Funny how a picture of a big wing can lead some to think of turbos, but that’s car guys for you. Those heightened expectations have now come crashing to the ground spectacularly, but the consolation is very pretty.

This is the 2018 Subaru BRZ tS (stands for tuned by STI) and the maker of the WRX says that it delivers the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability. The standard car wasn’t bad at those things, far from it, so the tS should be rather special. No turbo, though.

The new BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear Sachs dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment, which houses a 205 hp/214 Nm boxer-four (upgraded from 200 hp/205 Nm last year). But no turbo.

New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-inch lightweight STI wheels wrapped with 215/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres for “superior grip and quicker turn-in”. Brembo brakes at all four corners round-out the package. By the way, this is the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels in the US. The JDM 300-unit limited edition BRZ tS from 2015 had 18s, and the JDM 2016 BRZ GT comes with the Sachs and Brembo goodies.

The sports car’s exterior gets a big STI rear carbon fibre spoiler, which is manually adjustable to fine-tune rear downforce. The addition of STI front, rear and side underspoilers helps control airflow for better traction and stability, Subaru says.

The BRZ tS is also adorned with exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accents around the front grille and a unique rear bumper cover. The rear hatch displays the BRZ tS badge. The wing mirrors, shark fin antenna and badging all have a black finish. Also, the fog lights have been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers.

Inside, the cabin features black leather and Alcantara upholstery with contrasting red stitching and accents throughout the interior, including steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, shifter and emergency brake boots. The front seats have red leather bolsters and the seatbacks are embroidered with the tS logo.

The visor over the gauge cluster is unique to this range-topping model, as is the interior door trim. The centre console has been updated to a cast black finish. The BRZ tS also comes standard with red front seat belts and a frameless interior rear view mirror.

Exterior colours options include Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl and of course – WR Blue Pearl. The 2018 Subaru BRZ tS will reach US showrooms in Q1 2018.

GALLERY: 2015 Subaru BRZ tS Japan limited edition