The Subaru BRZ is the kind of car designed to appeal specifically to gear heads, but fans have been vocal about ways to improve it since day one. The most-repeated requests seem to involve a more powerful turbocharged engine, or an STI hot-road model. The 2017 Subaru BRZ gets a few significant updates but, unfortunately for the fans, Subaru isn’t going quite that far.
Under the hood, the sole engine option remains a 2.0-liter boxer-four, but output is now 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque, compared to 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. previously. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are still available, with power going to the rear wheels as it should. Subaru also tweaked the suspension, raised the final-drive ratio, and increased the threshold of the stability control system. The least-restrictive mode is now called “Track” instead of “Sport.”
That BRZ STI is likely still a pipe dream, but Subaru did add a Performance Package to the BRZ for 2017. Available only on manual-transmission cars in the range-topping Limited trim level, it includes larger brakes from Brembo, Sachs performance shocks, and package-specific 17-inch black alloy wheels.
All versions of the BRZ get some styling updates, including a new front bumper that Subaru says improves aerodynamics, but doesn’t make much of an impact on the car’s appearance. Headlights are now all LED, a first for Subaru, with integrated daytime running lights. The taillights and fog lights are LED as well. All trim levels also get a new aluminum rear spoiler.
On the inside, all BRZ get a new leather-wrapped steering wheel, while Limited models get a wrapped instrument cluster hood as well, with a 4.2-inch LCD display integrated with said instrument cluster. Located to the right of the tachometer, the display shows data like lateral-Gs, throttle position, braking force, and steering angle. It also includes oil and water temperature and battery voltage readouts, plus a stopwatch for timing laps.
Most versions of the 2017 Subaru BRZ go on sale in September, with Performance Package models arriving early next year. At the same time, the BRZ’s twin is getting a makeover as it transitions from being a Scion FR-S to a Toyota 86.