Not only was I fortunate enough to drive the new Subaru BRZ before it went on sale here, but I also got to fly out to the South of France to drive it. The backroads in this part of the country are amazing. Yes, we took the same roads that the car chase scene from the movie Ronin was filmed. Very cool.
There’s no fine line of what part of this car is Subaru and what part is Toyota. But from looking at both companies past cars you can see that the body styling is very much Toyota while the engine and suspension is much more like Subaru. No matter who was more responsible for the BRZ/FR-S it’s us, the consumer, who benefits. In the end this will mean more cars produced, competitive prices, and a butt load of aftermarket parts for guys like us.
I’m not going to lie, driving the car is a joy. With all the hype and talk about this car I had really high hopes on its performance. And after driving it, I’ve got to say it turns and handles better than I had hoped. The engineers did everything they could to get the motor to sit as far back and as low as possible. Every 0.5 inch was taken into account so they can lower the center of gravity and manipulate the weight distribution, and you can feel all of this with every turn of the car. Don’t even sleep on the automatic either. If you’re planning on getting one, please testdrive the automatic as well. With the paddle shifters and rev-matching, it’s smoother and quicker than you’d expect. Call me a girl or an old man, but in some aspects, I’d prefer the automatic six-speed transmission.
So why not a turbo, many of you ask? Yes, it’s true, Subaru has been known for turbochargers on their boxer engines. No, the BRZ does not come with a turbo nor do I think Subaru will offer a version with a turbo. If they did add a turbo, they’d have to raise the price of the car, and do any of us want to pay over $30K for a BRZ? For guys like me, we’d never keep a factory turbo either. We want an equal-length manifold with a fat turbo and a ridiculous downpipe. I’d much rather save the money on the car and use the difference on aftermarket parts that will make the car faster. There’s no doubt that there will be tons of aftermarket options for forced induction with this car. If you really feel like spending more money at the dealer, go for the optional push-button start, Alcantara seats, and rear wing. Although, at a higher price, those items plus the GPS and HID are what separate the BRZ from its twin.
I can’t wait for this car to hit the tuning scene. The BRZ is destined to be badass.
Behind the Car
2013 Subaru BRZ
MPG: 22/30 (manual), 25/34 (automatic)
Weight: 2,762 pounds (manual), 2,809 pounds (automatic)
Weight ratio: 53/47
Engine FA20 2.0L Subaru boxer four-cylinder engine; Toyota D-4S direct injection; 12.5:1 compression ratio
Drivetrain RA62 six-speed manual or A960E six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters); Torsen LSD; traction control and VSC
Suspension MacPherson front struts; double wishbone rear suspension
Wheels/Tires 5x100 bolt pattern, 17x7 wheels, 215/45-17 tires
Brakes ABS; 11.6-inch front rotors and 11.6-inch rear rotors
Exterior HID front headlights; optional rear wing
Interior Optional Alcantara inserts on seats and push-start keyless entry
Audio GPS navigational system with Bluetooth capabilities, 3.5mm aux-in and USB port