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

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