Subaru brought many interesting cars to this year’s Wicked Big Meet in Stafford Springs, CT. I’ll be writing more about the event, but right now I want to talk about the new BRZ Series.Yellow.
This is a prototype of the 2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow. Like the previous Series.Blue, this is a trim level above the Limited, including all of its standard features and more. The yellow color, black badges and mirrors, and the aluminum rear wing are unique to this model, as well as some interior trim. It also comes standard with the Performance Package (a BRZ Limited option), which includes red painted Brembo brakes on all four corners, upgraded Sachs dampers with unique tuning, and unique 17″ X 7.5″ wheels, half an inch wider than stock. The same 215/45/17 Michelin Primacy HP “Prius tires” remain standard equipment on the wider wheels.
This is the first look I’ve had at the facelifted BRZ. It shares many upgrades with the “new” Toyota 86, such as the new all LED tail lights and steering wheel controls. The front is also new, but remains unique from its
Scion Toyota sibling. The separate daytime running lights are gone and integrated with the parking lights. The turn signals are LEDs as well – clearly Subaru is following my lead. Though I don’t care for the 86’s new nose as much as the old one, I like the BRZ’s new face better.
The interior gets some nice updates as well. Unique to the Series.Yellow is yellow stitching all around, yellow trim on the door handles and seats, and yellow BRZ logos on the front seats. The dashboard is now black instead of silver, which will help eliminate glare (trust my experience here). A new infotainment system resides in the dashboard. It looks just like the one in the WRX I reviewed, and most likely includes Starlink. That’ll be an excellent upgrade over the system in my 2014 model. There’s a new steering wheel, this time incorporating controls that were intentionally omitted from previous BRZs. This wheel has even more controls than the Toyota 86.
That’s because the gas and temperature gauges have been replaced by color LCD screen, which also spreads into the tach area slightly. This includes numerous readouts. Subaru specifically mentioned a G-force meter, stopwatch, and coolant temperature gauge. There may be others, presumably including fuel.
The “VSC Sport” button, which reduces but does not turn off stability and traction control, has been replaced with a “Track” button. Presumably the settings have been refined a bit for more seamless operation, but I’d have to drive the car to know for sure. I did use “VSC Sport” mode on the track a few times, and even the old settings did a good job of keeping me out of trouble when I briefly ran out of talent.
The BRZ will also benefit from the same drivetrain refinements as the Toyota 86. That means it produces a whopping 205hp rather than the 200 that my 2014 model came with. This puts my car at a serious disadvantage to the new version. Fortunately, one of the vendors at Wicked Big Meet had just the thing.
This +5hp sticker bridges the horsepower gap between my BRZ and the new version. I installed it on my airbox so it remains out of sight for maximum stealth. I’m confident that my BRZ will be just as fast as the 2017 Series.Yellow – also because yellow is only the third fastest color, after World Rally Blue and red.
But no sticker can make up for the other improvements in the 2017 Subaru BRZ. The interior upgrades are most welcome, and the outside looks great. I’d just need to drive it to see if the performance enhancements make it that much better than my car.