Subaru considers BRZ STI with electric compressor

Subaru considers BRZ STI with electric compressor

Subaru has rejected the idea of turbocharging its BRZ coupe, however the company has left open the possibility of using a slightly different approach to achieve higher engine output.

Despite enthusiasm from executives and customers, Toyota last year dismissed building either a convertible or turbocharged Scion FR-S. Amid poor sales, the company did not see a business case for spending the development dollars on either project.

Subaru’s STI team does not appear to be as pessimistic about the sales potential for a more powerful BRZ. The company is said to view an exhaust-driven turbocharger as impractical for other reasons, however, including packaging difficulties and potential problems with crash-test performance.

STI boss Yoshio Hirakawa has promised to launch two new models per year, and the BRZ is on the short list, according to a recent interview with Australia’s Motoring. The executive suggests engineers are trying an “advanced technology” for a BRZ STI, acknowledging that an electrically-driven compressor is an option to overcome the challenges posed by traditional turbochargers.

“This is a sensitive subject,” he admitted. “But it is under study for the STI model.”

Using an electric motor to spin a compressor requires more battery power but significantly reduces plumbing. The technology is also capable of running at full boost at low rpm, essentially eliminating turbo lag.

An electrically-boosted BRZ is unlikely to arrive until after the Toyota 86 platform enters its next generation, potentially in 2018. In the meantime, Toyota is said to be working on a midcycle update to arrive in 2016 with a bit more power, suspension upgrades, revised bodywork and a carbon-fiber roof.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.