It's widely held that Subaru is working to bring an even sharper version of its new BRZ rear-wheel-drive coupe to market. This is despite silence from the carmaker as to any specific plans.
But neither has it gone out of its way to hose down speculation, with last year's unveiling of an STI-badged BRZ concept with pumped guards and a big wing adding fuel to the fire.
Certainly, given the company's performance history, a quicker hi-po BRZ is surely brewing somewhere within Subaru. No surprises then that new "unnamed sources" have reportedly confirmed that something special is in the works.
The "unnamed sources" might be on the money. At the UK launch of the BRZ, Subaru marketing boss Atoshi Atake reportedly told British paper Auto Express that customers eager for speed will have their wishes fulfilled soon.
"Let me say this, we will certainly satisfy our customers. We are already working on a faster version," Atake is quoted as saying.
Whether the reported STI version of the BRZ will feature the same restyled tail-lights and WRX-like flared guards is unclear, but that is unlikely to faze buyers seeking more power under the bonnet.
While the regular BRZ is powered by a new 147kW boxer engine developed by Subaru in cooperation with Toyota, the STI flagship could bump power up to around 185kW through intake and exhaust enhancements, along with a higher rev limit and ECU tweaks.
Don't expect a turbo to be bolted on, however, or an all-wheel-drive upgrade: "We want to keep turbocharging separate. It is for models like the WRX STI," Atake told Auto Express.
"The same goes for four-wheel drive. We could not make the BRZ four-wheel drive even if we wanted to."
The BRZ STI could also weigh less than its basic stablemate, with the regular seats swapped for racing buckets, and the Concept STI's carbon-fibre bonnet replacing the production aluminium item.
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