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BRZ First-Gen (2012+) -- General Topics All discussions about the first-gen Subaru BRZ coupe


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Old 05-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
switchlanez
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The Golden Age of Sports Cars - BRZ acclaimed as 2013 All-Star by Automobile Magazine


FT86CLUB Homepage Featured Story


We make no claim to objectivity.

We're often asked, by readers and automakers alike, what the qualifications are for an All-Star award. It's simple. It has to be a car (or truck) on sale in America at the time of our fall testing exercises. The reigning Automobile of the Year is never an All-Star, which is why you won't read about the Tesla Model S here. We generally, but don't always, exclude exotic metal. We bring no score sheets, just open minds and a desire to recognize the best and most significant vehicles. This year, sixteen editors and contributors voted for some twenty-five brands and forty-four models -- loudly arguing over some of them -- but only eleven vehicles got their names engraved on a 2013 All-Star trophy. And who doesn't like a trophy? This year, we went a step further and took those winners on adventures on three continents.

The Golden Age of Sports Cars
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 / Porsche Boxster
Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S

This is the golden age of sports cars.

Yeah, we know. Some self-important little guy with a rule book in his hands has been telling you that sports cars are dead, and whatever you might think of the merits of some car that you see on the road, he says it doesn't qualify because it has too many cylinders or not enough camshafts or the wrong number of seats plus electric windows and besides it isn't a Morgan Plus 4 made with wood. It's enough to make you want to stab yourself with a fork, eh?

So let's get this out of the way. The whole sports car thing began simply as a description of a car that could be used for competition on the track as well as for daily use on the road. Today, we celebrate three of the best cars that meet these criteria in ways that you might not have anticipated: the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Porsche Boxster, and the Subaru BRZ (and its Scion FR-S twin).


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These cars are part of a wave of high-performance sportsters that are coming from automakers in every country, as high performance has become an accepted approach to marketing and selling significant numbers of street cars. Indeed, these days we see badges that evoke the racing spirit of checkered flags on everything from the Fiat 500 Abarth to the Cadillac CTS-V. Certainly anything is possible in a world where the Bentley Continental GT Speed can exist.

In recognition of this trend, we felt obligated to take the 2013 Boxster, 2013 BRZ, and 2013 Camaro ZL1 to the track, since this is pretty much what everyone is doing. There are so many racing series, driving schools, track-day experiences, consumer clinics, corporate team-building events, car-club outings, and track-day competitions that road-racing tracks are being built every day just to stage these entertainments. That's what led us to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (opening in 2010) in Desert Center, California, a place in the middle of the Mojave Desert -- which makes it one of the most remote racetracks in the United States.

The Subaru BRZ will cause plenty of sports car traditionalists to begin snuffling with self-importance, but we knew from the moment we headed down the road during our traditional All-Stars drive last fall that this is exactly the sort of sporting car that will have enormous influence. To start with, the BRZ has a price tag that won't swallow your wallet in one gulp. As much as car enthusiasts might like to hype the notion of artistic purity, simple affordability is an essential ingredient to sports car success. At a starting price of $26,265, the Subaru gets on a lot more shopping lists than a BMW 128i. The BRZ Limited has all the options, and its price sticker says $28,265.

Only when you see the BRZ in the context of traffic do you realize that it is scaled right down for the driver, even though it has space and functionality for four occupants and their stuff. Measuring 166.7 inches in overall length on a 101.2-inch wheelbase and weighing 2776 pounds in Limited trim with the manual transmission, the BRZ makes us recall the famous simile to horse and rider that has always guided the development of the Mazda Miata.

You feel much the same Miata-style energizing spirit on the track in the BRZ, as the 200-hp, 2.0-liter Subaru boxer four-cylinder responds eagerly at low rpm, and quick work with the short-throw linkage of the six-speed manual transmission transports you into ever-higher portions of the speedometer dial. This car steers much like an all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza WRX, which is to say that the front tires feel like they're doing a lot of work. We think this makes the BRZ safe and controllable for most drivers, even if it's less lively than the Scion FR-S.

The BRZ's brakes fade quickly on the track, and we could feel the Subaru roll under the sidewalls of its 215/45WR-17 Michelin Primacy HP tires in Chuckwalla's fast, downhill ess combinations. Then again, this is why they call it "driving," not "gaming." You learn to manage with what you've got instead of simply looking up the cheat code for an upgrade to a more track-ready suspension. Moreover, you become aware of the BRZ's merits on the way home, which is an experience that won't destroy your enthusiasm for such a sporting car.

Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/feature...#ixzz2TxP6zl2b
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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Awesome post !!
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Excellent...thanks~!
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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Nice! Sweet post.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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I'm sorry, but the Camaro is not a sportscar. You don't get to call yourself that when you've passed the 2-ton mark :cripes:
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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Yeah, we know. Some self-important little guy with a rule book in his hands has been telling you that sports cars are dead, and whatever you might think of the merits of some car that you see on the road, he says it doesn't qualify because it has too many cylinders or not enough camshafts or the wrong number of seats plus electric windows and besides it isn't a Morgan Plus 4 made with wood.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganthrithor View Post
I'm sorry, but the Camaro is not a sportscar. You don't get to call yourself that when you've passed the 2-ton mark :cripes:
Yep it's a fat ass. 4120 lbs, yuck.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Yep it's a fat ass. 4120 lbs, yuck.
A tank on the street ? With the power to rival sport car frs ? Wouldnt you feel safer in the Camaro ?
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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A tank on the street ? With the power to rival sport car frs ? Wouldnt you feel safer in the Camaro ?
Safe in a 4000 lbs car that's so heavy it needs beefed up brakes just to stop? Probably not.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #10
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have you ever sat in a new camaro? you can't see s*** out of it, especially not behind you. No thanks
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:37 AM   #11
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have you ever sat in a new camaro? you can't see s*** out of it, especially not behind you. No thanks
You are absolutely right. I remember there was an article on the Camaro being a Dead coffin on wheel around the internet. I didn't believe it, and yes, I did ride in them. They have the worst Visibility from all the cars I have driven up to date!
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ganthrithor View Post
I'm sorry, but the Camaro is not a sportscar. You don't get to call yourself that when you've passed the 2-ton mark :cripes:
By that metric, a Veyron isn't a sports car either...
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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Too bad about those crappy brakes... and a bit surprising considering all the other efforts made to ensure the BRZ was a true sports car. What would it have cost to have equipped better pads - $50 per vehicle?
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