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Subaru BRZ General Forum All discussions about the Subaru BRZ coupe

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Old 12-13-2011, 07:22 AM   #1
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AutoExpress BRZ Review - Follow up to the GT86 Review

I saw that the Auto Express review on the GT86 is already posted here, but I did not see this follow up review on the BRZ so here it is...

We drove the new Toyota GT 86 last week, and now we are first to get behind the wheel of its virtually identical twin sister, the Subaru BRZ.
As with the GT 86, the BRZ is a small sports coupe that’s been designed to deliver uncomplicated driving fun through the combination of a 197bhp boxer engine, rear-wheel drive and a lower kerbweight than most superminis.

You might even think it’s a bit unfair for Toyota to have stolen the early headlines – Subaru led the engineering development of both cars, and will be building them side-by-side with different badges on the bonnet.
Visual variations between the pair are minimal, with different front bumpers and unique alloys. Inside, the BRZ is identical to the GT 86, with a very low seating position and reasonable space for front occupants. There’s also a cramped pair of ‘plus two’ rear seats, which are fine for ferrying small (or very flexible) passengers over short distances.

But the quality of the interior trim isn’t on a par with that offered by upmarket European rivals, as the same cheap, shiny plastics that have blighted all current Subarus crop up again.

However, all that can be forgiven if the driving experience is right. The 2.0-litre boxer is pure Subaru, with two pairs of cylinders laid flat on either side of the crankshaft. But the engine itself is entirely new for the car, being smaller, lighter and lower than the similar-capacity boxer that will power the latest Impreza.

Although 197bhp is a healthy output considering that the BRZ does without a turbocharger, it’s not a huge number these days. And from behind the wheel it’s instantly clear that the Subaru has to be revved hard to deliver its performance: peak power arrives at a heady 7,000rpm.
We drove the car on Subaru’s Japanese test track, so the full verdict will have to wait until we try it in the UK. But this gave us a good opportunity to get a strong first impression.

It gets off to a promising start. The engine’s lack of low-down torque means that the BRZ doesn’t feel especially quick under gentle use, but the combination of the six-speed manual gearbox’s beautifully precise action and a snarling soundtrack as the rev counter needle sweeps towards the red zone encourages you to work it hard. We also tried the optional six-speed automatic, which operated well but lacked the manual’s sense of involvement.

As you would expect, the BRZ is more at home through corners than on the straights. The suspension settings are marginally stiffer than the GT 86’s, although the ride never feels harsh over bumps, while the electric power-steering system works extremely well.

There’s loads of feedback, giving the driver a real sense of how much grip the front wheels have left to call on. The well balanced chassis makes it instinctively easy to adjust the cornering line using the wonderfully responsive throttle pedal – it’s no surprise that the manufacturer reckons the BRZ will appeal strongly to the drifting community.

Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, and still depends on what the Yen/Sterling exchange rate looks like when the car goes on sale over here next June. We’d figure on about £28,000 for the well equipped ‘high-line’ version, which gets climate control and leather seats, with the more basic ‘low-line’ car stripping some of the toys and likely to cost a couple of thousand less.
As for how the BRZ compares to the GT 86, we look forward to finding out. But for anyone who is considering either car, it’s worth bearing in mind that Subaru reckons it will sell only around 1,000 of its version a year in the UK, against Toyota’s projection of about 4,000. If nothing else, we know the BRZ will be the more exclusive car.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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since we are talking about the FRS here..........................
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:32 AM   #3
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One thing I have notice about reviews is one might say the car has good low end torque and the other will say different. It makes me believe some of these journalist are overexcited and maybe their judgement is clouded. One thing everyone agrees on is the handling aspect of the car though.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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I think it depends much on what the tester is used to drive, obviously if you compare to a similar powerl turbo car (example: Cooper S) this car has not torque at all.
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