follow ft86club on our blog, twitter or facebook.
FT86CLUB
Ft86Club
Delicious Tuning
Register Garage Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   Toyota GR86, 86, FR-S and Subaru BRZ Forum & Owners Community - FT86CLUB > 1st Gens: Scion FR-S / Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ > BRZ First-Gen (2012+) -- General Topics

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


User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
Hachiroku
Administrator
 
Hachiroku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Drives: Boxster 986
Location: Tristate
Posts: 1,158
Thanks: 36
Thanked 1,973 Times in 342 Posts
Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 5 Thread(s)
Post EVO: Subaru BRZ vs Subaru Impreza 2000 Turbo review


FT86CLUB Homepage Featured Story


Via EVO

Quote:
Subaru BRZ vs Subaru Impreza 2000 Turbo review

So is the move to natural aspiration and rear drive a step in the right direction for Subaru? Richard Meaden decides by driving the BRZ back-to-back with the legendary Impreza

Name:  brz-vs-impreza2000turbo.jpg
Views: 91354
Size:  35.1 KB

This should have been an easy story to write. It should have been the feature that cemented the BRZ as our new hero, the moment when Subaru reclaimed its place in our hearts as the purveyor of attainable, desirable drivers’ cars. But it’s not, and writing this story is proving anything but easy.

It’s hard because I’m sitting at my Apple Mac feeling bewildered at how a car received with rapturous praise by some of the more excitable industry commentators has just left me lukewarm at best. Hard because the BRZ was a car I’d been genuinely excited about driving and even toyed with the notion of buying. Hardest of all because I’ve just stepped from 2000-worth of 15-year-old, near-100,000-mile Impreza Turbo and found it to be much the quicker, more characterful and more exciting car. Suffice to say this is not the story I was expecting to write.

Let’s rewind. My time with the BRZ starts on a cold, wet Tuesday night. Catchpole, Bovingdon and Barker (along with the rest of the evo crew) have all had their time with the car, but due to other work commitments I’ve not been part of the earlier elements of the test, nor have I had the chance to download their thoughts. That’s good, because it means I’m coming to the BRZ armed only with what I’ve read in the weekly magazines, the odd online review and my own level of anticipation fed by years of teaser stories about it and the Toyota GT 86. Needless to say, I’m expecting big things.

First impressions are encouraging, as the BRZ looks more special than pictures had led me to believe. It’s small, sharp and has more presence than you’d imagine, while the interior design is funky without being too faddish, with the odd strategically placed bits of leather in this ‘Premium’ trim car for an added – and welcome – sense of quality.

The drive home is a strange one. I’m immediately underwhelmed by the motor – it sounds tinny at best, thrashy at worst – but the damping, steering and overall sense of structural rigidity and cohesion is notable. With a few wet roundabouts to distract me on the way, I arrive home a little more positive than when I set off, but hardly buzzing.

Next morning I leave home for West Sussex, where I’m due to meet Nigel Balkham, owner of a standard and very tidy 1997 Impreza Turbo. Despite the mixed emotions of my first 20-minute exposure to the BRZ, I’m still excited at the prospect of spending a full day in this, the one and only example on British soil, even though the journey is mostly motorway. Three hours later I’m parked outside Balkham’s house, thrilled to see how good his Impreza looks, but genuinely struggling to make sense of my indifferent feelings for the BRZ.

To put it bluntly, if you’ve driven anything even moderately sporty, the BRZ’s performance is limp. Its 2-litre flat-four might well be a marvel of packaging and sit lower than a rattlesnake’s gonads for an optimum centre of gravity, but it simply doesn’t have enough power or – more critically – torque to deliver anything like the performance it needs.

Now I know this probably sounds like the rantings of a spoilt journo weaned on Zondas and loathe to get out of bed for less than 500bhp, but I can assure you my size nines remain firmly on the ground. I ‘get’ light, modestly powerful cars and enjoy their infectious enthusiasm for being driven hard. I wasn’t expecting an accelerative fireball, but I was expecting a bit of naturally aspirated zip in the manner of a Renaultsport Clio Cup, which for the record has 197bhp and 159lb ft, weighs 1204kg and is a car I adore.

Sadly, despite similar figures (197bhp, 151lb ft and 1202kg), the BRZ has very little urgency or accelerative spark. Instead you have to cane the living daylights out of a genuinely unpleasant engine that emits a teeth-gnashingly awful soundtrack as you grind your way round to 7000rpm. It’s a passable performer in isolation, but this lack of guts makes the BRZ one of the least effective overtaking tools I can remember. It’s also easy meat for anything with a turbodiesel motor, unless you sacrifice all dignity and attempt your best Kamui Kobayashi impression on the brakes.

The great shame of all this is that the rest of the car is a class act. The steering is direct, quick-witted and very accurate, the brakes have plenty of bite and progression and the damping strikes a sweet balance between tautness and pliancy for a harmonious relationship with the road surface. Its strong grip on dry roads actually means you can carry terrific momentum through the corners without drawing attention to yourself. Conversely you really have to throw it at a bend to achieve a slide worthy of a cornering shot, which is less than subtle and rather defeats the promise of this being a car to enjoy at less than banzai speeds.

As I discovered during my first journey, the wet provides much more scope for enjoying its rear-wheel-drive layout. If anything it’s over-keen to break both traction and lateral grip, so the traction and stability systems can get pretty busy. Switch ’em off and it skates and slithers around nicely, but because there’s so little torque to call upon you have to use the revs, which robs the BRZ of some progression and requires confident throttle application to balance. In such conditions it’s a fun car, but the nasty engine and fundamental lack of performance remain the elephant in the room.

It takes ten minutes in the Impreza Turbo to highlight the BRZ’s shortcomings. This, let’s not forget, is a 1997 car with the best part of 100,000 miles under its optional 16in Prodrive Speedlines. When it left Japan some 15 years ago, its 2-litre turbocharged flat-four had 208bhp and 214lb ft of torque. By the way it rips along some twisty Sussex B-roads, I’d say they’re all still present 
and correct.

This was a car that changed our perception of affordable performance. When it appeared in 1994 it offered Escort Cosworth-beating performance for 17,718 – some eight grand less. I can remember road-testing a very early example for the now long-defunct CarWeek magazine and being blown away by its pace, all-wheel-drive tenacity and unique character. Two years later I ran one as a long-termer on the now long- defunct Performance Car magazine (there’s a trend emerging here) and absolutely loved its combination of all-out performance, practicality and cult appeal.

I can’t recall driving an early Impreza Turbo since, but all those emotions soon come flooding back. Yes, by 2012 standards the interior is a horror show of hard (if hard-wearing) plastics, but the essential character and performance are as endearing and impressive now as they were all those years ago. The sound of that four-cylinder boxer is as appealingly throbby and off-beat as ever and the five-speed gearbox has a satisfying and distinctive mechanical feel.

The Impreza feels light on its feet too, with a nicely supple suspension set-up and an encouraging sense of wieldiness. The steering is a little heavier than I remember, but there’s still that slightly numb zone either side of straight-ahead that rightly drew criticism in contemporary road tests. Nevertheless, you soon feel confident when placing the car into a corner. Start to work it harder and you can sense a bit of scrabble from the front wheels as they claw for on-boost traction, but it’s also throttle-adjustable so you can tighten your line or even induce a bit of yaw from the rear if you want some fun. I’d forgetten this more playful side to the early Impreza Turbo’s nature, so it’s a timely reminder that four-wheel drive needn’t mean inert, prescriptive handling.

What’s most noticeable is the abundant mid-range thrust available from 3000rpm upwards. That 63lb ft peak advantage over the BRZ is compounded by the fact it arrives 2400rpm sooner, so you really only have to tickle the Impreza’s throttle to feel it spool-up and thump down the road. It’s a graphic illustration of how torque-to-weight and not power-to-weight makes for a quick, responsive and exciting car on the road. And if you continue to bang the power-to-weight drum, the other slight issue for the BRZ is that, while it’s admirably light by today’s standards at 1202kg basic, that figure rises by another 60kg once you’ve added the Premium spec and the auto ’box, making it heavier than the 1235kg Impreza Turbo.

I’m not saying the Impreza is perfect. It doesn’t have the BRZ’s tight, direct feel through the steering and its brakes are no more than adequate for the task of containing its performance. Perhaps the biggest difference is that where the BRZ feels bespoke like a small two-plus-not-much seater should, the Impreza is very obviously derived from more humble stock. But the fact that the Impreza Turbo is nothing more than a super-heated saloon car never bothered me in the slightest. Indeed all the attendant practicality benefits made it one of the great all-purpose family performance cars. By comparison the BRZ is more of an indulgence. Admittedly one that you could use every day, but only if you have no need for a more practical car, or if you run it as a second car, which means it needs to deliver something special to justify its place on your driveway.

The other issue for the BRZ – and this is the one most motoring journalists are masters at glossing over – is the price. The 25,000 being predicted as the starting point is a lot of money to spend on any car. Okay, so lots of buyers will get a finance deal rather than shell out the whole lot in one hit, but whichever way you cut it, that amount of money will buy you an exceptional new drivers’ car, as Jethro Bovingdon’s group test has highlighted. And I don’t need to tell you that in today’s used-car market that same sum throws open an Aladdin’s cave of extraordinary metal. Or for a tenth of that you can buy an Impreza Turbo, go much faster and have just as much fun, as Nigel Balkham’s car has just vividly proved.

This should have been an easy story to write. The BRZ should have been a car to celebrate. If STI is allowed to inject another 50bhp and 50lb ft – and combined with the manual gearbox – it could yet be just that. For now, though, this car feels very much like a triumph of hype over horsepower. I feel like the Grinch for saying so, but it’s the inconvenient truth.

Via EVO
Hachiroku is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Hachiroku For This Useful Post:
Abflug (02-25-2013), Asphalt~86 (02-25-2013), Bonburner (02-25-2013), Giccin (02-25-2013), Guff (02-26-2013), illmatic (02-25-2013), M-17 (02-25-2013), MannyO (02-25-2013), Sonolin (02-25-2013), switchlanez (02-25-2013), Z3D (02-25-2013), Zaku (02-25-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
switchlanez
Glorious BRZ Master Race
 
switchlanez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Drives: Subaru Libird
Location: Race Wars
Posts: 3,645
Thanks: 1,050
Thanked 2,717 Times in 1,079 Posts
Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Hard for me to validate his opinion because I don't have access to that generation of Impreza Turbo but I get his point. He wants more power. I'm not disappointed with what I got for what I paid for the BRZ, including the power level. Another factory 50 hp/50 lb ft will detract from its lightweight and handling characteristics (it'd be another GenCoupe) and price (into a segment with better performing cars for the same money).
__________________
switchlanez is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to switchlanez For This Useful Post:
SuperDave (02-25-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
norsamerican
Senior Member
 
norsamerican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Drives: WRB BRZ
Location: Houston
Posts: 539
Thanks: 101
Thanked 233 Times in 112 Posts
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
i had a turbo impreza coupe and i loved it. It was the ultimate traction monster. It handled awesomely also.
norsamerican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 11:51 AM   #4
dsgerbc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Drives: BRZ(sold), STI
Location: A2, MI
Posts: 1,915
Thanks: 176
Thanked 419 Times in 241 Posts
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Rule #1 when in business of writing/saying anything for general public: "Never admit you were wrong on anything, when in doubt double down on past claims.".

Sigh.
dsgerbc is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dsgerbc For This Useful Post:
M-17 (02-25-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
bunny86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Drives: Starlet
Location: UK
Posts: 122
Thanks: 29
Thanked 24 Times in 18 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
That's why it should never have been sold as a Subaru.
bunny86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
robo_robb
Member
 
robo_robb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Drives: Whiteout FR-S
Location: NJ
Posts: 88
Thanks: 37
Thanked 56 Times in 23 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
This guy obviously values power over dynamics. He just doesn't "get" it. It's understandable.
robo_robb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
Zaku
-Proud of Brzerhood-
 
Zaku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Drives: '17 BRZ CWP LMT.
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,153
Thanks: 2,718
Thanked 1,725 Times in 790 Posts
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Need @ichitaka05 to give his opinion. On this since he owns one and drove the other, not sure how much I trust this writing
__________________

"The BRZ Section's fine wine" -Zgrinch
Zaku is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Zaku For This Useful Post:
M-17 (02-25-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #8
Turbowned
Senior Member
 
Turbowned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Drives: 2017 Subaru BRZ Perf Pack 6MT
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 5,048
Thanks: 1,949
Thanked 1,945 Times in 1,150 Posts
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Garage
Well, you can't get a turbo GC8 Impreza in the U.S. without building your own. And apparently you can't get it in Britain, either, so what's the point in comparing a car that you can own with one that you can't??

I just drove a very "tidy" 2002 WRX with only 37,000 miles and it was not nearly as nice as the BRZ. It's a quick economy sedan that's fun to drive and the BRZ is a less-quick purpose-built sports car that's very fun to drive. So suck it, Evo magazine!


Quote:
I can remember road-testing a very early example for the now long-defunct CarWeek magazine and being blown away by its pace, all-wheel-drive tenacity and unique character. Two years later I ran one as a long-termer on the now long- defunct Performance Car magazine (there’s a trend emerging here) and absolutely loved its combination of all-out performance, practicality and cult appeal.
Keep writing drivel like this and you'll make Evo defunct as well.
__________________

Current: 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S 6MT
Previous: 2 BRZ's, 997 C2S, C5 RS6, C4 S6, B8 S4, GDB STi, S30 240Z, FC3S RX-7 TII, AW11/SW20 MR2, E30 318is/325i, etc.
Turbowned is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Turbowned For This Useful Post:
MannyO (02-25-2013), slaxx (02-26-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
MannyO
Ninja Moderator
 
MannyO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Drives: 2013 Subaru BRZ
Location: Lubec, ME
Posts: 900
Thanks: 1,130
Thanked 345 Times in 216 Posts
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Garage
Yes Richard Meaden, you want moar powah!...we get it. Now onto my findings.

Quote:
Im still excited at the prospect of spending a full day in this, the one and only example on British soil, even though the journey is mostly motorway
Not sure if this article is REALLY old or he's just making assumptions. @ICantAffordAnLFA @Beardo

Quote:
...Id forgetten this more playful side...
Spell check

NEXT!!!
MannyO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #10
LeeMaster
Red wine
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Drives: Subaru BRZ(R.I.P)
Location: Denied
Posts: 1,176
Thanks: 1,268
Thanked 342 Times in 240 Posts
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I currently own a 97 Impreza brighton coupe and the BRZ. They are both slow, the Impreza is lighter than the BRZ(approximately 80-100lbs) and they both handle pretty good. I have not pushed the limits on either of the car's cornering capabilities so I cannot comment on that.... yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbowned View Post
I just drove a very "tidy" 2002 WRX with only 37,000 miles and it was not nearly as nice as the BRZ. It's a quick economy sedan that's fun to drive and the BRZ is a less-quick purpose-built sports car that's very fun to drive. So suck it, Evo magazine!
The GD Impreza has a 300 lb weight handicap over the older GC Impreza. So naturally you will not have as much fun in it as the older ones.....
__________________
LeeMaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #11
Turbowned
Senior Member
 
Turbowned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Drives: 2017 Subaru BRZ Perf Pack 6MT
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 5,048
Thanks: 1,949
Thanked 1,945 Times in 1,150 Posts
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeMaster View Post
I currently own a 97 Impreza brighton coupe and the BRZ. They are both slow, the Impreza is lighter than the BRZ(approximately 80-100lbs) and they both handle pretty good. I have not pushed the limits on either of the car's cornering capabilities so I cannot comment on that.... yet.



The GD Impreza has a 300 lb weight handicap over the older GC Impreza. So naturally you will not have as much fun in it as the older ones.....
True but it has 225bhp vs 165bhp in the most powerful (for the U.S. market) GC 2.5RS. I've driven a 350bhp STi-swapped GC, too. That was a fun car!
__________________

Current: 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S 6MT
Previous: 2 BRZ's, 997 C2S, C5 RS6, C4 S6, B8 S4, GDB STi, S30 240Z, FC3S RX-7 TII, AW11/SW20 MR2, E30 318is/325i, etc.
Turbowned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
Acree
Senior Member
 
Acree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Drives: 13 CSB BRZ Ltd
Location: United States
Posts: 1,035
Thanks: 147
Thanked 530 Times in 286 Posts
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I understand and to some degree, agree with his opinion.

At the same time, I think 6 more months and the aftermarket community will be able to far surpass the power characteristics of the Impreza Turbo motor. Header/Exhaust/Intake/Tune will give us all the power back that has been robbed from this motor in the quest for emission targets.

And above all, even with the torque dip, and coming from a 500+hp Evo 9, I still love this car.

-Acree
__________________
2011 BMW M3 (No torque dip)
2013 Subaru BRZ - SOLD - Build Thread

Last edited by Acree; 02-25-2013 at 03:11 PM.
Acree is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Acree For This Useful Post:
M-17 (02-25-2013)
Old 02-25-2013, 01:24 PM   #13
MightyMeeple
Slower than Fast
 
MightyMeeple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Drives: BRZ Limited 6MT
Location: Research Triangle Park, NC
Posts: 431
Thanks: 290
Thanked 220 Times in 132 Posts
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Interesting article, and kudos to the author, Richard Meaden, for laying it out frankly. I do find the comparison odd though...rear wheel drive BRZ to all wheel drive turbo Impreza...the turbo had better have more zip after all.

But the fact remains, that 98% of the rest of the car enthusiast press have uniformly praised the twins.

And even more importantly: I test drove one, and knew I had to have it. And now I do!
MightyMeeple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
zc06_kisstherain
 
zc06_kisstherain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Drives: SWP BRZ
Location: NJ
Posts: 3,166
Thanks: 721
Thanked 663 Times in 503 Posts
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Garage
i wished little more power as well
zc06_kisstherain is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply

Tags
brz forum, brz forums, subaru brz, subaru brz forum, subaru brz forums

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Subaru Impreza STi - Polishing + Opti-Coat - Reflections Detailing GTA Reflections Cosmetic Maintenance (Wash, Wax, Detailing, Body Repairs) 1 07-28-2012 05:54 PM
Subaru Impreza STi - Polishing - Reflections Detailing GTA Reflections Cosmetic Maintenance (Wash, Wax, Detailing, Body Repairs) 9 07-14-2012 05:07 PM
Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 announced (JDM) quik1987 Other Vehicles & General Automotive Discussions 0 11-29-2011 05:12 PM
2012 Subaru Impreza matadormi5 Other Vehicles & General Automotive Discussions 32 04-13-2011 06:55 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2023 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Garage vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.