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Subaru BRZ tS Heading To U.S. Showrooms? New Report Says Yes

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On: Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 11:36AM | By: Carl Malek

Subaru BRZ tS Heading To U.S. Showrooms? New Report Says Yes

Subaru's tS model has been a captivating piece of forbidden fruit for U.S. buyers; the model is available only in the company's home Japanese market. However, a recent trademark filing that was submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests that the company has broader plans for the variant, and it could perhaps be making the trip across the pond to U.S. dealers in a bid to expand the firm's U.S. performance vehicle portfolio.

The tS edition was originally unveiled nearly a year ago as an exclusive package for the Japanese market with the company building 300 units (100 of which were produced in Sunrise Yellow.) This recent patent filing suggests that Subaru could be planning a broader use of the tS badge, but it is unknown if it will stick to the BRZ or if it would trickle down to other Subaru models such as the Impreza sedan. In addition, AutoGuide revealed that the car was introduced in Japan several months before Subaru filed the paperwork necessary to trademark the term here in the U.S. The peculiar timing of this trademark application has some suggesting that it is fresh evidence of a possible U.S. launch. But it is important to remember that many companies routinely seek global protection for brand rights, especially brand names that are narrowly focused in one particular market.

The Japanese version featured a stiffer suspension that incorporated new bracing as well as beefier half-shafts to help keep the car planted during spirited track work. Subaru engineers also tweaked the algorithms of the stability control which allows occupants to take better advantage of the slightly bigger Brembo disc brakes. If the tS is, indeed, coming to the U.S., it would be interesting to see if Subaru engineers will keep the full suite of upgrades intact while adding a small dollop of power to the overall package. The one thing that would change over the JDM-spec version is the lack of STI badges. The Subaru Tecnica International moniker is used relatively loosely in Japan, but, in the U.S., its overall use is more restrained, and is primarily reserved for the range-topping WRX STI sedan.

While it is unknown if the BRZ will eventually receive the STI suite of upgrades, this particular version of the BRZ could be one of the first models that builds on Subaru's promise of adding more STI-tuned vehicle packages for customers. This was previewed by the STI Performance Concept when it was revealed at the 2015 New York Auto Show, and the U.S.-spec tS could perhaps serve as a middle trim for the BRZ lineup, especially if the company eventually decides to, indeed, produce the BRZ STI for mass consumption.


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