Japanese carmaker Subaru has used the 2015 New York International Auto Show to showcase a BRZ-based ‘STi Performance Concept’.

Said to signify Subaru Tecnica International’s increasing involvement in the massive North American market, the STi Performance Concept showcases the engineering capabilities of Subaru’s in-house motorsport division, which was formed in 1988 and took the Subaru name to the top of world rallying along with Prodrive in the 1990s.

On more than one occasion in the past BRZs have been given the STi treatment, though in reality the major mechanicals remained untouched, the tuner settling for aero kits, short-shifters and suspension packages.

The STi Performance Concept changes that. It is powered by the STi developed and built flat-four that sees service in the BRZ Super GT racer. Although related to the units built back when the Impreza WRC was at the forefront of rallying, the turbocharged EJ20 in the BRZ racer has been modernised and enhanced to a track focus, with ultra-short inlet tracts with twin forged camshafts and dry sump lubrication. Breathing through a 39.9mm restrictor in the race car, it produces around 224kW and – more impressively – around 450Nm.

Other STi Performance Concept additions include a liberal use of carbon fibre, data logging and a brash, racing-inspired interior with Recaro seats and a diminutive steering wheel. Perforated brake discs hide behind forged 19-inch alloys, while the suspension is packed with STi-trademark pink springs over yellow Bilstein struts.

Though obviously not a production reality, look for some of the design cues to feature on future STi-fettled Subarus. In the meantime, enjoy what could be.


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From childhood stories of my Dad's Phase 2 XW GT-HO, I have always loved cars. That passion was nurtured via epic road trip stories read in magazines, undertaken in wonderfully evocative machinery. It was inspirational, and there was no longer a choice: I was going to make a career in motoring journalism. At Trailing Throttle, we want to recreate that feeling of behind-the-wheel immersion. We hope you enjoy the ride.