Close-Up: Subaru BRZ Concept-STi

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So, I finally made the quick trip over to the LA Convention Center to attend the LA Auto Show.  While it’s always great to see each manufacturers take on the cutting edge of automotive engineering, I really came to see one car; the Subaru BRZ STi Concept.  Of all the automotive topics discussed recently, Toyota’s predecessor to the now iconic AE86 has been the hottest.  Will it be Toyota or Scion?  What is the actual model name?  Turbocharged or naturally aspirated?  Will it use Subaru’s flat Boxer engine?  For quite awhile, consumers and fans were left in the dark, but finally some light is being shed on the details.  Check out some more shots of Subaru’s new member of the STi family past the break.

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Keen eyes will notice that this concept has very similar lines to that of Scion’s FR-S (FT-86) concept, and for good reason.  The design is a joint effort between Subaru and Toyota, as the two car manufacturers have been working closely with one another on both their models.

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The concept BRZ is blanketed with the famous WR blue pearl paint and sits atop 18″STi wheels – I’m guessing they might be BBS.

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Closer look at said wheels.  Brembo brakes provide stopping power all around.

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If you’ve been following this creation from the start, you’ll know that there is some controversy surrounding the chosen power-plant.  While it is still a 2.0 liter boxer engine, Subaru chose to do away with turbocharging the unit.  On top of that, it’s rear-wheel drive.  No turbo, no AWD?  Many think it shouldn’t be part of the STi lineup.

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What the naturally aspirated engine lacks in power, the overall design of the chassis makes up for it in a much better way.  The engine sits low and towards the middle of the car, giving it the optimum center of gravity.  Little bits like the carbon roof, front splitter, rear wing, and more aggressively tuned suspension go even further to make you forget about not having boost.

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Detailed shot of the revised front fascia and splitter.

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The overall shape of the car is refreshing to me.  In a time where hybrids and cookie cutter cars are ruling the industry, the BRZ takes a classic coupe shape and turns it into something aggressive and refined.  I just can’t believe it’s a Subaru.  Two doors, no turbo, and RWD?

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This thing literally looks good from any angle.  I tried my best to get detailed shots of the little aero bits throughout the car.

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After three years in the making, the BRZ has finally made it’s debut – and in one more week, at the Tokyo Motor Show, we will see just what we have in store for the production model.  I wonder how many similarities they will share?  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  Stay tuned for more Japanese exclusive coverage from the LA Auto Show.

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