13th Dec2011

The CAM Journal: The Subaru BRZ is coming!

by Michael Chandler

Subaru BRZ CAMautoMag

 

With a scant five and a half-ish months until the release of the Subaru/Toyota lovechild, let us take a look at what I like about the BRZ: the one I’m signing up for.

Likes:

Let’s start with the numbers we care about: the two-liter, direct-injection flat four will produce around 200hp and 170lb/ft of torque. It will be backed by either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto, but not a trick twin clutch unit. It’ll be the same trans that the IS350 has: conventional planetary automatic with paddles shifters on the steering wheel. More on that later… It also weighs around 2700lbs, which is 500lbs less than a WRX and 200lbs more than a Miata (which makes 30hp less).

The price isn’t too bad either, around $25,000. That’s right in line with the Miata Touring (middle of the range Miata). A 370Z starts at $31,000, as does a BMW 128i, and an IS250 is $35,000.

It’s been designed to be a true driver’s car. Low-slung boxer four, shoved as far back as they can, ABS and stability have been tuned to limit electronic intervention, and a power to weight ratio of 12.5 lbs per hp.  Hell, the press release is hitting the right notes.

Dislike:

Ok, 200hp is nice but Subaru has made a name by force feeding air down the gullet of their flat fours.  Where’s the turbo?  For a little over $22,000 I can have a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, which makes a little more power. For about $27,000 I can get a 300hp 3.8L Genesis Coupe. Not bad options…

The automatic transmission option is pretty weak. This is a sports car, why not give it a twin clutch unit?  Or how about making another transmission like the one in the LFA’s?

It looks good, but it’s not aggressive enough. Now this would be a problem, but thankfully Subaru is ahead of us and built a bad ass GT300 racer!

 

Verdict:

Yeah, I’m in. I’m in before the STI version comes out. It’s an affordable, naturally aspirated, rear wheel drive option in a segment where the Miata has been king for… Well, ever. Are there cheaper options available? Cheaper AND more powerful, but while I like the Genesis Coupe I don’t feel a connection to it.  I’ve got a Subaru now, and while it’s somewhat sketchy (worlds fastest massage chair!) it’s mine and I love driving the thing. I’m loyal to the stars. That might make me definitely makes me biased, but to hell with it. Sign me and my bias up!!!

-Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

04th Oct2011

The CAM Journal: Emotion

by Trent

I’ve written, and re-written this post numerous times, there’s just so much to convey, and I don’t know if I’ve done it any justice, but here it is anyway.

There isn’t a single car that I’ve owned that I haven’t had some form of emotional attachment to, some more than others. I don’t think of cars as ‘things’. It’s the reason my wife never wants to drive my cars, she knows if she damages it, she’s not hurting an item, she’s hurting a member of the family. Yes, I know, at the end of the day, it’s just a car, and human lives are more important, but there is such strong emotion that runs through car-guy(or girl) blood.

How else do you explain someone lovingly babying and modifying a car that most others would consider junk? Why are muscle car’s so popular now? Why spend $30K on a $5K car? It’s all about emotion.

Most often, it is best to think rationally, however with cars, it is near impossible. New brakes, but doesn’t your car already stop? Your car already has wheels, why on earth does it need a different set of wheels? Believe me, I’ve heard that one before. You can’t justify emotions sometimes, you have a burning desire, a need for a car you’ve lost that left you stranded many times. Just yesterday, I was out driving and my car left me stopped in a busy intersection. Yes, it sucked, but for some reason, I loved it more when I got it fired up again and it got me home.

Explanations aren’t necessary to car guys and girls, but to the average person, they deem you crazy for pouring sweat and blood into your vehicle, new or old. Some people throw wheels on their car and then want to join the group, but it is about more than that. If you sold that car tomorrow, would you regret it? Would you do anything to get it back? More times than I can remember, I see posts on forums of people trying to track down a car they sold long ago. They want it back, they want that emotional connection again.

This is the reason car meets work so well, we all have a common theme, an emotional attachment to the hunk of metal we drive, push, or look at on jack stands. This is also the reason I’m proud to call myself a “car guy”.

-Trent Bray

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com