Last year Subaru rolled the special edition BRZ tS onto the market, the tS standing for “tuned by STI.” Although the mad men at STI didn’t inject more go into the 2.0-liter boxer-four with 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque, they did apply the whetstone to the BRZ to provide sharper edges for that power. Subaru only offered 500 examples for sale in the U.S., part of the coupe’s regular cadence of special editions. CarsDirect discovered the model listed in the EPA’s fuel economy listings for the 2020 model year, though, leading all to wonder if the tS will make a return next year.
If it does come back, we can expect STI to make this new take at least as good as before. Exclusive kit on the 2018 version included strut tower braces upgraded with pillow-ball joints, draw stiffeners for the front suspension, STI-tuned springs and Sachs dampers, Brembo brakes, and lightweight 18-inch wheels in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber. Aero-wise, front and rear underspoilers worked in tandem with a manually adjustable rear wing in raw carbon fiber. Drivers could keep up with the additional dynamic prowess via the multifunction performance display lifted from the BRZ Limited. The 2018 BRZ tS cost $34,355, about $2,000 more than the Limited trim at the time, in return for the extra tuning, larger wheels, and better tires.
According to the EPA, the 2020 BRZ tS and its six-speed manual will return 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway, and 23 combined. That’s a drop of one mpg in the city and on the highway, two mpg combined, compared to the standard coupe with a six-speed manual. When CarsDirect queried Subaru, the spokesperson made no denials, only attributing the difference in fuel economy to the larger wheels and stickier rubber. For anyone considering the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Special Edition available later this year, now you have a choice to make.