Just Car Blog
|2013 Subaru BRZ Review & Test Drive||
The all-new Subaru BRZ expands on the joint venture between Toyota and Subaru for their well-perceived and affordable compact sports coupe. Having virtually the same driving characteristics and over-all design, the new Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S reintroduce the fun-factor wrapped up in an affordable package with only subtle difference between the two.
Having spent time in the new 2013 Scion FR-S months ago, it is only fair to first point out the obvious differences when compared to the new 2013 Subaru BRZ. Having the same drivetrain, basic body structure and interior, the two vehicles depart on their styling mainly in the front facia air-dam area. Another difference enthusiasts are so quick to point out would be the standard HID headlights and navigation system on the Subaru BRZ, which only slightly adds to the bottom-line price.
The new 2013 Subaru BRZ remains to be an alternative offering to that of the new Scion FR-S where some marketing strategy difference have taken root, especially when you consider how Scion is known to be a focused youth brand from Toyota. The Subaru BRZ, being the first rear-wheel-drive only vehicle from the automaker, easily finds its path to successful sales due to its extremely low center of gravity, sharp handing attributes, good looks and over-all sporty aptitude on just about any paved road.
My new 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium test vehicle did not include any additional options (as found on the Limited trim), so it was equipped with the driver-focused 6-speed manual transmission. In my opinion this is the only way to get the new BRZ. Though, a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is offered for an additional $1,100 for those who don’t feel the need to row their own gears.
Just like the new 2013 Scion FR-S, the new Subaru BRZ is a capable platform to build off of for the average tuner. Not only that, but in stock form the BRZ sports the lowest center of gravity of any current production vehicle while putting forward a sporty aptitude in its handling dynamics and body stability on the road and track.
Power output from the 2.0-liter flat 4-cylinder (horizontally opposed 4 cylinder engine) has somewhat of a distinctive sound while it pumps out 200 horsepower at a relatively high 7000 rpm and dishes out just 151 pound-feet of torque at an almost equally high 6600 rpm. Staying consistent with just about every other car review on the new BRZ, I wholeheartedly agree that it could use more power. Of course if you really love what the BRZ has to offer in its sharp handling, sporty styling and low priced package, you will respect its undeniably fun driving and sharp handling characteristics. The steering rack, at times, feels almost as sharp as some exotic Italian vehicles. Still, power output, predictable at best, is a long shot from firmly pinning you in the sport seats.
Inside of the new 2013 Subaru BRZ it is difficult to find many differences from its FR-S sibling. Although, a few items remain to be different such as the background color/pattern of the gauge cluster and the navigation system only offered on the BRZ. Just about everything else remains the same, which is still a good thing considering how well the sporty front seats are form-fitting to your body with just the right amount of bolstering. The rear seat area remains to be somewhat of a novelty as you can barely fit two toddlers in the back, let alone a teen to adult-aged person. The 2+2 seating configuration is certainly something to ponder, considering its small size, if you have any kids and the BRZ would be your main form of transportation.
Good quality interior materials are what we have all grown to expect from Toyota and Subaru. The fit and finish is good, but not excellent. Sitting in the height-adjustable driver’s seat puts you in an excellent position to really get a feel for the BRZ’s dynamics. Having a conservative power-out level along with a sturdy and well-planted chassis really gives the driver the confidence needed to be among the best on an autocross course in the BRZ.
Even though the new 2013 Subaru BRZ is a far cry from its WRX sister in terms of power output, it is one of the best driver’s cars available on the current automotive market for such a low price range. The new Subaru BRZ’s true race-inspired feeling is translated into a language that novice and professional drivers can all appreciate. That says a lot about the engineering and design put into a vehicle starting at just $25,495.
In tests, the 2013 Subaru BRZ does not disappoint much on paper for its performance abilities. The BRZ brakes from 60 mph to a stop in 114 feet and holds a respectable 0.90 g of lateral acceleration. You may expect to get an even better lateral g accel number with tires superior to the standard Michelin Primacy HPs, which is probably not hard to do considering these tires are found on the Toyota Prius. The BRZ only gets 17-inch wheels wrapped in these grip-lacking efficiency-rated tires. Of course with such tires, fuel consumption figures for the BRZ automatic transmission reach 34 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg city. My 2013 BRZ test vehicle with the 6-speed manual transmission will get just 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
Quarter mile time for the new 2013 BRZ has been record at 14.9 seconds at 95.5 mph -not too bad for a modest rear-wheel-drive Subaru with 200 horsepower at 2,700 pounds. The 2.0-liter flat-4 is a decent engine with direct-injection during mid to high-speeds and conventional injection at lower speeds – all thanks to the joint engine-tech developments from both Toyota and Subaru. The potential of the Boxer engine is evident in the full line of Subaru vehicles, which does not surprise us to know that a performance version of the BRZ, a BRZ STi, is expected sometime next year where we expect to get more than 200 ponies out of such a great sports car foundation.
Enthusiasts without a large budget can now obtain an affordable rear-wheel-drive sports coupe from automakers who know the sport compact business very well. The new 2013 Subaru BRZ looks to have a very long and successful life in the enthusiast world.
Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base BRZ Premium (manual transmission) $25,495.00
- Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve Boxer/Flat (horizontally opposed) 4-cylinder 200 horsepower @ 7000 rpm / 151 ft-lbs. @ 6600 rpm
- Track: f/r-59.8/60.6in.
- Wheelbase: 101.2in.
- Height: 50.6in.
- Headroom: f/r-37/35in.
- Legroom: f/r-41.9/29.9in.
- Cargo volume: 6.9cu.ft.
- Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- EPA mileage: 22 mpg/city, 30 mpg/highway
|‘Fast And The Furious 6’ To Feature Subaru’s BRZ||
The 2013 Subaru BRZ has much in common with bigfoot, UFOs and honest politicians: while many people believe they exist, we’ve yet to see one with our own eyes in the wild. To keep demand (and prices) high, Subaru’s strategy is to limit the number of BRZs sold in the United States. Dealers are happy to take deposits, but delivery times are based on regional allocations; in other words, if you live in a region that doesn’t sell a lot of other Subaru models (like the Southeast), good luck getting your hands on a BRZ.
We’re surprised, then, that the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious, due in theaters next summer, will feature Subaru’s new sport coupe as one of its automotive stars. As Motor Trend reports, five BRZ coupes have been delivered to the movie’s production company, meaning that five buyers will be waiting a bit longer to take delivery of their cars.
Details are lacking, but its logical to expect the car to get the full Fast and the Furious treatment. That means an outrageous body kit, complete with a pavement-scraping splitter and gigantic rear wing, likely big enough to serve a Thanksgiving dinner on. We’re sure there will be horsepower upgrades, too, in the form of forced induction, intake, exhaust and ECU mods, and it’s a given that a nitrous system (functional or not) will make its way into the car.
We’re not sure why the production company opted for Subarus over the more plentiful Scions, unless Scion told them, “no thanks, we’re selling all the cars we can import.” While the film will certainly give Subaru great marketing exposure, we’re not sure that’s a good thing. If buyers are already waiting months for BRZ delivery, we can’t imagine having to wait even longer will help sales.
|Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S Top List Of Fastest Selling Cars||
We enthusiasts have been telling the auto industry the same thing for years, if not decades: build an affordable rear-drive sport coupe with plenty of upgrade potential, and the buyers will come. It looks like we were right, since Edmunds is reporting that the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S currently have the lowest days-to-turn (DTT) in the industry.
Days-to-turn is exactly what it sounds like: the number of days between delivery of a car from a manufacturer to delivery of the same vehicle to a customer. The industry average for vehicles in the United States is 53 DTT, while Subaru’s BRZ took just four DTT and Scion’s FR-S took only five DTT. Next on the fastest-seller list was another limited-production car, the Audi TT-RS; it stayed on dealer lots a mere seven days.
You could easily make the argument that these three examples should be excluded from the list, since all are specialty cars with short supply and high demand. That would make the real best seller car number four on the list: Acura’s new ILX sedan, which took only eight DTT. Last in the top five was Toyota’s new Prius c, which found a new home in an average of 10 days.
We’re not sure there’s a common theme here. Sure, all five models are compact in size, but three emphasize entertainment value above all else, while two are more focused on fuel economy. If there’s any takeaway for the auto industry in these numbers, it’s probably this: when you build cars that customers want to buy, they don’t stay on dealer lots very long.
|Video: Stock Scion FR-S Lays Down 173 Rear-Wheel-Horsepower||
The new Scion FR-S, alongside of the new Subaru BRZ, is one of the most highly anticipated low-cost enthusiast oriented vehicles to hit the market. With its heritage and engineering aspects coming from both ends of the Japanese car culture spectrum (Subaru and Toyota), it is sure to be a hit among enthusiasts looking for one of the best platforms to build off of and modify. To prove that the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ is one of the best foundations to start with in the tuner world, we have posted Inside Line’s Dyno run of the FR-S below.
Surprisingly the new Scion FR-S is quite the efficient little rear-wheel-drive vehicle putting out a healthy 173 horsepower to the wheels. With a rating of 200 horsepower to the flywheel, the FR-S has a relatively small power loss through the drivetrain. In knowing this, tuners are already ahead of the game. We await wheel-horsepower numbers of the first few tuners who bolt-on that monster turbo kit to the new FR-S or BRZ. Exciting stuff!
|2013 Subaru BRZ Priced||
Blame it on a strong yen against a weak dollar or blame it on waiting for the competition (in this case, Scion) to show its hand, but Subaru has finally priced the BRZ sport coupe. First, here’s a reminder: the Scion FR-S will start at $24,930 with a six-speed manual transmission, or $26,030 with a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic. Of the two, the Scion is meant to be the bargain brand, making it accessible to a wider range of buyers.
Per Subaru, the BRZ will be priced from $26,245 with the manual transmission, or from $27,345 with the automatic. That buys a car in Premium trim, which comes standard with things like a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and USB and auxiliary inputs. Opt for the Limited version (which starts at $28,250 for the manual, or $29,350 for the automatic) and you’ll get amenities like heated front seats, leather and Alcantara upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a security system and remote keyless entry.
The $1,315 difference in base price can easily be justified by the BRZ’s standard features (like the nav system) that don’t come in the Scion FR-S. It’s clear that Subaru is aiming the BRZ at a slightly older audience, and it’s also importing fewer examples to keep demand (and thus pricing) high.
Subaru still hasn’t announced an official “on sale” date, but we expect to see the first shipments arrive at dealers by Memorial Day weekend.
|2013 Subaru BRZ Lands 0-60 test at 7.3 seconds & ¼ mile in 15.3 seconds||
0 to 60 mph times have been the most recognizable performance guide to benchmark cars for almost the time that the automobile has been able to reach 60 mph. Manufacturers pride themselves in posting respectable 0-60 mph times for many obvious reasons. One vehicle that the manufacturer’s 0-60 mph time seems to be a bit of a let-down is the new Subaru BRZ posting a 0-60 mph time of only 7.3 seconds.
Edmunds’ Inside Line recently tested the new 2013 Subaru BRZ’s 0-60 mph and quarter mile times landing 7.3 seconds and 15.3 seconds respectfully. Much of the disappointment in 0-60 mph times remains the BRZ’s failure to reach 60 mph in second gear. Basically, the rev-limiter kicks in a split second or so too soon stopping 2nd gear’s run right at 59.2 mph forcing the driver to shift to 3rd – hence adding extra time to get to 60 mph.
Of course in Edmunds’ tests they still found the BRZ to have a character comparable to that of a Porsche 911 GT3 and Lotus Exige in other feats. That says a lot about the BRZ being a truly ‘capable’ rear-wheel-drive sports coupe. Until tuners or the manufacturer provide some type of ECU flash to slightly raise the rev limiter, 0-60 times will be one of the very first mockeries of the prided Subaru BRZ (and possibly its Scion FR-S sibling).
|Want A Subaru BRZ In The U.S.? You Have A One In Six-Thousand Chance||
If you live in the U.S. and hope to park a new Subaru BRZ in your garage this year, here’s our suggestion: head down to your local Subaru dealer today and put down a deposit to reserve one in your name. Car and Driver has learned from a U.S. Subaru dealer that only 6,000 BRZs will be imported for the 2013 model year, which likely means that demand will exceed supply.
Subaru is neither confirming nor denying this, but the automaker is on record as saying it needed to sell between 5,000 and 7,000 coupes at around $25,000 each to turn a profit. By splitting the difference and importing 6,000 units, Subaru is likely to keep demand (and thus, pricing) high. Not everyone who wants a BRZ will get one, and those who do can expect to pay sticker price (or more) for the privilege of buying one.
Subaru dealers are now accepting pre-orders with deposits, although the official selling price of the BRZ has yet to be established. Any deposit money taken for a BRZ is fully-refundable, since dealers are likely to have little trouble in moving inventory.
|Subaru’s BRZ To Start At $24,000: Report||
Now that both the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S production models have been revealed to an eager public, we know most of the details that the respective manufacturers are willing to share. We know horsepower, we know the available gearboxes, we know the interior room and we even know standard equipment, but what we don’t know yet is price. Speculation has ranged from “the cost of a Subaru WRX” to “less than a WRX STI,” to which we’d reply “we certainly hope so.”
Even the WRX range is a bit rich for a starting price on the BRZ, if you ask us, since the cheapest WRX starts at around $26,000, while the range-topping WRX Limited can cross the $35,000 mark if you load it up with options. For a non-luxury-brand sports car, that will be directly comparable to the sub-$24,000 Mazda MX-5 in terms of performance, setting the opening bid at $26,000 isn’t going to win a lot of fans.
Motor Trend, however, thinks it has some good news. According to them, the starting price of a Subaru BRZ Premium (the entry-level model) will be around $24,000, while the loaded-up BRZ Limited will sticker from $27,000. Even Premium models come well equipped, with such amenities as HID lighting, a navigation system and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Opting for the Limited gets you automatic climate control, leather and Alcantara seating and few other non-performance related bits.
Let’s hope they’re right, because we thanks that’s the exact price point the BRZ needs to sell in. The Scion FR-S will likely undercut the BRZ on price, but don’t expect it to be as well-appointed as its cousin since it’s specifically aimed at the entry-level market.
|New Subaru BRZ In-Motion Video||
So far one of the many highlights at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show remains to be Toyota and Subaru taking the wraps off of the long-awaited GT 86 (FT-86) and the Subaru BRZ sibling. Lately, an onslaught of new photos and videos has been released showcasing these two new rear-wheel-drive boxer engine lightweight hotties. One video that shows more details of the Subaru BRZ has been released by Subaru giving us a glance at many new angles and interior shots while the BRZ is rolling down the road and on track. Hit up the jump below to check it out.
|Subaru Reveals The Production BRZ||
Toyota jumped the gun a few days back, leaking images and video of the FT-86 (called the GT 86 in Japan) sports coupe. You knew Subaru had to follow, so here are the images of the production Subaru BRZ, which will be officially unveiled at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show.
The Subaru may look a bit plain compared to the Toyota, but the Toyota GT 86 shown was likely a higher-trim model with an included body kit. If more aggressive looks are your style, we’re pretty sure that Subaru will be happy to sell you air dams, spoilers, side skirts and splitters to improve airflow and appearance.
Like the Toyota, the Subaru will get by with modest power and light weight. Despite rumors of additional horsepower in Subaru models, base BRZs will come with the same 200 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque that the Toyota GT 86 produces. If that’s the bad news, here’s the good news: the BRZ weighs in at less than 2,700 pounds, and features a low center of gravity for superior handling. On paper at least, the BRZ looks like it will stack up well against Mazda’s MX-5, long the king of bang-for-the-buck handling.
Both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearboxes are available, and the automatic transmission features both “Sport” and “Manual” modes. As you’d expect from a sport-oriented automatic, paddle shifters are included and the transmission will match revs while downshifting. Like Volkswagen’s DSG-equipped GTI, we suspect the automatic transmission BRZ may be slightly quicker around a racetrack than the manual.
There’s still no word on U.S. pricing or availability, but we’ll update you as soon as we get the information.