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Subaru BRZ STI to outmuscle the Toyota GT86?

A sportier version of the Subaru BRZ has been spotted testing in the US, complete with an STI badge and a large rear spoiler. But is it more powerful than the Toyota GT86?

There are two types of petrolhead: Those who thought the Toyota GT86 had enough power and those who wanted more. The same sentiment also applies to its near-identical sports car twin, the Subaru BRZ.

Yet despite pressure from one side of the petrolhead community, Toyota stuck to its guns with the updated car. Subaru, however, may have different ideas if the car spotted testing in Ann Arbor in America is anything to go by.

The Subaru BRZ STI – which shuns the Subaru blue seen on the concept unveiled at the 2015 New York auto show in favour of a stealthy black – features meatier Brembo brakes, new wing vents, revised front splitter and sideskirts, sportier alloy wheels and a gigantic rear spoiler,

The photos show black tape over an STI badge, so this appears to be the real deal. But what is unclear is whether the BRZ has been given a power hike, which would differentiate it from the GT86. The chaps at Evo believe the different rubber provides a clue.

The logic is that grippier tyres would help the BRZ STI corner faster, which in turn would make it harder to slide around ─ a lovable characteristic when paired with rear-wheel drive. Overcoming this is most likely achieved with a higher power output.

If that is the case, it would build upon the already healthy 197bhp, 151lb/ft of torque and the low kerb weight of 1,230kg. But it is unlikely the BRZ STI engine adjustments would be anything too drastic. A turbocharger, for instance, seems unlikely.

Keeping naturally aspirated does seem odd for a Subaru with the STI badge, but then it would avoid spoiling the benefits. A lack of turbo lag being one of them.

As things stand, the Subaru BRZ STI is said to be a US-only offering, but then enough feet stamping from the UK could change that.

On a related note, Toyota announced an ‘Orange Edition’ GT86, which includes an orange paintjob (no way), some contrasting black parts and orange stitching inside the car. Yours from £28,800 for the manual or £30,270 for the automatic (eww).

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