The tS nameplate was used on the model's first generation in 2012.
Unfortunately, due to the harsh realities of exchange rates and pricing from Subaru Japan, we in SA won't get to enjoy the new Subaru BRZ.
The refreshed BRZ was teased last week and has since made its official debut at the Subiefest California in its flagship tS garb. It's not just a trim level, with Subaru saying the tS is sharper and more focused than the regular BRZ.
What Does The tS Bring To The Table?
Unlike the regular BRZs, the tS is said to handle better, thanks to the STI-tuned front and rear Hitachi dampers that maximise its lightweight, ultra-low centre of gravity for better control.
For enhanced stopping power, Subaru has also fitted it with a high-performance Brembo braking system consisting of 4-piston callipers up front and gold-painted 2-piston rear callipers at the rear.
The BRZ tS rides on 18-inch alloys in dark grey and wrapped in 215/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.
The exterior features bold styling cues, courtesy of large functional air intakes, a low grille, large rear fenders, a wide track, dual exhausts and a 'ducktail' rear spoiler that reminds us of some iconic German 911 sports cars. There are tS badging on the front grille and the rear decklid, while the exterior mirrors and the shark fin antenna are painted in a Crystal Black Silica shade.
EyeSight System: A First For Manual Subarus
As reported sometime in June, Subaru has fitted the manual transmission-equipped variants with the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as standard. The system can adjust the speed to follow the traffic, brake automatically to avoid collisions and warn you should you drift from your lane.
EyeSight is also anticipated to be extended to other Subaru models with manual transmissions.
The tS interior is wrapped in black upholstery with the model's contrasting blue stitching on the front seat bolsters, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter boot and parking brake boot.
A multi-functional leather-wrapped steering wheel is offered as standard, faux suede (called Brin Naub) used on the instrument panel visor and door trim and the iconic STI logo on the red starter button.
A 7-inch digital instrument cluster with tS-exclusive red accents is also part of the standard features.
Powering the Subaru BRZ tS is a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated Boxer engine with 170kW and 249Nm sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. Want an auto box? Well, you can get one if you opt for the lesser trims.
The BRZ tS features a Torsen limited-slip differential for enhanced traction as standard.
A Miss For SA
Unfortunately, Subaru SA has shattered our hopes of the carmaker bringing the BRZ to local shores, attributing the decision to unfavourable exchange rates and steep pricing from Japan. Worry not, though, since we still have the Toyota GR86, carrying on the legendary 86 spirit and elevating every aspect of its predecessor.