Subaru's performance models get a bit more hard-core

Don't expect much more horsepower, but handling prowess is up either way.

Subaru

Over the last couple weeks, Subaru sent out some teasers for two new performance models. Now, they're out in the open, and while there isn't much more power, that's not the only way to make a car more capable.

The first is the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA. Its 2.5-liter turbocharged H4 puts out 310 horsepower -- 5 more than the standard STI, thanks to a new cold air intake, a new exhaust, a retuned ECU and new pistons. That's not much more power, but its capability has been bolstered with weight reduction measures, upgraded dampers and a modified stability-control system. Its six-speed manual transmission has a revised third gear, as well.

Better suspension and stickier tires will wake the BRZ up way more than a few extra horsepower would.

Subaru

Aesthetically, the STI Type RA sports a red accent on the front grille and rear bumper cover. There's also a new front lip spoiler for better high-speed stability, as well as black fender badges, a carbon fiber wing and a carbon fiber roof panel. Inside, its Recaro seats sport red bolsters and stitching, as well as a suede steering wheel and an individually numbered plaque.

The second vehicle unveiled today was the 2018 BRZ tS, the latter designation standing for "Tuned by STI." This one is all about improving handling, with no alterations to its flat-four engine. There are new dampers and springs on all four corners, as well as new braces under the hood. There's a new set of 18-inch STI wheels, the largest wheel fitted to any BRZ, and behind those wheels lie Brembo brakes.

The BRZ tS features the same red accent stripe on the front grille and rear bumper cover. Also like the STI Type RA, there's a carbon fiber rear wing and black-painted badges. Underspoilers are added to the front, rear and sides, and the fog lights were replaced with covers. Inside, there's red accent stitching all over the place, red seat belts and a black center console.

Both vehicles are limited to a production run of 500 units each. Both vehicles are available in the same colors, as well -- world rally blue, crystal black silica and crystal white pearl. More specifications and pricing information will be announced closer to the cars' debut, which is slated for early 2018.

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