Teaser images of a purported Subaru BRZ STI were uncovered last night and sent the internet into a collective state of hysterics. That's not hugely surprising, though, considering the reverence that the BRZ, along with its fraternal twins, the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86, have garnered from the automotive media. The sole sticking point, really, has been its mere 200 horsepower. People have been chomping at the bit over a higher output version of the sublime rear driver.
Those same people may be in for a disappointment, though. See, the BRZ STI that was teased last night might not be a real STI. Instead, it's looking like it might be a BRZ tS. According to 7Tune.com, the timing of the photos posted on Subaru's website lined up with Subaru's 86 Festival at Fuji Speedway, where the Subaru BRZ tS debuted. Despite wearing STI badges, the tS isn't the full-tilt STI model we've been hoping for. Instead, you can think of the relationship between tS models and STI models as sort of like the difference between a BMW 3 Series M Sport and a BMW M3.
Certainly, the speccing of the tS supports that idea. The engine of the BRZ remains untouched in both tS models, which is one of the primary things we expect a full-bore STI to address. A number of interior and exterior styling items have been added, along with Bilstein suspension pieces and six-pot Brembo brakes. The tS sports two different trim levels, with the higher end using Recaro seats, black alloy wheels, and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler. The base tS features silver wheels, standard seats, and all the same suspension and brake upgrades. Adding fuel to the fire that these are not the true STI models is the limited production run - Subaru will only build 750 tS cars.
Still, there's hope that we'll eventually see a BRZ STI, with rumors to support that argument. The 2013-2014 auto show season will ultimately tell the tale.