Subaru BRZ Performance Pack Is a Real Game Changer
No, adding the Performance Pack to your Subaru BRZ still won’t wake up that FA20 engine. But it will completely transform everything else!
It isn’t often that the automotive world can come to a consensus. Heck, make that the entire world. But everyone can agree on one thing, at least. And that’s the fact that the Subaru BRZ (and its brother, the Toyota 86) just doesn’t have enough power. This is by design, of course. The GT86 was built from the get-go to be a fun little rear-wheel drive performer that’s more about balance than outright maximum speed. But still, the introduction of a Performance Pack for 2017 got us really, really excited.
That is, until we learned that the “new” 2017 Subaru BRZ only added a modest 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque. Bringing total output for the car’s FA20 boxer engine up to a whopping 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. Thankfully, that wasn’t the only change. A deeper 4.30 rear gear ratio undoubtedly aids acceleration, too. Toss in the $1,195 Performance Pack, and you also get specially tuned Sachs dampers, Brembo “big” brakes, and wider, 17×7.5″ wheels.
So even though the Subaru BRZ still isn’t what anyone would call a barn burner, the real question is, how does it perform with these new goodies? Well, our very own Jake Stumph got a change to try out a Performance Pack-equipped 2018 model at Willows Springs International Raceway recently, and posted the results over on our brother site Scion Life.
Stumph still isn’t a fan of the “digital” gearbox feel or underwhelming powerplant. But he calls the Performance Pack “an absolute joy to drive.” Not to mention “one of the best out-of-the-box track day cars” he’s ever driven. High praise, indeed. Stumph admits he’s not a big fan of the GT86 in general. And yet, he found himself glued to the driver’s seat this fine day.
All at a track designed for uber-fast, big horsepower cars. Confidence-inspiring handling, non-existent brake fade, and neutral balance help compensate for that one glaring weakness. What the Subaru BRZ Performance Pack lacks in charisma and charm, it more than makes up for at the limit.