A raft of major changes will feature when the updated MY17 Subaru BRZ sports coupe arrives in Australia from November.
Prices have not been announced but even a cursory glance at the technical improvements will confirm Subaru’s focus has been on enhancing the driving experience of one of the world’s most acclaimed mass production sports cars.
On the styling front, most obvious is the revised front-end with a new-look bumper and headlights (the latter featuring Subaru’s first full LED execution).
Subaru says the C-shaped lights are a hallmark of its new generation design language and provide a tougher, sportier look than we see in the current generation BRZ.
There are also LED segments in the front indicators and the compact fog-lights are LED - reducing power consumption by up to75 per-cent we’re told.
Subaru BRZ enthusiasts will also pick the revised trim highlight under the A-pillar on the front guards.
The rear of the MY17 Subaru BRZ gets a sleeker look thanks to a new-design bumper with full LED combination lights and shifting the number plate light, rear-view camera lens and boot locking mechanism to within the trim highlight garnish.
We particularly like the look of the new 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.
Major changes inside too with the MY17 Subaru BRZ scoring a fresh, new instrument panel and door inner panels and a new completely round leather-wrapped steering wheel which actually has a slightly smaller outer diameter.
And while the layout of the instrumentation is largely unchanged there is a new 4.2-inch LCD on the right side of the tachometer with information like the fuel level, digital speedometer, and drive mode indicator (the display can be changed via controls on the steering wheel) and an improved infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and voice control.
Subaru says a focus on the upgraded interior for the BRZ was to provide better textures and feels so we notice red stitching throughout - and you can option seats with ‘BRZ’ logos.
On the technical front the headline act goes to Subaru BRZ model fitted with the six-speed manual transmission which benefits from extensive driveline changes to boost output to 152kW at 7000rpm and 212Nmfrom 6400-6800rpm as well as a lower sixth gear ratio (4.300), models with the six-speed automatic transmission stay at 147kW/205Nm.
Engine improvements for manual transmission models include increased cylinder block rigidity, better pistons, buffed and polished valve stems, a low friction finish for the camshaft, optimized fuel pump drive cam, optimized internal shape for the rocker arm pivots, a new engine wiring harness, revised ECU hardware, changes in the fuel system and a larger diameter front exhaust pipe.
To improve driving dynamics, Subaru’s chassis engineers have attacked the BRZ with vigor and the mods include a thicker middle mounting bracket for the V-shaped strut tower bar, a thicker transmission cross-member reinforcing plate and extra reinforcement for the outside of the rear wheel housings – all obviously intended to make things stiffer.
And there have been changes to springs and dampers and a thicker rear stabilizer as well as new differential mounts – the latter to reduce NVH.
And here’s some really good news - a there’s a new drive mode called ‘TRACK’ which we think speaks for itself.
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