Over the past two years, Subaru has been constantly tweaking the BRZ to make it the ultimate rear-wheel drive sports coupe for driving enthusiasts. Now, for 2017, the company is rolling out a substantial amount of changes to keep it ahead of the competition.
Naturally aspirated, rear-wheel drive sports cars are becoming a rarity in this forced induction world we live in. The Subaru BRZ is one of the rare cars that manages to provide a lot of excitement to drivers, without a lot of horsepower.
For 2017, the BRZ gets more power, revised suspension tuning, several visual enhancements, and a new Performance package.
Outside, the 2017 Subaru BRZ gets mildly revised front and rear fascias with full LED headlights and taillights. Up front, the BRZ features a redesigned bumper cover and out back, a new aluminum rear spoiler is standard on all trim levels.
The BRZ’s 2.0 L flat-four boxer engine receives several internal updates for friction reduction, including new valves, camshaft, and cylinder heads. Airflow is increased with a new aluminum intake manifold and redesigned exhaust manifold. Power output with a manual transmission rises to 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft. torque. Power output with the optional six-speed automatic remains at 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. torque.
A lower final drive ratio from 4.1 to 4.3:1, paired with a standard Torsen limited-slip differential, improves acceleration with the manual transmission. Buyers who opt for the Subaru BRZ with the automatic will get steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
The 2017 Subaru BRZ’s chassis has been updated to increase its performance both on the track and regular roads. To improve responsiveness, stability, and comfort, the BRZ receives updated coil springs and dampers, along with a larger rear anti-roll bar. Structural rigidity increases thanks to new reinforcements for the strut-tower braces, the transmission cross-member plate, and the rear-wheel housings.
The revised stability-control system allows more slip angle before intervening, prompting Subaru to change the mode’s name for Sport to Track.
Customers who buy the 2017 Subaru BRZ in limited trim with a manual transmission can now upgrade to the new Performance package. The package adds larger front and rear rotors with Brembo calipers for improved stopping power and greater fade resistance; it also includes SACHS performance dampers and black 17-inch wheels.
The 2017 Subaru BRZ comes in two trim levels: Premium and Limited.
The Premium trim features the SUBARU STARLINK multimedia system that includes a 6.2-inch high resolution, multi-function touchscreen display, AM/FM stereo and HD Radio, single-disc in-dash CD player with 8 speakers, and smartphone integration with Pandora and Aha.
Subaru STARLINK apps include iHeart Radio and Stitcher. Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, SirusXM, Travel link, and backup camera are added bonuses.
The Limited trim adds front LED fog lights and the All Weather Package. The latter includes dual-stage heated front seats and heated side mirrors. Inside, the seats are upholstered in Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters. The BRZ limited also gets dual-zone climate control instead of the Premium’s manual HVAC system, and keyless access with push button ignition.
A full security system is added to the Premium’s engine immobilizer as well. The dual vanity mirrors are illuminated, and front door courtesy lights are also a nice touch.
Standard safety features in the 2017 Subaru BRZ include advanced frontal airbags, which utilize dual-stage-deployment technology for both driver and front passenger. Front seat side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags are also standard for front and rear passengers.
Expect the pricing of the 2017 Subaru BRZ to slightly increase compared to the 2016’s starting price of $26,190. The Premium and Limited models will arrive at retailers in early September while the Limited with the Performance package will arrive in the winter 2017.
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.