Outside of the addition of extra horsepower, it doesn’t seem like anything’s capable of turning the Subaru BRZ and its Toyota 86 twin into sales powerhouses. Even the power hypothesis is debatable.
Instead, the two rear-drive 2+2s soldier on into 2019 with minor equipment changes, plus the addition of an annoyingly-named Series.Gray variant for the BRZ. Like past special editions, there’s a strict limit on the number available. That’s not a problem, as there seems to be a strict limit on the number of BRZ or 86 models anyone’s willing to buy.
The Series.Gray Edition BRZ uses an uplevel Limited model as its canvas, pushing its price to $31,025 after a destination fee. Base BRZs, now featuring LED leadlights, start at $26,680 for 2019. Price increases for base (Premium) and Limited models amounts to $200 and $250, respectively, with an unmolested Limited now going for $29,530 after destination.
The new variant is, as you’d expect, gray. Cool Gray Khaki, to be exact (how did they stumble upon my college nickname?). Joining the Subaru-centric shade — which also comes to the WRX and WRX STI for the coming model year — is a standard performance package, adding larger brake discs and bright red Brembo binders. A half-inch increase in wheel width (they’re 17-inchers) and Sachs dampers prepares the car for a life of endless track use. Or perhaps not. Those wheels also gain a black finish used on the model’s badging.
Like stock Limited models, the Series.Gray BRZ enjoys a 7.0-inch infotainment screen and heated leather-and-Alcantara seating, plus a 4.2-inch digital driver information center nestled between the speedometer and tach. New for 2019, the Limited’s navigation system receives over-the-air updated via its Wi-Fi connection.
As the performance package only comes with a six-speed manual, you won’t have the option of ordering this gray stallion with a six-speed slushbox. No complaints here — the stick’s the best option for wringing all 205 horses and 156 lb-ft from the 2.0-liter Boxer four, and going automatic drops power by 5 hp. Availability also comes into play here, as Subaru only plans to sell 250 Series.Gray BRZs in the U.S.
Interestingly, that’s not too far from the model’s average monthly volume. In August — Subaru’s best U.S. sales month ever — the constellation brand moved 383 BRZs, a 13.7 percent year-over-year increase. Year to date, however, the BRZ saw its sales slip 12 percent. While the model accounted for only 0.59 percent of all Subaru sales over the first eight months of 2018, we’ll undoubtedly miss it when it’s gone.
Simple, affordable fun seems on the verge of extinction.
[Image: Subaru of America]