2022 Subaru BRZ STI Rallye: Off-road ‘Safari’ coupe imagined

With Subaru said to be considering a return to the World Rally Championship, we dream about an off-road BRZ.

The much-anticipated Subaru BRZ coupe has been revealed to the world, and it’s been the inspiration for same day-dreaming here at CarAdvice.

Last week the BRZ was unveiled, with Subaru showing off a heavily-revised version of the first-gen BRZ, but with an increased length, a lower height, and a much stiffer chassis than the outgoing model.

Theoretically, this should provide some noticeable ride and handling improvements on the road – and the first BRZ was hardly lacking in praise for its driving dynamics.

But what about off-road? Given Subaru’s close association with rallying, and reports the company is considering a return to the World Rally Championship in 2022, we wondered what an off-road BRZ might look like.

Our resident artist Theophilus Chin has created the BRZ STI Rallye: a gravel-bred, ‘Safari’ version of the Subaru coupe.

Popularised by classic Porsche 911 builds, these ‘Safari’ models trade all-wheel-drive grip for a bit of rear-wheel fun.

Last month we looked at what a modern 911 Safari would look like, following the emergence of spy pics showing a high-riding Porsche testing in Germany.

In October 2020, patent images suggested Alpine may be working on their own adventure vehicle, based on the A110 SportsX concept car revealed at the start of the year.

Our 2022 Subaru BRZ STI Rallye (shown above and at the top of this story) increases the ride height for better ground clearance, improves airflow to the new 2.4-litre engine with a revised bumper bar design, and sees the addition of plastic cladding around the wheel arches.

Under-body armour also helps with rocks and stones being thrown up, while a large rear spoiler aids with traction when driving at speed.

A set of lightweight alloy wheels, painted gold and clad with rally tyres completes the look – much like the World Rally Car-inspired Subaru Impreza WRX STI 22B, shown below next to the newly-unveiled BRZ.

While we haven’t seen anything to suggest Subaru is actively developing a Safari version of the BRZ, if the Porsche and Alpine models prove to be true, it could be a way for the Japanese car maker to offer a cheaper alternative in a very niche market.

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