Category Archives: Subaru BRZ

2013 Subaru BRZ Test Drive – Popular Mechanics – Mid Hudson Subaru

Pound for horsepower, and dollar for dollar, this is the purest sports car you can buy in 2012.BY MICHAEL FRANK

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2013 Subaru BRZ

On Sale Date: Spring 2012

Price: $25,000 (estimated)

Competitors: Mazda Miata, Nissan 370Z, Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Powertrain: 2.0-liter flat-4, 200 hp; 150 lb.-ft.; six-speed manual or automatic, RWD

EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 24/30 (estimated)

What’s New: Everything. As a rear-wheel-drive elemental sports car, the BRZ is unlike any previous Subaru. The BRZ’s engine is new and not shared with any other Subaru, and while some of the chassis and suspension elements are derived from the Impreza, think of those as starting points, not endpoints. The front struts were tilted inward to account for the lower front height of the car, yet they retain the same amount of travel, yielding a compliant ride. The radiator was angled backward to shift weight to the rear. So while the two Subarus have some parts in common, the BRZ is as different from the Impreza as the Impreza is from an STi.

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Tech Tidbit: Subaru made every effort to shift the weight balance rearward for better handling dynamics. A variety of small details combine to give the BRZ a 53 percent:47 percent front to rear weight balance. An aluminum hood shaved 15 pounds off the front end, the battery was moved behind the front axle, and the engine sits a full two inches lower than that of a WRX, which further enables predictable handling since the entire car can sit lower. Don’t worry—ground clearance is still 4.9 inches, and there’s no stupidly low front spoiler to scrape.

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Driving Character: Subaru engineers emphasized that their chief priority with the BRZ was to give a visceral feel to every control. They succeeded: This car is alive with feedback. The paddle shifters on the six-speed automatic palpably snap off gear changes (with a lovely throttle blip on downshifts), the six-speed manual gives wonderfully precise throws, and the steering is almost telekinetic.

The BRZ is meant to be a stellar handler, and Subaru came up pure aces on that score. But unlike the suspension in some sports cars built for handling, the BRZ’s won’t batter your kidneys. On Subaru’s Tochigi test track there’s a section of rough road that simulates the lovely state of American asphalt, and the BRZ suspension (front struts; rear multilink) proved composed. The one way you can throw the car off is by hitting abrupt surface changes or potholes, simply because the BRZ is so light. But if that’s the only downside of a 2700-pound car, it’s hardly a deal breaker. We can’t wait to run this car on our favorite curvy stretch of road.

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Favorite Detail: We probably wouldn’t choose the automatic over the manual because the six-speed self-shifter is so good. But if you had to go with the auto, you wouldn’t be deeply penalized. For one thing, in manual mode the transmission uses a yaw sensor so that, mid-corner, it will hold a gear right up to the 7450-rpm redline. Thanks to a throttle blip function, it also will accept downshifts up to 7200 rpm. And, just like in the manual, there’s a digital speedo incorporated into the center of the tach, and a red flashing light telling you to upshift before the fuel cutoff hits.

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Bottom Line: By keeping the BRZ light, Subaru got a sharper-feeling sports machine than the WRX. The BRZ may be even sharper than the STi, which is raucous where this car feels refined and tactile—and immediate without being brash. If that makes the BRZ a more adult sports car and if Subaru had to throw out its AWD baby to do it, then it kept the bathwater that inspired the creation of the first STi 19 years ago. The world hasn’t seen an entry-priced sports car this pure since the original Mazda Miata, way back in 1990.

Read more: 2013 Subaru BRZ Test Drive – Popular Mechanics


2013 Subaru BRZ: Drive Review – Autoweek – Mid Hudson Subaru

2013 Subaru BRZ review

What is it?

The Subaru BRZ represents nothing less than the return of inexpensive, fun, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports cars. Sure, there have always been fun, front-engined, rear-drive sports cars, but they weren’t cheap. Now, for an anticipated sticker price of less than $25,000, you can get a 200-hp flat four stuffed low and back on the front end of a smooth coupe body. You can have a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, too, the latter with paddle-shifted manual mode. And you get a Torsen limited-slip rear differential that keeps both back tires spinning as long as you want them to spin.

Subaru engineers got those 200 horses out of two naturally aspirated liters using a variety of methods, but the coolest is the presence of two separate fuel-injection systems. There’s a more or less conventional port fuel injection that spritzes fuel into the intake, and then there’s a high-pressure direct-injection system that atomizes premium gasoline directly into the combustion chamber. The result is a nice, progressive power curve up to the 200-hp peak at 7,000 rpm (fuel cutoff is at 7,400 rpm) and a mesa-like torque plateau that hits 150 lb-ft at about 3,000 rpm and then again from 5,000 rpm to 7,000 rpm.

The Subaru BRZ is a defensible purchase, too, since it seats four and even has a trunk (“See, Baby, it’s practical! Ahm only thinkin’ of you!”). The rear seats technically hold an adult but would be better for kids–a rear-facing child seat fits back there, too. It’s not as practical as a sedan but it’s still functional for four. Rather than say the trunk can hold two golf bags, which it can, Subaru prefers to point out that you can carry a complete set of wheels and tires for track days.


What is it like to drive?

If driven wimpily, you will say the 2013 BRZ understeers, which is true. But if tossed gleefully into corners like you really mean it, you will find that the BRZ first understeers and then oversteers, depending on how sensitive you are to the car’s balance. Our first laps around Subaru’s Tochigi handling course and giant skidpad were done a little too gingerly, since it was still a little damp and there is just about no runoff on the road course. There’s where we felt the understeer. Subsequent laps, driven with greater throttle input, demonstrated a delightful balance that allowed us to hang the tail out by lifting off to bring the back end over then getting back on it to keep it hanging out there. The transition was as easy and progressive as we wanted to make it.

This is a car waiting to be drifted. After only a short time behind the wheel, we were able to drift easily around corners, and on the very safe runoff-galore skidpad we hung it way out all the way around the 300-foot blacktop circle. Slide the BRZ too far and it will spin, which we did, but just push the clutch in and spin back on track and drive some more. Unless you’re in the automatic, in which case a spin is embarrassing as you try and find the start-engine button on the dash before the flag-waving track worker wakes up.

Weight distribution is 53 percent front/47 percent rear, more or less, which might explain the initial understeer. Ultimately we might prefer not to have that initial understeer. But you won’t be able to blame your clunky driving on this car. The Subaru BRZ will be a track-day favorite for club racers across the country, an easily justifiable expense since you can drive it to work the rest of the week.


Do I want it?

Yes, you want it–how could you even ask a question like that? This thing is only going to cost $25,000 and it’s really fun. Plus the Subaru BRZ is a practical daily driver that won’t beat you up but neither will it let you down if you find a nice twisty road to drive on. What else is out there for this price that’s fun, besides the nearly identical Scion version of the same car, called the FR-S? Other competitors that might fit onto some semilogical list include the Mini Cooper, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Honda Civic Si and the Hyundai Genesis coupe. The base Genesis coupe starts at about the same price and sort of matches the drivetrain configuration, but the others are either front-wheel drive or less practical.


2013 Subaru BRZ

On Sale: May

Base Price: Less than $25,000

Powertrain: 200-hp, 150-lb-ft flat four; RWD, six-speed manual

Curb Weight: 2,770 lb (U.S.-spec est)

0-60 MPH: Less than 7 sec (mfr est)

Fuel Economy: 30 mpg hwy (mfr est)

Read more:

Subaru Reveals More About BRZ Sports Car – Mid Hudson Subaru


Subaru serves up a glimpse at the car’s front end—you can see that the grille is different than the one on the Toyota FT-86/Scion FR-S—plus some additional specifications. As we learned during our drive of a BRZ prototype, the boxer engine architecture is Subaru’s, but Toyota has contributed its dual port/direct-injection heads. (Engineering geeks take note: Subaru’s working on its own direct-injection tech, as previewed in theAdvanced Tourer Concept, and it’s not licensed from ToMoCo.)

A PDF also rocketed in from the Pleiades (you can check it out here) and reported the BRZ’s length, width, and height. The big deal here is less that the car is 166.9 inches long, 69.9 inches wide, and 51.2 inches high, but that the numbers corroborate those in a spec sheet allegedly leaked from Japan. That sheet also reports weight estimates of 2668 to 2712 pounds, numbers given further credibility by the dimensional accuracy. Overall, the BRZ and its Toyota sib will be longer and wider than the Mazda MX-5, though a bit taller and between that car and the RX-8 in weight.


First Drive: 2013 Subaru BRZ Prototype – Motor trend loves the BRZ – Mid Hudson Subaru

2013 Subaru BRZ Prototype Front Three Quarter

Every so often in this business, you drive a car that lets you know in the first hundred yards or so that it’s special — that it’s somehow greater than the sum of the numbers on its spec chart. The new Subaru BRZ is one of those cars. It’s not the fastest, the most powerful, nor even the sexiest two-door coupe in the business. But if you love driving, you’re going to love this Subaru.

The Subaru BRZ is the result of one of the auto industry’s oddest joint ventures since Alfa Romeo and Nissan hooked up in the 1980s to produce the ARNA, a car that spectacularly combined the worst features of both: It had Alfa Romeo’s suspect reliability and Nissan’s boring styling and sloppy handling. This time, though, everyone looks like a winner. Subaru gets a great sports car it couldn’t afford to build, and Toyota gets a great sports car, to be badged as a Scion here in the United States, that it couldn’t find room to build.

Toyota did the planning and design. Subaru did the engineering, and will build both versions at its Gunma plant in Japan. Both cars will initially be identical, apart from front and rear bumper fascias, badging, and detail equipment levels. We haven’t sat in the Scion yet, but we’ve driven the BRZ, albeit a heavily camouflaged prototype. First impressions are good. Very good.

The key to the BRZ’s appeal is the unique hardware under its relatively conventional skin. This is the world’s only front-engine, rear-drive sports car powered by a boxer engine. The Subaru 2.0-liter four is an all-new engine with a different block from that used in the 2012 Impreza, and features Toyota-sourced direct injection. It gets a unique FA designation within the Subaru engine family (the closely related 2012 Impreza engine is known as the FB, while the 2011 Impreza is the EJ), and though Subaru engineers were tight-lipped about the engine’s output, they didn’t disagree with our guess of about 200 hp and 170 lb-ft. The engine drives the rear wheels through a choice of two Aisin six-speed transmissions, one a manual, the other a conventional planetary automatic with manual actuation via steering wheel-mounted paddles. The transmission is the same one used in the Lexus IS 350, among others. Front suspension is MacPherson strut, while the rear gets a complex multilink setup. Brakes are disc all around.

2013 Subaru BRZ Prototype Rear Three Quarter

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Keeping the center of gravity as low as possible — always a good thing for a sports car — was one of the BRZ’s key design goals, and Subaru’s engineers have made the most of the flat-four engine’s obvious advantage in this area. Compared with the 2012 Impreza’s engine, the BRZ’s boxer sits almost 4.8 inches lower and just over 8 inches farther back in the chassis. What that means is this: The top of the engine is roughly knee height, and the center line of the front axle is aligned with the bore center of the rear pair of cylinders.

When you slide in behind the wheel it’s apparent just how low the cowl height is, even though you’re sitting low in the car. Once on the road, the moment you pull the steering wheel off-center you notice how rapidly and accurately the BRZ responds to driver inputs. The weight distribution is not quite 50/50; Subaru engineers will only admit that less than 60 percent of the car’s mass is over the front axle, and the chassis has been set up for mild understeer. But there’s no mistaking the agility borne of low mass, slung low.

The ride is firm, but not harsh. Tellingly, the BRZ was developed on 16- and 17-inch wheels, defying the fashionable trend toward factory-fitted dubs rimmed with rubber-band-thin tires. The benefit of smaller wheels, of course, is reduced unsprung mass, and therefore better, more precise wheel control. Our tester rolled on 17s fitted with 215/45 tires that delivered good grip and gave plenty of notice approaching the limits of adhesion.

The BRZ has the same sweet-natured nimbleness as a Mazda Miata or a Porsche Boxster. That sensation is helped by the fact that, like the Miata and the original Boxster, the BRZ’s engine simply cannot outdrive the chassis. It only takes a few miles along your favorite canyon road to start wishing you had 100 more horses to play with. The car stays flat through the turns, and when pushed very hard it will oversteer, but the onset is smooth and progressive. The low mass–Subaru says production cars will weigh a feathery 2500 pounds–means you can brake later for turns, carry lots of speed through them, and still nail apexes like a sharpshooter. The BRZ rewards neatness: Get it right and we bet you can hang with the more-powerful AWD WRX through the twisties.

2013 Subaru BRZ Prototype Front Three Quarter

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RACE FACE: Like the menacing…
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The 2.0-liter boxer delivers healthy mid-range punch, though a little more top-end bite would be welcome. The tach is redlined at 7400 rpm, but there’s little point hanging on much past 7000 as the power delivery goes flat. The engine idles quietly, but develops a pleasing muted throb, like an STI wrapped in cotton wool, when you get active with the gas pedal. Our prototype was fitted with the automatic transmission. It felt crisp and clean in regular driving, and responsive in manual mode, matching revs on the downshifts when you fanned the left-hand paddle.

The BRZ — really, could Subaru have come up with a less evocative name for a sport coupe? — is on some levels the most conventional car Japan’s quirkiest automaker has ever built. But it opens up some intriguing possibilities for the company, especially as Subaru and Toyota are free to develop the BRZ hardware any way they like from here on in. Subaru engineers quietly concede there’s more power to come from the boxer four, though they won’t confirm whether a turbo is in the works. They admit the BRZ structure has been engineered from the get-go to allow for a convertible version, so you can bet we’ll see a softtop model within the next few years. And, most intriguing of all, they say the platform is flexible enough to allow for a significant wheelbase stretch. A BRZ-based four-door sport sedan? Now that’s an interesting idea…

2013 Subaru BRZ Prototype Sketches

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How the BRZ came to be
The teaming up of Toyota and Subaru is intriguing, but not unprecedented. Back in 2008, both shared a desire to brighten their somewhat dim sports car portfolios. Toyota would take the lead in planning, designing, and bankrolling the new two-door, dubbed AS1, while Subaru offered its proven high-performance engineering and production capabilities. The companies would split sales and marketing duties.

Automotive history buffs will enjoy learning the BRZ isn’t Subaru’s first rear-drive vehicle. That title belongs to the 1953-’54 Fuji Heavy Industries Prototype 1 sedan, later known as the Subaru 1500. P-1 employed the first Japanese-made monocoque body and paved the way for brand icons such as the Subaru 360 and 1000. – Nate Martinez

Great Expectations 
Once the Toyota/Subaru deal was sealed, engineers from both automakers made sure to agree on basic expectations. There weren’t many, but each was critical in crafting the coupe you see here.

First, it had to be lightweight and fuel-efficient. Second, handling prowess, rather than all-out speed and horsepower, needed to be emphasized, with a low center of gravity. Third, there had to be enough room for four passengers and luggage space for a pair of golf bags.

Engineering a mid-engine layout would negate the 2+2 seating requirement, while an AWD system would add weight and reduce fuel economy. A twin-clutch gearbox would also add unwanted mass, plus increase cost. According to Subaru’s engineers, a front-engine/rear-drive configuration with a boxer engine and a traditional gearbox duo was “ideal for [the BRZ’s] vision.”

Engineers were tight-lipped about exact production numbers, but they nodded in agreement when we coughed up a 3000-unit-per-year guess. That would put the BRZ in current WRX STI production territory, making it a low-volume niche car. – Nate Martinez

2013 Subaru BRZ prototype
BASE PRICE $25,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass,2-door coupe
ENGINE 2.0L/200-hp (est)/170-lb-ft (est) DOHC 16-valve flat-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual,6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT 2500 lb (mfr est)
WHEELBASE 93.5 in (est)
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 148.8 x 70.0 x 46.8 (est)
0-60 MPH 6.0 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 25-27/30-32 mpg (est)
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125-135/105-112 kW-hrs/100 mi (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.67-0.72 lb/mi (est)
ON SALE IN U.S. Spring 2012


Read more:

Subaru BRZ STI Concept Revealed Ahead of LA Auto Show Debut – Mid Hudson Subaru


The Subaru BRZ media fest continues with the reveal of the BRZ STI Concept ahead of its LA Auto Show debut.


Looking remarkably similar to the Scion FR-S concept it does have a more production-ready finish, with modest wheels (215/45/18 tires up front and 225/45/18 in the rear) and a believable rear diffuser. Compared to leaked photos of the FT-86, there are unique fender vents and it’s hard to miss the massive rear spoiler. While just the one rear-angle photo has been released Subaru promises the front end design gets a hexagonal front grille and hawk eye headlights, instantly distinguishing it as a Subie. And in true Subaru fashion it gets a version of the company’s trademark WR blue paint, called WR Blue Pearl II. One area that isn’t painted is the roof, with an exposed carbon fiber weave that further reduced the car’s already impressive center of gravity.


Rather than the turbocharged engine many are expecting, this STI makes use of the same naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer 4-cylinder with direct-injection, which on the FT-86/FR-S is touted to deliver 197-hp. To give an idea of just how incredible a handling machine this is, Subaru says that compared to other cars in its lineup the engine is located 4.7-inches lower to the ground and 9.4-inches closer to the center of the chassis.




Subaru BRZ – Mid Hudson Subaru


The new Subaru BRZ coupé will have the lowest centre of gravity of any production car when it goes on sale next summer, according to the manufacturer.

The BRZ’s rear-wheel-drive configuration has meant that Subaru’s compact 2.0-litre Boxer engine can be mounted even lower in the chassis than would normally be permissible in the manufacturer’s conventional four-wheel-drive layout.

See Autocar’s exclusive image of the Subaru BRZ

Despite being co-developed with Toyota, the vast majority of the engineering work has been undertaken by Subaru; although the company has confirmed that the BRZ’s flat-four unit will incorporate a Toyota direct fuel-injection system.

Power outputs, however, will differ with a Subaru-spec ECU liberating the BRZ’s power to “less than 300bhp,” compared with the FT-86’s 200bhp figure.

Details of the car’s final spec remain under wraps – even Subaru’s UK new MD admitted to Autocar that he’d only seen a clay model of the finished product – but insiders suggest that the grille and bumpers will differentiate the RBZ from its Toyota-badged sibling.

A roadster version could yet play a part in future model plans, but a topless car is ‘under consideration’ rather than developmental reality.

While the new 2+2 coupé is expected to fill a healthy new niche for the manufacturer, Subaru UK has made it clear that it intends to focus much of its energy on ‘lifestyle’ products, such as the new XV crossover.

The Subaru BRZ will be unveiled at the Tokyo show next month.