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Auto Show:  2015 New York Auto Show

Subaru STI Performance Concept: New York Auto Show


author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2015

What Is It?

At its core, the Subaru STI Performance Concept is a high-performance version of Subaru's BRZ sports car -- essentially, the tuned BRZ many enthusiasts have been clamoring for since the coupe first went on sale for the 2013 model year. But as you might expect from the word Concept in the sports car's name, this thrilling coupe may never see the open road.

Here's what we know: On the outside, the STI Performance Concept offers some serious upgrades over the standard BRZ thanks to Subaru's high-performance STI division. There's a very noticeable body kit, bigger wheels and tires, a huge rear wing, a center-mounted exhaust, a huge rear diffuser and even a wider track for better handling and cornering.

While Subaru hasn't announced exactly what's been upgraded under the skin, we have our guesses. Most notably, we suspect there's sport suspension for better cornering, larger brakes for more stopping power and the usual assortment of steering and weight-saving improvements that are necessary to turn a standard road car into a souped-up performance model.

And then there's the engine. While the standard BRZ makes do with a 2.0-liter boxer 4-cylinder that puts out just 150 horsepower, the STI Performance Concept uses a turbocharged race-car engine that makes around 300 horses. It's every BRZ fan's dream -- but remember, this is just a concept car.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Enthusiasts have been clamoring for a high-performance BRZ for 3 years now, and Subaru hasn't relented. It's the same story over at Toyota, who sells a rebadged version of the BRZ as the Scion FR-S. Given just how vehemently both automakers have denied rumors of more power, we suspect this one will forever remain in the concept-car stages. It's a shame.

Why It's Important

At the very least, the arrival of the Subaru STI Performance Concept shows that Subaru is listening to its customers, though apparently Subaru still doesn't believe there's a case for giving the BRZ any additional power.

More importantly, the automaker is using the concept car to showcase its high-performance STI brand, noting that drivers can improve the performance of their own Subaru models by adding STI performance parts. In the end, we love the idea of the STI Performance Concept -- even if it simply turns out to be purely a concept car designed to raise awareness of STI and keep us dreaming of what we can't have.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Subaru STI Performance Concept: New York Auto Show - Autotrader