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All-new Subaru BRZ has a tS version, but it’s not turbocharged

Automaker stubbornly sticks to natural aspiration

The BRZ tS isn't faster in a straight line than the regular BRZ. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

Gone are the days when Subaru would slap on a turbo to its range-topping models. It seems like forced induction is no longer the automaker’s priority as it chases down fuel-efficiency figures rather than 0-100km/h times. And the company has decided to apply the same treatment to the sportier version of the latest-generation BRZ.

It doesn't even look significantly more aggressive than the base variant. PHOTOS FROM SUBARU

It’s called the BRZ tS, and it sadly doesn’t stand for “turbo Subaru.” This car gets by with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter boxer engine cranking out 228hp. It’s not a slouch by any means, and the bigger displacement yields a meaty torque curve. But most of the power sits near the top of the rev range. To extract every ounce of it, drivers will have to work the six-speed manual transmission.

The badges probably add a bit of street cred. PHOTOS FROM SUBARU

Subaru’s latest offering does get enhancements in the handling department, though. Stiffer Hitachi dampers resist body roll and improve stability at corner entry. Scrubbing off excess speed are Brembo brakes featuring larger pads and rotors, and four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers. The 18-inch wheels are wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

The mechanical upgrades will be felt in the corners. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

There isn’t anything to write home about the car’s cosmetics—limited to tS exterior badges and STI icons on the starter button and the instrument display. But what is worth noting is that the BRZ tS is the first manual-transmission vehicle to be equipped with EyeSight. The feature used to be exclusive to cars with automatic gearboxes, so it’s good to know that Subaru has managed to make it work with a manual-equipped product.

Safety-conscious buyers will appreciate the inclusion of EyeSight. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

Unfortunately, the BRZ tS is limited to the US market. Units and pricing will be available early next year, and that’s okay. Anyway, were willing to wait for a BRZ that’s fitted with a turbo from the factory.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.