Subaru is showing off a higher-performance STI concept version of its upcoming BRZ coupe at the L.A. Auto Show before the non-STI production version is viewed by the public eye. The BRZ is Subaru's new four-seat, lightweight sports car — co-developed with Toyota — that ditches Subaru's famed all-wheel drive in favor of rear-wheel drive. This concept finally gives us a look at the long-awaited Subaru coupe and should give a good indication of what actually goes on sale next year.
This STI-enhanced concept gets numerous performance upgrades in the same STI philosophy that inspires the Impreza STI, for the most part. A front spoiler, rear diffuser and massive rear wing help out the car's aerodynamics. The car rides on an STI-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels that house Brembo brakes.
Subaru wants the BRZ to have one of the lowest centers of gravity of any new car made. To do so, the engine sits 4.7 inches lower in the chassis compared with the Impreza, plus lightweight carbon fiber is used for the BRZ-STI's roof construction. Optimal weight distribution is achieved by setting the engine 9.4 inches closer to the center of the car than the Impreza.
Unlike the current Impreza STI and other STI cars, the BRZ-STI doesn't use a turbocharged engine. However, it retains a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed boxer engine like other Subarus that's direct injected. No turbocharger is strange for an STI, but so is a rear-wheel-drive Subaru.
Clicking on any image below will launch a larger photo gallery; you can browse through them by hitting the right and left arrow keys.