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Subaru: BRZ News **STi Version Revealed (page 11)**

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Subaru: BRZ News **STi Version Revealed (page 11)**

 
Old 03-23-2012, 02:04 PM
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Geez, I REALLY want this car........even in Auto, but damn that backseat space is so tiny that if I got this car, it would have to be the fun car in the garage

Damn practicality!
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:44 PM
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:03 PM
  #203  
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Those seats look nice.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:35 PM
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http://www.insideline.com/subaru/brz...and-video.html

2013 Subaru BRZ Full Test and Video

Distill the comprehensive goodness of the 2013 Subaru BRZ down to a single desirable property and it is this: Profound control.

It is the rear-drive BRZ's competence in those pivotal split seconds as the limit of grip approaches and departs that gives it undeniably enticing character. Few cars in recent memory do it so well and those that do typically cost at least twice as much. Think Lotus Exige/Elise or Porsche 911 GT3. In other words, the BRZ offers a level of engagement that, until now, has been either too costly or too impractical for the average enthusiast.

That will change with the introduction of the BRZ to the U.S. First, with an estimated price in the mid-$20,000 range, it's not costly. Second, it's practical enough to be driven daily. And, finally, it fills a niche in the U.S. market that has remained conspicuously vacant for years.

Filling the Niche

It's not just the BRZ's communication and control that's alluring, however. Its approachable limits are what make it a wholly engaging sports car. Go on the attack in a BRZ and you're not flirting with a $120,000 disaster. What's more, it's most rewarding at modest speeds found in 2nd and 3rd gear. In this regard it pulls from the same well of level-headed appeal that makes Mazda's MX-5 Miata so fun. But being a softly sprung convertible has always compromised the Miata's abilities and limited its appeal for those seeking a dedicated driver's car.

The BRZ's singularity of purpose doesn't come with the same space and structure compromises found in the Miata, either. Its trunk is big enough to handle more than just weekend trips, its structure makes no concessions to top-droppers and its suspension tuning strikes a perfect balance between date nights and track days.

Focus, Focus, Focus

In addition to its mid-speed capability, the BRZ encourages full-attack driving on unfamiliar roads well into triple digits. Its brakes don't fade, its gearbox doesn't balk and its chassis remains composed even when the road surface isn't. We hammered it for hours over rough roads with little regard for the hardware and never once bottomed the suspension or had a moment that made us reconsider our speed.

Steering, which is electrically assisted in a rapid 13.1:1 ratio, is immensely feelsome and exact, imparting the front tires' grip status precisely to its driver's brain stem. It is perhaps the best electric steering in any car, except, possibly, Mazda's nearly extinct RX-8.

Brake response, too, is immediate and confident. Thirty minutes driving well past rational limits did damp the middle pedal's hair-trigger response, but we never lost confidence in the pedal. Ironically, the BRZ's tires, which are the same used as in the Plus Performance Package on a Toyota Prius, seemed entirely able, exhibiting only insignificant wear after a full day of back-road insanity.

Like It Should Be, Mostly

The 2013 Subaru BRZ's five stability control modes — three too many, if you ask us — are needlessly complex. So much so, in fact, that even Subaru insiders struggle to adequately explain the purpose for so many choices. There's a "Sport" mode which will loosen the electronic reins enough to allow you to have fun while still metering out protection if needed. Fortunately, fully disabling the system is easy.

What's more, it's not really needed. Because it communicates so clearly, there's no sense of intimidation driving the BRZ to its limits. It's a textbook example of predictable rear-drive behavior, which is rewarding for both the advanced and novice driver alike.

Ignoring the BRZ's entirely modest arrangement of parts, the car is a stunning experience. Considering them, it's a machine you need to drive in its element to fully appreciate. When it comes to purity of purpose, you'll be hard-pressed to find a car that delivers this much speed and involvement under $50,000 — Mitsubishi's Evo X being one possible exception. Repeat this kind of driving in an Evo, though, and you'll be buying tires and brake pads at double this rate.

Not About the Numbers

If you're the kind of enthusiast whose car must be able to hammer down freeway on-ramps with its tires ablaze, the BRZ isn't your car.

At 7.3 seconds, its 0-60 time (7.0 seconds using a 1-foot rollout like on a drag strip) isn't going to win over many drag racers. But this time comes with an explanation. The rev limiter in 2nd gear kicks in at 59.2 mph, requiring a second shift to achieve the milestone and slowing the time considerably. The quarter-mile passes in 15.3 seconds at 92.1 mph. Judge the BRZ on its acceleration alone and you'll be disappointed. But it should surprise exactly no one that 200 horsepower pushing around 2,734 pounds isn't going to thrill John Force.

But you're not John Force, are you? Neither are we, which is why we realize that the BRZ's respectable 69.1-mph slalom speed and striking 0.92g on the skid pad are more definitive of its character than is its acceleration. Those numbers are better than both the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe (67.4 mph slalom, 0.89g skid pad) and the 2011 Ford Mustang GT (67.3 mph slalom, 0.91g skid pad).

Braking, too, is solid. The BRZ required 114 feet to stop from 60 and it did so consistently with a firm, confident pedal. The Genesis Coupe needed 116 feet to make it happen and the Mustang got the job done in only 109 feet.

What You Get

By now you know that the 2013 Subaru BRZ's 2.0-liter flat-4 combines port and direct fuel injection to produce the aforementioned 200 hp and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment and a six-speed automatic — perhaps the only one ever well suited to this kind of car — is optional and will cost about $1,200 if it follows traditional Subaru pricing strategies. Shift paddles offer full control over the gearbox and downshifts are perfectly rev-matched.

There are few distractions from the BRZ's driver focus inside, where the finish is spartan but not cheap. A center-mounted tachometer consumes most of the instrument panel real estate. To its left is a conventional speedometer, which is duplicated in digital form inside the tachometer itself. The cloth seats are comfortable and supportive enough for hard driving, while the steering wheel is small, thick and wrapped in leather.

Navigation, Bluetooth and a USB port are standard on Premium trim levels. Throw in the extra $2,000 or so for a Limited model and you'll get synthetic suede and leather seats, seat heaters, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start and a few other features — like a spoiler.

Refreshing

Subaru plans to sell 500 cars monthly in the U.S. beginning April 20. Exact pricing won't be announced for several weeks, but a Scion FR-S, which lacks the 2013 Subaru BRZ's navigation system will sticker at $24,930 including delivery. A base WRX sedan — which also lacks navigation, but comes with a turbo, all-wheel drive and four doors — can be had for $26,345 (including destination). The BRZ is considerably smaller and simpler than a WRX so we're putting our money on a base price with destination around $26,000.

Then consider the fact that Subaru's BRZ lacks adjustable dampers, throttle and steering calibrations. It has no complex electronic means of torque delivery and it can't be had with a sunroof or — mercifully — as a convertible. It is simple, relatively uncomplicated and wholly uncompromised. Despite this, it is one of the most rewarding cars we've ever driven.

Perhaps there's a lesson here. If this is all that's required to make a sports car with elegant control, engaging feedback and enlightening limits, we have only one question:

Why isn't every manufacturer doing it?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:59 PM
  #205  
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The reviews are staring to pop up for these cars...and they are pretty all saying this things deliver their promise in spades.

Kind of exciting. Though at the price point, I expect to see a million of them on the road.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:07 PM
  #206  
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lol that is not a back seat! OMG I want one!! I'm only 21 who needs back seats, right...
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:25 PM
  #207  
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0-60 in 7.3? i hope they gonna come up with some with something better than that if not then only way to go aftermarket turbo... I dont think i ever seen direct injected gasoline engine with turbo...
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:34 PM
  #208  
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Nice looking. Something that looks like that should have more power though. I don't like direct injected engines because they are noisy when the hood is open. Sounds like something wrong even though there isn't.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by StreetKA View Post
I dont think i ever seen direct injected gasoline engine with turbo...
http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/env/engine/disi2.html

Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6, Mazda CX-7
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:05 PM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
Though at the price point, I expect to see a million of them on the road.
Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Yumcha View Post
Nothing wrong with that.
My thoughts exactly.... besides, it opens up the aftermarket which should solve that hilarious HP figure....
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:23 PM
  #212  
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200hp is hilarious? Its more then an Si. It matches the GTI. The only difference is its lighter and RWD.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:32 PM
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maybe its lighter than GTI and Si and its RWD has same power and accelerates slower... could be the gearing issue
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by civicdrivr View Post
200hp is hilarious? Its more then an Si. It matches the GTI. The only difference is its lighter and RWD.
Neither of those cars are built for the same reason the BRZ is. The BRZ needs at least 250 imho. Besides, 200 isnt even the WHP number. Really needs more HP....
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:44 PM
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Lets see 200hp can be enough and at the same time it may not be. Two examples: GTI, Si.

GTI has so much tq that the 200hp is plentiful

The last gen Si, even though it had 200hp people always complained of the lack of tq and the fact that you really need to rev the crap out of the engine to move the car.

I see the BRZ having a similar situation with the Si. No matter how well it may be on the track 99% of our driving is on surface streets so yes I think a little more power in this car would be nice.

But to me its not a demerit big enough to not want the car.

I know whenever I look for my next car I'm gonna be looking at mainly two cars.

The BRZ and GTI because I really love both cars and would be happy with either.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by stangg172004 View Post
Neither of those cars are built for the same reason the BRZ is. The BRZ needs at least 250 imho. Besides, 200 isnt even the WHP number. Really needs more HP....
Oh, I see what youre saying now. I didnt know you already drove the car. Please, go on, Id love to read your review.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by civicdrivr View Post
Oh, I see what youre saying now. I didnt know you already drove the car. Please, go on, Id love to read your review.
I don't need to a drive a car to know that if it looks like that, a grand caravan shouldn't be able to take it 0-60. Handling and design is just a part of being sporty.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:07 PM
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Actually 92 mph in the quarter isn't too bad for a car with such a modest engine compartment. I bet there's some aftermarket potential without going FI.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stangg172004 View Post
I don't need to a drive a car to know that if it looks like that, a grand caravan shouldn't be able to take it 0-60. Handling and design is just a part of being sporty.
That statement reminds me of this video.


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Old 03-24-2012, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeschicagoRL View Post
That statement reminds me of this video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nAx2jtr3K8
my point exactly.... dont get me wrong, i really want the BRZ. I just think such a potentially capable car should have at least 50 more hp. But im sure the aftermarket will take care of that...
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by StreetKA View Post
0-60 in 7.3? i hope they gonna come up with some with something better than that if not then only way to go aftermarket turbo... I dont think i ever seen direct injected gasoline engine with turbo...
The car wasn't designed to be an off the line speed demon. This car was designed to be a lot of fun on a track with twisties.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
The car wasn't designed to be an off the line speed demon. This car was designed to be a lot of fun on a track with twisties.
I understand that but for me its those few ponies that would make me buy it like right now still not sure.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by StreetKA View Post
I understand that but for me its those few ponies that would make me buy it like right now still not sure.
If i was in a position to buy, Id get it and just wait for the aftermarket HP to roll in...
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by stangg172004 View Post
If i was in a position to buy, Id get it and just wait for the aftermarket HP to roll in...
+1

Almost makes me wish I had a reason to own a car again.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
The car wasn't designed to be an off the line speed demon. This car was designed to be a lot of fun on a track with twisties.
the problem with this, its not gonna be an amazing dd. Passing on the fwy you're gonna have to rev the crap out of the engine.

99% of your driving is on the real roads, but despite this I think the benefits still outweigh the cons so I'd consider it, this or a GTI.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:08 PM
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Fuck. Too bad I already have a car, seems like a no brainer.

I am sure the aftermarket will be brimming with solutions to the power, though it does seem adequate for everyday driving and late night twisties.

Im sure shortly after launch there will be muffler deletes, stick on side vents, wing spoilers, and brembo caliper covers that will add copious amounts of much needed horsepower
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:32 PM
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considering a drive a honda that needs to be revved to 7k to pass someone, the whole low HP shit doesn't bother me. taking a turn at 40mph and not feeling scared is way more fun than romping around the city in a straight line.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by phee View Post
considering a drive a honda that needs to be revved to 7k to pass someone, the whole low HP shit doesn't bother me. taking a turn at 40mph and not feeling scared is way more fun than romping around the city in a straight line.
yea I get what you're saying and i'm the same way. I take the longer routes because they're more fun.

But maybe I would actually like revving it to pass people. I'm not sure, never had a car like that.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by phee View Post
considering a drive a honda that needs to be revved to 7k to pass someone, the whole low HP shit doesn't bother me. taking a turn at 40mph and not feeling scared is way more fun than romping around the city in a straight line.
Fucking

I really wish I didnt have the CL right now, or at least put so much into it. This would be a great daily for me.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:06 PM
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im still not sure how do i feel about this car... i love it but i need to drive it to pull the trigger
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:50 AM
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The power isn't what would bother me, it is the electronically assisted steering, and weight is way too high for what really is a 2 seater.

Seems like no matter what price it is at people will complain. If it is over 25 grand ppl say it is too expensive and if it is under 30 grand everyone will say great now every boy racer will want one so now I dont want it.

I don't see this car selling that well in the US. We buy our cars based on specs on a piece of paper without ever actually driving a car(cough mustang). We care about 0-60 times, power numbers, and looks(how much attention will I get). This car isn't about reading specs off a piece of paper it is about actually driving it. There are so many more variables to a car than speed in a straight line.

This is why noone makes drivers cars anymore. Did the miata get bashed this much when it came out, I doubt it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
The power isn't what would bother me, it is the electronically assisted steering, and weight is way too high for what really is a 2 seater.

Seems like no matter what price it is at people will complain. If it is over 25 grand ppl say it is too expensive and if it is under 30 grand everyone will say great now every boy racer will want one so now I dont want it.

I don't see this car selling that well in the US. We buy our cars based on specs on a piece of paper without ever actually driving a car(cough mustang). We care about 0-60 times, power numbers, and looks(how much attention will I get). This car isn't about reading specs off a piece of paper it is about actually driving it. There are so many more variables to a car than speed in a straight line.

This is why noone makes drivers cars anymore. Did the miata get bashed this much when it came out, I doubt it.
isn't s2000 slow in a straight line as well and it did really well didn't it? And it was more expensive than this car will be.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:51 PM
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Autoblog Review of BRZ

Last December, our wandering man of intrigue Jonathan Ramsey drove a Subaru BRZ prototype at Japan's Tochigi circuit under somewhat controlled conditions and was nonetheless very impressed. Then, in that same month, SoCal lad Michael Harley – he who knows a thing or two about hot-footing it on closed circuits – took the practically identical Scion FR-S for many unfettered laps on the island's short and sweet Sodegaura Forest Raceway. He, too, was left extremely enthused by the experience.

My turn now. We needed a real road test of the Subaru BRZ just to see if this car really does merit the "zenith" part of its name represented by its final letter. Can the stellar handling and light weight we've already raved about translate into something you could happily drive every day?

The roads on which Subaru sent me with their new star pupil could not be more appropriate: the ominous Route Napoleon in southern France. This is perfect, because the number of new car drives following the Geneva Motor Show has been mind numbing, and I frankly needed a spectacular car-and-road pairing to recharge my enthusiasm. I can think of no better combo for this than a promising sports car and this insanely technical French two-lane. I am here to find out if, in the real sporting car world, 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque are enough to keep the fire burning in me.

If I'm being flat-out honest, only the Subaru WRX STI and 2.5 RS before it have ever inspired me much when it comes to Fuji Heavy Industries' body of work. Everything else they have done until now has always been appreciated, even the Brat and the Baja in their own particular weird ways. But for me, they have all, to a greater or lesser degree, felt like cars built by robot people for robot people. I enjoy it when the vehicle wrapped around me shows signs of body heat, of cardiac and pelvic passions, of risks to be taken. I love what the Japanese do for our industry, but the Europeans and Americans have generally cornered the market on flagrant driving machismo.


Approaching the first long drive of the Subaru BRZ, all of this is going through my head, together with the preceding opinions from Messrs. Ramsey and Harley, plus a chorus of other career opinioneers. Will the power/torque numbers be enough? Will the 215-width Michelin summer tires feel like too small a footprint for consistent hookup through and out of the hundreds of incredible curves that await me? Is the handling of the BRZ indeed spectacular but the lower revs exhaust voice too plain? Do I even care about trying the six-speed Aisin automatic transmission with paddles and Sport mode?

For the entire day, as it turned out, my drive partner and I greedily protected our silver Subaru BRZ Limited with six-speed manual, also by Aisin. We did this because after just ten or so miles of driving, we both realized that this BRZ with its short-throw shifter was destined to be even more of a great car moment in our lives than we had anticipated.

Talk to any driving enthusiast who's been lucky enough to have spent a day on the Route Napoleon and they'll go on breathlessly about the road. But they will also frequently state that they "just wish" they'd had this or that other car rather than the one they actually had. Well, we hauled Gunma butt for roughly 200 miles with rarely a straight or flat section for pausing and collecting our thoughts. It's telling that at no point did I wish I was in any other car, because the BRZ, while certainly not the all-time quickest over this route, would prove to be the absolute epitome of this type of sports car. Get my drift here?

Long story short – and to all doubters who have only numbers on paper or computer to go by – the Subaru BRZ is one hell of a real sports car and, on roads like these, will beat the tar out of all legitimate comers selling for anywhere near the Subie's estimated $25,500, and many selling on up to $45,000. I was actually spotted shaking my head in disbelief while talking one-on-one with the BRZ's senior project manager, Toshio Masuda, following the drive. I felt as though I'd just driven a Porsche Cayman at less than half the price. Acceleration to 60 mph is estimated at below 7.0 seconds – some outlets have timed their examples at more like 7.3 – but straight-line gusto isn't really what this car is about.

Masuda-san was commendably forthcoming on the post-drive questions I had lined up. First off, the standard 17-inch wheel/tire combo can get as large as 18 inches, and tire width, even at 18 inches, can safely grow to as much as 235 – but only in the rear. The front tires need to stay at 215. The default damper and spring setup on the BRZ is so good under all road conditions that I had to ask who the supplier is. It's Japan's Showa for both, the conventional front MacPherson strut setup being of bespoke calibration, the rear damper/spring and whole double wishbone structure taken and modified from the WRX STI.

With everyone in sports cars switching to electro-mechanical steering due to packaging and fuel efficiency gains, there has been a mess of opportunities over the past six months to see who's nailing it and who not so much. At one end, there is the distinctly sensory-deprived setup on the new Mercedes SL, then to the slightly less fuzzy steering on newer Audi models. Moving up the spectrum, there's the Porsche Boxster and on up to the new 911, which is pretty good (it's got the same ZF steering as the Boxster, so the fact that it's better than on the Boxster has to be down to sheer physics), and finally you hit the latest BMW 3 Series, which is spot-on for its segment. But the quick 13:1 ratio steering on the BRZ with electric actuation by Japan's Jtekt goes one better versus even the 3 Series. I had completely forgotten to even pay attention to it as such until the guy I was driving with blurt out, "The steering is really just so dang good. Doesn't feel one bit electronic."

These utterly responsive dynamics via the steering wheel, chassis and my inner ear are due to a sheaf of well-engineered decisions. Some of these details you might already know, but they bear repeating: First, the BRZ has the lowest center of gravity (18.1 inches from the tarmac) and best polar moment of inertia of any car you choose to compare – even a fully optioned Porsche Cayman S or Ferrari 458 Italia. This was Job One within the Suba-yota plan, if you will. Everything branched out from that fundamental requirement.

After that comes the light weight of the BRZ 2+2, which, in base trim with manual gearbox, starts at 2,762 pounds. That's more than 300 pounds lighter than a Mazda RX-8, close to 600 pounds less than a comparably equipped Hyundai Genesis Coupe and roughly 1,000 pounds less than the base Chevrolet Camaro V6. What we have here is the lightest, lowest, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive 2+2 in existence – a very good starting point for dynamic goodness.

A crucial part of this chemistry was getting that boat anchor we call the engine in the car to sit as low down and as far back as possible. The new FA20 naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer looks incredible compact sitting next to the Impreza's 2.0-liter. As it sits in the engine bay, it is mounted 4.7 inches lower down than the Impreza engine and pushed back toward the passengers some 9.5 inches. The battery has been mounted up and to the driver's right in the bay, again maximizing the 53:47 percent weight distribution fore:aft. This obsession with engine placement also led to the front suspension's lower A-arms being mounted ahead of the axle rather than typically rearward, a change that created a lower seating position for the FA20.

Mix all this physics and engineering together, and the BRZ comports itself effortlessly well on real roads. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) in Normal mode will catch things when the tail strays a bit hard from the slip-angle safety zone, but it's not a violent clamping down on the proceedings. I was still wagging the tail nicely on the route's myriad hairpins, and the brake activation was meted out so as to blend pretty well with my driving style. Switching to VSC Sport and its higher thresholds allowed even smoother, slight drifts through entire hairpins.


With the day's excellent conditions, though, I knocked off traction control (TRC) as well and the controlled high-rev dance began. With the confidence instilled by the BRZ's excellent chassis balance, the low amount of roll in turns, standard Torsen limited-slip differential in back, and the exceptional road feel from the tight 14.4-inch diameter steering wheel, we didn't lose our cool once out there, no matter how hairy the road became. Then with the front wheel camber at zero degrees and the rear set at negative 1.2 degrees, the BRZ gave me more and more permission to safely test my skills.

The braking action from the BRZ's seemingly very ordinary discs and calipers – 11.6-inch diameter front with two-piston caliper and 11.4-inch rear with single piston – was never an issue on this day. That's partially because when quickly backing off the throttle, the momentum can be peeled away pretty effectively from the powertrain. It's clear, though, that the aftermarket will have a bit of a heyday playing with the BRZ's brakes, exhaust, and wheel-tire sets. They may even do their own forced induction experiments and they'll certainly play with the coupe's aesthetics for better or worse.

The naturally aspirated boxer uses port injection at lower revs, but at the tachometer's higher end it uses Toyota-sourced direct injection as well. Despite all of that, it still has a little of that Japanese raspy tenor going on. But the 4-2-1 performance exhaust coupled with the intake valvetrain has finally given a standard Subaru a pleasingly huskier sound (short of an STI or one of the UK or Japan special spec models, I don't recall having this much aural entertainment). Naturally, the revs need to be up there for the rear pipes to make as much or more sound as the engine compartment, but I was staying in the higher revs all day anyway to get the most from this powertrain, so the soundtrack was definitely adequate.

Of course, there's the unavoidable debate for the BRZ/Scion FR-S/Toyota GT 86 clan: Could this car do with more power and torque? As driven here, blipping the free-revving four up to its 7,450-rpm redline over real-life roads, there is a certain style of driving needed, and it's a style I really like. Thankfully, though power of 200 horses is quoted as maxing at 7,000 revs, the FA20 up through its 1:1 fifth gear just keeps on pulling without signs of plateauing – even at max revs. The engine's 151 lb-ft of torque number is so unimpressive, though, and I found myself downshifting frequently to second where it would have been nice to settle in third. Though the EPA rates the manual BRZ at a 25-mile-per-gallon average city/highway (the automatic sits at 28 mpg), my copilot and I managed to register a somewhat naughtier 16-mpg average during our day of heady driving.

I did get to ply through the automatic gearbox briefly, and it is not as gratifying as the manual. The fact that the automatic's 1:1 ratio is fourth gear would pretty much eliminate it from contention for me. In Sport mode, it works quite nicely, but the manual gearbox and its heel-and-toe friendly pedal set is so engaging that anything else comes a distant second.

I asked Masuda-san point-blank if indeed there will be an STI-style turbocharged BRZ by the time this generation reaches the middle of its life in two-and-a-half or three years. A number came out of his mouth that raised my eyebrows. "In future, there is the thought to have as much as 280 horsepower." Well, uh, gosh, that's even a bit more than I was gambling for. "And we are," he went on, "thinking very much about the possibility of a turbocharger." So, could we be digging on somewhere around 250 pound-feet of torque? The master would not confirm or deny, but he did say that such a model would probably not use the acronym STI.

One sad note: The very nice protruding two exhaust tips on my test car are only available on BRZs sold outside of North America. Our exhausts will be somewhat tucked away under the rear crash bumper as per safety regulations. Other differences versus the Euro-spec car tested here include the addition of a spare tire, standard sat-nav system and no optional aero underbody panel for us as in the rest of the world. In addition, the outer reflector on the taillights will be red and the inner reflector in the headlamps will be amber. Finally, an inconvenient truth: Split rear seatbacks are not available.

As for the overall look, I personally tune into it pretty strongly since I'm a closet late-90s Toyota Celica SR/GT and original Opel GT fan. The 52-inch wide body color rear spoiler looks fine by me as well and comes standard on the Limited top trim, while it's a cost accessory on the base Premium spec. After staring at silver and blue BRZs all day, the only thing that bothered me a bit was the taillight shape seemingly taken from a Chevrolet.

As it stands now, comments regarding tires and torque and brakes are naturally going to come out while doing laps at a hot track. This launch model is not a racer, it's a classic sports car for not too much scratch (the sort of enthusiast's car that Porsche flirted with offering until the mid 1970s). The Premium trim ought to start, as stated, somewhere north of $25,000, the top trim Limited at just over $27,000. Options and accessories are almost non-existent for the moment. If you must go automatic – only 30 percent of initial orders are thus – then the BRZ could start reaching toward $30k. But with just 500 cars per month allotted to the U.S. and 600 Subaru dealers therein, I can already smell the greed in the air. There'll be a few disappointing dealer tales, to be sure, as there were for small volume sportsters like the BMW 1M Coupe.

The excitement around this trio of light and tight 2+2s from Japan is warranted. Every single ingredient of the BRZ's feature set, price point, lack of availability and performance will work together to cause an abundance of well-deserved hype, and perhaps more than a bit of dealer price gouging if Subaru isn't careful.

From my perspective, of the Toyobaru trio, buyers should probably go for this Subie. It's the original of the three, it's built in a Subaru factory and it runs on the company's FA20 flat four. That just feels right. Either way, at these modest sticker prices, the BRZ is one of those unbelievable deals for which the U.S. car market is both envied and reviled by all others. Get in line, sports fans.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:22 PM
  #234  
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Originally Posted by myron View Post
isn't s2000 slow in a straight line as well and it did really well didn't it? And it was more expensive than this car will be.
the s2000 did well? Not from the perspective of making money. Not many s2000's were even sold, and the ones that did sell cost more to make the car then they sold it for. Honda lost money on that car. It was a great car but people don't buy great drivers cars in large quantities.

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:40 PM
  #235  
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Great review. He covers all the important issues.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
the s2000 did well? Not from the perspective of making money. Not many s2000's were even sold, and the ones that did sell cost more to make the car then they sold it for. Honda lost money on that car. It was a great car but people don't buy great drivers cars in large quantities.
I didn't know that, I ment it more as in THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. I see s2000 all the time, and I live in a frozen land up north.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:26 PM
  #237  
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super excited about these cars
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:31 PM
  #238  
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Originally Posted by civicdrivr View Post
200hp is hilarious? Its more then an Si. It matches the GTI. The only difference is its lighter and RWD.
GTI has about 50 more torques ... In Clarksonese. Though it is turbocharged.

The car may drive like sex but it looks dowdy inside and out.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:48 PM
  #239  
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i must note that i saw the BRZ at the car show and it didnt really wow me. must have been the boring silver paint but it really looked boring.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:30 PM
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just read the autoblog review, i think i'm sold on the car. Although I'm skeptical to wait for the new powerful version. Will probably come out by the time I actually need a car.
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