It’s the question that was posed pretty much the day after we learnt Toyota and Subaru were working together to build a new rear-wheel-drive sports car to eventually be known as the 86 and BRZ respectively:
What will the high-performance version be like?
As yet, the production line hasn’t really seen the makings of a high performance version as Toyota and Subaru have instead decided that the 147kW/205Nm 2.0 litre flat four-cylinder engine is sufficient, along with the 86/BRZ’s other dynamics.
No doubt the sports coupe has struck a chord with enthusiasts so the old ‘not broken, don’t fix it’ argument will likely have been played out in the boardroom more than once.
But finally, perhaps, this may be about to change with news out of Japan that Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Duties has filed a patent application for a BRZ STI.
The car is little more than the greyscale images obtained by Autoguide and seen here at this stage, but fans will be hoping the patent application means the BRZ STI Performance Concept from the New York Auto Show earlier this year was more than just a one-off show car.
The STI concept kept the BRZ’s rear-wheel-drive layout but added chassis-stiffening improvements and an all-important turbocharger to that 2.0 litre engine to boost power from 147kW to 225kW.
A set of Bilstein dampers and STI lowering springs sit in each wheel well while the standard 17-inch wheels have been traded out for a quartet of 19-inch BBS alloys wearing Dunlop rubber.
Bodywork has been enhanced with an aggressive new front fascia design, wider fenders, flush doorhandles, a huge rear wing, a centre-exit exhaust and a prominent rear diffuser.
While this patent application is certainly a positive move for those craving a spicier BRZ (and no doubt an 86 version to join it), Subaru has made no official announcements.
Furthermore, patent applications are sometimes filed purely to ensure another carmaker or ‘backyard operator’ can’t swoop in and steal any of the design elements. So the BRZ STI may never progress beyond these images.
Watch this space.
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MORE News & Reviews: Subaru | BRZ | Patents