The slinky BRZ GT-style 2+2 sports coupe from Japanese automaker Subaru scores powertrain and suspension upgrades on 2017 models plus a special edition of 500 high-performance issues bearing the oddly punctuated Series.Yellow moniker.
You may spot the 2017 BRZ Series.Yellow special model easily by the brilliant yellow paint job with black foldable exterior mirrors, a black surface for the pedestal-style aluminum rear spoiler and unique black alloy wheels.
The Series.Yellow builds upon the updated 2017 BRZ in top-tier Limited trim plus a new Performance Package which installs Brembo-brand brake calipers and rotors, Sachs performance shock absorbers and the 17-inch by 7.5-inch black alloy wheels. Shifter for Series.Yellow cars is strictly a 6-speed manual that links to the reworked and boosted 4-cylinder engine rigged with a lower final-drive ratio (from 4.1 to 4.3:1).
BRZ's 2.0-liter engine -- with die-cast aluminum alloy cylinder block, dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) plus Subaru's dual active valve control system (DAVCS) -- has four cylinders opposed horizontally and set perpendicular to the drive line, then linked with equal-length drive shafts so pairs of cylinders act like boxers jabbing at one another in counterbalanced movements that negate the vibrations of a typical in-line 4-cylinder engine.
Equipped with a new aluminum intake manifold and redesigned exhaust manifold, the BRZ boxer-4 plant develops 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque.
Body styling of the BRZ features a long hood and GT-type hatchback tail with a swept-back roofline and ultra low stance -- roof height is a mere 50.6 inches. It has a pointed face with fat-lip fascia tinted to the body color and gaping hexagonal air intake grille with corner-mounted headlights upgraded for 2017 models to kono-ji LED (light-emitting diode) lamps with DRLs (daytime running lights).
The forward fenders bulge like muscles to make room for BRZ's performance tires and there's a raked windshield which resembles the streamlined canopy of a fighter jet.
BRZ's low-to-the-ground chassis provides a stiff platform for mounting independent suspension components including front MacPherson-type struts with lower L-arms and a double wishbone arrangement at the rear plus a stabilizer bar fore and aft.
A standard Torsen limited slip differential automatically assists the car's inside rear wheel maintain traction during hard cornering maneuvers.
The speed-sensing steering system gets electric power assistance, which eliminates a load of hydraulic equipment and contributes to the efficiency of the engine.
Brakes carry a disc at every wheel with computer-controlled ABS (anti-lock brake system) as well as EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and a VSC (vehicle stability control) device and TCS (traction control system). The Series.Yellow brake upgrade nets Brembo 4-piston calipers and rotors in front and 2-piston calipers and rotors in back.
Subaru's sports coupe contains a cozy cockpit. Driver and a companion sit low on contoured buckets with deep bolsters and Alcantara upholstery. Two rear jump seats, sized perhaps only for tots, have a seatback that folds down flat to increase storage space in the rear cargo bay.
There's a symmetrical dash in place with the instrument panel adding a center-mounted round tachometer with an analog speedometer gauge to the left. The tachometer houses a digital speedometer, while analog fuel and temperature gauges stand to the right of the tach.
Standard cabin content on BRZ Premium includes air conditioning and power controls for windows and door locks, front sport bucket seats with fabric upholstery, cruise control, aluminum sport pedals and scuff plates, a navigation system with 6.1-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth plus an audio kit with AM/FM/XM/CD and eight speakers.
The BRZ Limited applies more gear: Foglamps and tail spoiler, security system, 2-zone automatic climate controls, Alcantara leather for seat inserts and bolsters, heated front seats and exterior mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, front door courtesy lights and a keyless access system with engine start/stop button.
The Series.Yellow cabin adds black leather and Alcantara upholstery with contrasting yellow stitching on seats, door and dash panels, steering wheel, knee pads and shifter boot. The carpeted floor mats also show yellow stitching plus a silver embroidered BRZ logo.