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Subaru News: 2018 Subaru BRZ tS and WRX STI RA Come With Added Performance for the U.S.

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Subaru hasn't forgotten about their performance models if two new special editions are anything to go by. Today, Subaru unveiled the 2018 BRZ tS and WRX STI RA that will go on sale early next year.

The BRZ tS (tuned by STI) is said to deliver "the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability." If you were hoping this would include more power, then we have some bad news for you as the tS doesn't see any increase in power. It's 2.0L Boxer-Four still only produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. What STI has done is a fair amount of work on the chassis. There are new SACHS dampers and coil springs for the front and rear, and flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. The tS ditches the low-rolling resistance tires for a set of sticky Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires with lightweight 18-inch wheels. A set of Brembo brakes finishes off the chassis.

Visual changes include a new carbon fiber wing with manual adjustment, front and rear diffusers, STI fog light covers, and red accents on various trim pieces. The interior comes with a set of Recaro seats and red accent stitching. 

As for the 2018 WRX STI RA - short for Record Attempt - Subaru is using this name for an upcoming attempt to set a lap record at the Nürburgring sometime this summer. Subaru has done a weight loss program for the WRX STI RA with a carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber rear spoiler, removing the spare tire, and equipping a set of lightweight BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Power sees a slight bump from 305 to 310 thanks to a new cold air intake and new exhaust. A revised third-gear ratio is said to improve acceleration.

Subaru only plans on building 500 of each model. Pricing is expected to be released later this year.

Source: Subaru 
Press Release is on Page 2


Subaru Debuts Limited Edition WRX STI Type RA And BRZ tS® With Higher Performance For Driving Enthusiasts

Cherry Hill, N.J. -  Subaru of America, Inc. has announced two new performance models: the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA and 2018 Subaru BRZ tS. Both are performance focused derivatives engineered by Subaru Tecnica International, Inc. specifically for driving enthusiasts. Each vehicle is limited to 500 units and vehicles will arrive at Subaru retailers in early 2018.

WRX STI Type RA
The RA designation stands for “Record Attempt” and has been applied to various Subaru performance models. The original venture took place in 1989 when a competition version Subaru Legacy broke the FIA World Speed Endurance Record by clocking over 62,000 miles in 18 days and set a top speed record of 138 mph. Furthering this spirit of endeavor, a special race model WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will attempt a Nürburgring speed record this summer.

In keeping with this tradition, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. The new, numbered limited edition model comes standard with a carbon fiber roof panel, the removal of the spare tire, a carbon fiber pedestal wing and lightweight BBS® 19-in. forged alloy wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tires.

Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the limited edition WRX STI Type RA increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance. The six-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.

Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein® dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. The Brembo® brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.

The WRX STI Type RA is immediately identified by an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover. An STI front underspoiler has also been added for better stability at high speeds. The exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now come in a black finish. The rear deck lid displays the WRX STI Type RA badge.

In addition to the eye-catching exterior, the WRX STI Type RA cabin features Recaro® performance design front seats with red bolsters and stitching as well as an embossed STI logo on the head restraints. The signature red stitching and accent trim is visible throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede® for better grip and has a black gloss-finish center spoke insert with STI logo. Push-button start with Keyless Access is also standard equipment. Each of the 500 WRX STI Type RA produced for retail sale has been individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the center console.

BRZ tS
The 2018 BRZ tS (tuned by STI) delivers the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability.

BRZ is renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precision handling, and the new BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS® dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-in. lightweight STI wheels (the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels) mounted with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires for superior grip and quicker turn-in. Brembo® brakes at all four corners round-out the package.

The exterior also adds a more aggressive look with an exclusive STI rear carbon fiber spoiler. The spoiler is manually adjustable to fine-tune rear downforce. The addition of STI front, rear and side underspoilers helps control airflow for better traction and stability.

The BRZ tS is also adorned with an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around the front grille and unique rear bumper cover. The rear hatch displays the official BRZ tS badge. The exterior foldable mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna, BRZ and SUBARU badging all have a black finish. Also, the fog lights have been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers.

The cabin features black leather and Alcantara® upholstery with contrasting red stitching and accents throughout the interior, including steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, shifter and emergency brake boots. front seats have red leather bolsters and the seatbacks are embroidered with the tS logo. The visor over the gauge cluster is unique to this model, as is the interior door trim. The center console has been updated to a cast black finish. The BRZ tS also comes standard with red front seat belts and a frameless interior rear view mirror.

Both the 2018 WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS will be available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl. Both models will be distributed throughout Subaru’s retailer network beginning in the first quarter of 2018.

Exact specifications and pricing will be announced later this year.


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Is this what we get with Toyota buying GM's majority ownership of Subaru. Bland boring Toytaish rides? Sorry but the auto in the pictures is very bland and conservative and does not inspire me the way Subaru under GM ownership did.

Cool spec's but FAILURE for inspiring me to want one. I used to love the look and sound of the STI and while it still has an awesome sound, the WRX STI has gotten bloated as well as blah in the style department. Even with loosing weight, based on their new conservative style approach, I am not hopeful that I will be inspired by the new upcoming version.

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They could at least massage the intake and exhaust equipment for 220 horsepower or so. The car's power is way too underwhelming to warrant a giant wing, Pilot Sport tires, brembos, and aggressive suspension. It would be like if GM put V-equipment and a manual trans on the ATS 2.5L. WHO IS THIS FOR.

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19 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

They could at least massage the intake and exhaust equipment for 220 horsepower or so. The car's power is way too underwhelming to warrant a giant wing, Pilot Sport tires, brembos, and aggressive suspension. It would be like if GM put V-equipment and a manual trans on the ATS 2.5L. WHO IS THIS FOR.

The dozens of people running autocrosses on Sunday morning.

26 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Is this what we get with Toyota buying GM's majority ownership of Subaru. Bland boring Toytaish rides? Sorry but the auto in the pictures is very bland and conservative and does not inspire me the way Subaru under GM ownership did.

Cool spec's but FAILURE for inspiring me to want one. I used to love the look and sound of the STI and while it still has an awesome sound, the WRX STI has gotten bloated as well as blah in the style department. Even with loosing weight, based on their new conservative style approach, I am not hopeful that I will be inspired by the new upcoming version.

It's not an SUV, so...

I still really like the car, but the power is indeed underwhelming.

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27 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Is this what we get with Toyota buying GM's majority ownership of Subaru. Bland boring Toytaish rides? Sorry but the auto in the pictures is very bland and conservative and does not inspire me the way Subaru under GM ownership did.

 

I am sorry, but you must be drunk if you think previous Subarus looked exciting.  They were always boring looking cars with jacked up performance.

AT least now they have decent interiors compared to previous generations.

Edited by ykX

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1 minute ago, ykX said:

I am sorry, but you must be drunk if you think previous Subarus looked exciting.  They were always boring looking cars with jacked up performance.

AT least now they have decent interiors compared to previous versions.

The current BRZ is a decent car.  If interior quality is what you want, buy a Mustang, it is orders of magnitude better in the interior department.

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1 minute ago, ykX said:

I am sorry, but you must be drunk if you think previous Subarus looked exciting.  They were always boring looking cars with jacked up performance.

AT least now they have decent interiors compared to previous versions.

:o Guess I know now you are more Drunk than me. The Toyota interiors and blah exteriors of today's auto's are worse than the ones under GM. I agree to disagree with you as today's are pathetic, especially their Crosstrek with the weird camera system they put at the top of the windshield.

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Just now, dfelt said:

:o Guess I know now you are more Drunk than me. The Toyota interiors and blah exteriors of today's auto's are worse than the ones under GM. I agree to disagree with you as today's are pathetic, especially their Crosstrek with the weird camera system they put at the top of the windshield.

Just FYI their EyeSight system considered one of the best if not the best out of today's active safety systems.  

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5 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

The dozens of people running autocrosses on Sunday morning.

Please tell me that's sarcasm. This package is totally overkill for autocross.

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Just now, ykX said:

Just FYI their EyeSight system considered one of the best if not the best out of today's active safety systems.  

That might be so, but it is poorly integrated into the auto and is distracting. plus having a coworker who got one for her husband who is a rabid Subaru fan, it cuts into the windshield vision for anyone that is over 5'8" tall and when you are inside of the auto, it looks like an afterthought of implementation into the auto. 

Again this looks like a shortcut of Toyota adding it as an option and poorly integrating it into the car.

I am glad it rates so well and people like it, but they are missing a major piece of how it integrates into the auto and the external vision it takes away. To me, this also leads to less attentive drivers who are more wanting to be in a self driving auto than actually drive.

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45 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

Please tell me that's sarcasm. This package is totally overkill for autocross.

Depends...we actually did an experiment with a highly modified Acura Integra running it with and without the wing.  Running it at even low speed with the wing made a small but noticeable difference, even accounting for different drivers and different track surfaces. I was thinking more along the lines of the Ecoboost Mustang actually.  For every day driving, the GTI, WRX, Ecoboost Mustang and the like are much more livable.  The few cards the BRZ has it plays very very well though.

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45 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

Please tell me that's sarcasm. This package is totally overkill for autocross.

Actually, besides the wing it is perfect for the autocross:  better suspension, brakes and sticky tires.  And they make only 500 of these, so makes sense.

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5 minutes ago, ykX said:

Actually, besides the wing it is perfect for the autocross:  better suspension, brakes and sticky tires.  And they make only 500 of these, so makes sense.

Agreed. A big part of the fun back when I was running it was how close the competition was...often it came down to hundredths or thousandths of a second.

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22 hours ago, cp-the-nerd said:

Please tell me that's sarcasm. This package is totally overkill for autocross.

Actually the more I think about this the more it is clearly not overkill especially when it comes to Autocross. If all auto's are equipped the same, we truly get down to who is the better driver and reaction speeds.

Maybe the focus should be on driving skill and not the engine performance.

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23 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Actually the more I think about this the more it is clearly not overkill especially when it comes to Autocross. If all auto's are equipped the same, we truly get down to who is the better driver and reaction speeds.

Maybe the focus should be on driving skill and not the engine performance.

Autocross is for fast drivers, drag racing is for fast cars!

55 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

YAWN

You wouldn't be yawning if you were trying to find a few hundredths for the last run of the day...

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6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

This car needed an optional turbo 2 years ago.

I do agree, I think this engine is still under powered when you compare to competitive alternatives. Yes they have a higher trim, but I think Honda is still out of sync with the rest of the market. Yet for die hard Honda fans, this will still be a popular car for them.

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34 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

This car needed an optional turbo 2 years ago.

It then pushes the price point to where it would have to compete with the Golf R, 5.0 Mustang, V8 Camaro, WRX STI, Focus RS, and the like.  it would still be wildly out gunned.

35K will also buy a really nice used Vette or M series BMW.

The BRZ is a cheap light weight sports car, nothing more.  the funny thing is probably one decent amateur driver in 200 can drive a base Miata or BRZ to its full potential, and maybe 1 amateur driver in 500 can drive an Audi R8 or Corvette to its full potential.

In an alternative parallel universe, a bunch of sports cars and muscle cars are sitting around on internet forums complaining about the lack of talent and Cajones/ovaries of their owners/drivers.

"Gee if any of these humans had the skill and the nerve to keep their foot  in it and take that last apex at the limit...it's a wonder these humans can even breed...."

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Motor Trend just had Head to Head comparison between hardtop Miata and BRZ.  They mentioned many times how they enjoy these cars on twisty roads much more then any other high dollar/high horsepower cars they drove recently.  I guess  most people misunderstand joys of driving cars like that.  

To be honest, personally, when the time comes I probably will choose Mustang GT over the Miata, I would love to have them both but there something magical about having big V8 snarl.  Plus, having back seat for kids and bigger, more comfortable car are serious considerations.

Edited by ykX
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34 minutes ago, ykX said:

Motor Trend just had Head to Head comparison between hardtop Miata and BRZ.  They mentioned many times how they enjoy these cars on twisty roads much more then any other high dollar/high horsepower cars they drove recently.  I guess  most people misunderstand joys of driving cars like that.  

To be honest, personally, when the time comes I probably will choose Mustang GT over the Miata, I would love to have them both but there something magical about having big V8 snarl.  Plus, having back seat for kids and bigger, more comfortable car are serious considerations.

Ohhh I can totally see that.  The Mustang GT is a heck of a car...if the GTI and Miata are the good buys for 25K, a Mustang GT at roughly 10K more is the buy of the century for what it is. Going into the 40K plus range ones options open up...

But even then the Mustang has one of the best exhaust notes on the planet.

 

435 HP is hard to argue with....

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12 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Ohhh I can totally see that.  The Mustang GT is a heck of a car...if the GTI and Miata are the good buys for 25K, a Mustang GT at roughly 10K more is the buy of the century for what it is. Going into the 40K plus range ones options open up...

But even then the Mustang has one of the best exhaust notes on the planet.

 

435 HP is hard to argue with....

Nice but have to say there is a bit of Tiny sound in the exhaust that I am not a fan of. This shows how nice the Camaro and Challenger is and the 3rd auto is an MB and talk about sucky exhaust sound.

 

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21 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Ohhh I can totally see that.  The Mustang GT is a heck of a car...if the GTI and Miata are the good buys for 25K, a Mustang GT at roughly 10K more is the buy of the century for what it is. Going into the 40K plus range ones options open up...

I would only go for Miata Club which is about $30k, and that's puts it very close to either new Mustang GT with some nicely timed discounts or slightly used Mustang GT premium.

Anyway, personally I will not be in position to get either one for at least another 3-4 years, so ...

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35 minutes ago, ykX said:

I would only go for Miata Club which is about $30k, and that's puts it very close to either new Mustang GT with some nicely timed discounts or slightly used Mustang GT premium.

Anyway, personally I will not be in position to get either one for at least another 3-4 years, so ...

....so either beats the heck out of a fully loaded Altima...

51 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Nice but have to say there is a bit of Tiny sound in the exhaust that I am not a fan of. This shows how nice the Camaro and Challenger is and the 3rd auto is an MB and talk about sucky exhaust sound.

 

See I like the Mustang exhaust note better...I find it deeper and more melodic...

...and you can tell that Challenger is not a Ford Mustang because it didn't hit anything leaving the parking lot...

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Just now, A Horse With No Name said:

....so either beats the heck out of a fully loaded Altima...

Unless, you need 4-door sedan, and there are better choices then Altima for $30k :)

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