Brembo® brakes at all four corners round-out the package.
So, shocks, wheels, braces, tires—that’s a nice set of tweaks, and I believe they will make an already fun car handle even better and be more fun, even without more power.
There’s also a manually-adjustable carbon fiber spoiler, red accent around the front grille that may or may not remind you of lipstick (they didn’t release a pic of the front), new black badging, tS logos everywhere, and they stole the foglights, replacing them with STI covers. You can get it in blue, black, and white.