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[Auto/Moto] The Subaru BRZ tS Is Great, but It's Still Not an STI

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2024 Subaru BRZ tS Review


We aren't getting a BRZ STI, stop asking. Subaru instead will happily sell you a BRZ with some STI trimmings, like bigger brakes, a better suspension, and upgraded visual cues. The BRZ tS—or, Tuned by STI—isn't the hardcore model we've been begging for for more than 10 years now, but it still does the job well enough. Under the hood is the same 2.4-liter naturally aspirated boxer engine found in every BRZ, sending 224 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. No automatic here.Does the tS deserve more power? Of course. Even a titch of extra low-end torque would make the BRZ feel less lethargic at low rpms. Slap a turbo on there, Subaru. But the boxer engine is still a riot to rip up to its 7,000 rpm peak before slamming into second, and it's decently speedy once you get it going. It just takes a minute.But straight-line speed comes second to superb handling. For any of you maniacs who thought the standard BRZ was too soft, the tS has stiffer Hitachi dampers for added composure. The front dampers are variable to help keep the front of the car softer (marginally), while the fixed dampers in the rear ride roughshod over bumps and undulations. It's all part of the charm.The tS is magical in corners. The ride is stiff, sure, but it keeps body roll to a faint whisper and gives the car unparalleled predictability. The chassis is balanced, and the extra grip from the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires is more than you'll know what to do with. The steering is top tier too, matched only by the Mazda Miata at this price in overall response, feel, and feedback.

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