Details of the refreshed BRZ have been revealed, but it is better news for manual drivers than for those shopping for an automatic.
The 2017 BRZ will sport an interior upgrade, revised suspension tune and blink-and-you'll-miss it exterior changes when it arrives in November, but only manual drivers will benefit from an engine tweak which will deliver more power and better performance.
While automatic drivers will make do with the existing power figures of 147kW and 205Nm, those who opt for a third pedal will see outputs lifted to 152kW at 7,000rpm and 212Nm from 6400rpm, courtesy of "tweaks" to the engine, intake and exhaust system. The increases are paired with a lower final gear ratio, with Subaru promising more performance off the line.
There's no technical reason for the manual-only power boost, with Subaru instead saying owner feedback suggested automatic drivers, who account for roughly 40 per cent of the BRZ's sales, were content with the existing power figures. The split outputs mirror those offered in the BRZ's twin-under-the-skin, the 2017 Toyota 86, which was unveiled at the New York Motor Show in March.
Minor exterior changes include a new, 10-spoke design for the BRZ's 17-inch alloy wheels, a new, wider-look bumper, new C-shaped LED head lights and LED tail lights. But the headline acts occur under the skin, with a new suspension tune that's been calibrated for "stability and comfort", and a new Track driving mode equipped with what Subaru call "an additional insurance policy", with a remapped ESC allowing the car to slide, but stepping in if things get out of hand. The 2017 model is also equipped with Hill Start Assist.
The latest list of new features will add fresh appeal to a car that has gained an iconic reputation among motoring enthusiasts.
Inside, the BRZ gets a new steering wheel, a new instrument panel design with a 4.2-inch driver-info display and automatic climate control. The new model also scores an updated multimedia set-up, with the BRZ now offering Subaru's six-speaker system, paired with a 6.2-inch touchscreen.
"The BRZ was a runaway success when it launched in 2012 and the latest list of new features will add fresh appeal to a car that has gained an iconic reputation among motoring enthusiasts and sports car purists seeking something that feels intrinsically connected to the road," said Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior.
"With good reason, BRZ has gained global accolades over the past four years and the long list of upgrades for 2017 will only bring more fun to the many fans that have made it a must-have among true drivers."
Local pricing is yet to be confirmed, but significant increases aren't expected.
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