Subaru of America Inc. has introduced the comprehensively revised BRZ for 2017, giving its rear-drive sports car improved handling, increased performance, more aggressive styling and new convenience features. These enhancements reinforce the company’s mission of offering enthusiasts a pure sports car driving experience. When equipped with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, the 2017 Subaru BRZ features a revised 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, now with 205 hp and 156 lb-ft peak torque, vs. 200 hp and 151 lb-ft for the carryover engine used with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission. The revised engine delivers more low-end and midrange torque than before, and, combined with the new 4.30:1 axle ratio (vs. 4.10 before) in the Torsen® limited-slip differential, delivers quicker acceleration and enhanced responsiveness. Numerous internal updates to the 2.0-liter engine reduce friction, including new valves, camshafts and revised cylinder block. An aluminum intake manifold is coated with red heat dissipating paint, and the exhaust system is a new high-flow design.
The BRZ, already renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precision handling, offers several updates to increase its performance on the road and track. For improved responsiveness, stability and comfort, BRZ received updated coil springs and dampers as well as a larger rear stabilizer bar. Additional reinforcements added to the strut tower braces, transmission cross-member plate and the rear wheel housings increase vehicle rigidity. The stability control system thresholds were raised to further improve handling, with the results significant enough for Subaru to change the name of Sport mode to Track. Newly standard Incline Start Assist helps prevent roll back on an incline as the driver begins to accelerate from a stop.
Yellow Special Edition BRZ
Based on the BRZ Limited equipped with the new Performance Package, the BRZ Series.Yellow is the most exciting BRZ yet. Limited to 500 cars, the BRZ Series.Yellow is immediately recognizable by its brilliant yellow exterior, unique black alloy wheels, black BRZ and SUBARU badging, and black foldable exterior mirrors. (The Performance Package Series.Yellow special edition become available in winter 2017.)The Series.Yellow features black leather and Alcantara® upholstery with contrasting yellow stitching throughout the interior including seats, door and dash panels, steering wheel, knee pads and shifter boot. The front seatbacks are embroidered with a yellow BRZ logo, and the final touch is the carpeted floor mats with yellow stitching and a silver embroidered BRZ logo.
Subaru preserved the classic GT coupe proportions of the BRZ, accentuating its sporty shape for 2017 with bolder details. The front bumper cover was redesigned for a widened appearance and positioned lower for improved aerodynamics, control, and stability. The signature “kono-ji” style headlights have been upgraded to LED for improved light output and reduced power consumption. This new full-LED design, a first for Subaru, incorporates the turn signals and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The available fog lights are now also LED, allowing a more compact design and enhancing visibility.All BRZ models feature a new aluminum rear spoiler in body color on the sides and black finish on the horizontal surface. The new pedestal design improves downforce, which in turn helps improve stability and control. As with the headlights, the rear combination lights have been updated to full LED for better visibility and energy efficiency. On both the Premium and Limited, a new 10-spoke, 17-in aluminum alloy wheel design features a high-contract black and machined finish, and both models get a new garnish above the rear license plate.
Subaru also applied key updates to the cockpit. New for the Limited model is a 4.2-in LCD multi-function display positioned to the right of the prominent tachometer. This driver information readout provides access to vehicle performance including lateral Gs, accelerator pedal position, braking force, steering angle, oil and water temperature, and battery voltage as well as an integrated stopwatch for recording lap times. The redesigned leather-wrapped steering wheel has a firmer, sportier feel along with new audio controls and multi-function display switches for greater control and convenience while driving. Interior upgrades to the Limited also include a wrapped instrument cluster visor, updated climate control panel, and “BRZ” embroidered in red on the front seatbacks.
Premium and Limited Trim Levels
Subaru once again offers the BRZ in Premium and Limited trims, both upholding the brand’s tradition of outstanding value with their long list of standard amenities. Key among these is the standard SUBARU STARLINK™ 6.2” Multimedia system that includes:
6.2-in. high resolution multi-function touch screen display
AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®
Single-disc in-dash CD player with 8 speakers
Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Pandora® and Aha®
Subaru STARLINK Apps including iHeart® Radio and Stitcher™
Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming
SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and TravelLink™
Rear Vision Camera
The Subaru BRZ Limited offers additional features while still keeping vehicle weight low. Seats are upholstered with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters, and the standard All-Weather Package includes dual-mode heated front seats and heated side mirrors. Externally, the BRZ Limited is distinguished in front with LED fog lights.
The BRZ Limited substitutes dual-zone automatic climate control for the Premium model’s manual system, and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start enhances convenience. A full security system augments the Premium model’s engine immobilizer. Also in the Limited, the dual visor vanity mirrors are illuminated, and front door courtesy lights illuminate when the doors are opened.
The Subaru BRZ offers a measure of practicality lacking in other sports cars. The rear seatback lowers to expand the space offered in the 6.9 cubic-foot trunk. The rear seats can accommodate front-facing child seats. With the seatback down, the cargo area can hold two standard golf bags. Drivers who enjoy slalom or track events can also fold the rear seatback and have room for four wheels, a helmet and basic supplies behind the front seats.
Pure Sports Car Performance Details
The Subaru BRZ FA-Series engine uses a “square” architecture, meaning that its bore and stroke dimensions are identical, in this case 3.38 inches (86mm). That geometry gives the BRZ engine a quick-revving nature, with a 7,400-rpm redline. The engine delivers 205 hp at 7,000 rpm, while the 156 lb-ft of torque peak arrives at 6,400 rpm. (Output remains 200 hp and 151 lb-ft with automatic transmission). The Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) is instrumental in helping the engine produce a broad torque curve to help make the BRZ feel responsive in daily driving.
The BRZ fuel injection system uniquely combines direct injection and port injection technology. A direct-type fuel-injection system provides a cooling effect in the cylinders, which enables use of a very high 12.5:1 compression ratio. In light- and medium-load conditions, the port fuel injectors help produce precise combustion, increasing performance and efficiency.
The BRZ offers the choice between a 6-speed manual and, optional for the Limited only, a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual features a short-throw shift lever, and triple-cone synchronizers on first through third gears help ensure durability.
The 6-speed automatic offers no-compromise performance in the Subaru BRZ. The driver can select Sport mode from a switch on the center console for quicker, firmer automatic shifts. Or, move the console mounted shifter from “D” to “M” and then shift manually using the shifter handle or the paddle shift control switches. Downshift blipping control enhances the sports car experience.A standard Torsen® limited-slip differential helps the inside wheel maintain traction during cornering. For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) stability and traction control system (TCS) offers five driver-selectable settings, including a new Track mode and a TCS Off switch for track driving activities. The double-wishbone rear suspension system provides outstanding bump absorption to enhance tire grip over varied surfaces. Electric power-assist steering, which reduces weight and load on the engine compared to hydraulic power steering, is tuned for excellent feedback.
The Subaru ring-shaped reinforcement frame design, proven in all Subaru models, forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the BRZ. The compact Boxer engine enhances safety by allowing more crush room in front and on the sides. High-strength front seat frames provide increased protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. For occupant protection, the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System utilizes dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger airbags. Deployment strength depends on the proximity of the driver to the steering wheel, and whether there is a child or adult occupying the passenger seat. Front seat side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags offer additional security for front and rear occupants.