The Subaru BRZ, a 2+2 front engine, rear wheel drive, two door coupe, that alone should reveal the potent but mild force lurking within. Powered by a 2.0 litre, 197bhp Boxer engine the BRZ is available in four trim levels with prices starting from around £24k and rising up to £27k. Top spec models and mated to either a six speed manual or automatic. Boxer engines with their horizontally aligned pistons allow for the engine to be mounted low, the lower the center of gravity the better the dynamics and with a 45:55 weight distribution Subaru have thought long and hard about how to make the BRZ anything other than a styling exercise.
That styling is understated, the electric blue paint job raise’s the BRZ’s profile yet the simple lines work very well. That same simplistic philosophy extends to the interior, just don’t expect Audi TT levels of premium finish however the driving position is just right, the sports seats supportive and up front space is plentiful. The rear seats are useless for passengers and are best used as extra storage space. I was expecting the BRZ to be a niche car to fill a particular market, rather unexpectedly Subaru have shown that the BRZ is seriously as much fun as a £200k supercar.
“the Boxer engine needs to be revved hard to gather speed, break into the 4,000rpm rev range and you are rewarded with a vocal rally cry, like Braveheart going into battle. In reality the BRZ doesn’t need the extra power, sometimes power doesn’t matter when the car is so rewarding to drive”.
Driving the BRZ beholds a rawness for it feels more like a track car optimised for the road its a proper drivers car forgoing fancy electronic bells and whistles, with the exception of traction control, and relying on the competency of the driver behind the wheel to experience the highly accomplished chassis and handling setup. Despite the stiff suspension the levels of grip are high, steering feed back is like an impressionists painting happening before your eyes, with a sharp turn in phase on entry into corners, a fragrance of rear wheel drift as you apply the throttle which is finished off with constant levels of traction mid corner and on exit. The whole car is beautifully balanced and this is the key for a rewarding and entertaining drive, there are more expensive sports cars that fail to distill this level of finesse.
However there is a problem, the BRZ lacks straight-line performance, 197bhp and 205 NM of torque breaks the 0-62 mph barrier at 7.6 seconds which is respectable but the Boxer engine needs to be revved hard to gather that speed, break into the 4,000rpm rev range and you are rewarded with a vocal rally cry, like Braveheart going into battle. In reality the BRZ doesn’t need the extra power, sometimes power doesn’t matter when the car is so rewarding to drive.