Nov 14

Subaru’s BRZ Sports Car Set to Finally Hit the Road


After years of rumors, spy photos and speculation, Subaru’s first rear-wheel-drive sports car, the BRZ, will finally be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in early December. However, first impressions of the new hot rod are already out thanks to the editors at Motor Trend, who received a test model of the BRZ from Subaru and were won over by its agility and handling.

Subaru has remained tight-lipped when it comes to the BRZ’s specs, and until recently even the exterior styling of their new coupe, which arrives at Subaru dealerships next spring, was something of a mystery. Subaru says the 2013 BRZ will weigh around 2,500 pounds in production trim, making it easily the lightest car in the automaker’s lineup, and that light weight is a big part of what made the model so fun for the Motor Trend team to drive.

“Subaru has really kept fans on the edge of their seats with the BRZ,” said Chris Dunn, general sales manager of Massachusetts Subaru dealership Mastria Subaru. “It’s a real departure for Subaru to produce a rear-wheel-drive car, but they’ve done their homework and created a vehicle that’s going to set a new standard for the segment.”

Co-developed with Toyota, the Subaru BRZ employs a 2.0-liter Boxer engine similar to what powers the 2012 Subaru Impreza. Subaru engineers have refused to reveal power numbers yet, but Motor Trend has estimated that about 200 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque will come from a free-revving four-cylinder engine. That power will come matched to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

While the BRZ will be a potent package, the 2012 Impreza WRX STI should remain the automaker’s king of the hill when it comes to performance. With 305 horsepower and Subaru’s advanced all-wheel-drive system, the WRX STI has long been the automaker’s ace when it comes to motorsports, a legacy that was displayed at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Two race-winning Subaru WRX STI models piloted by brothers Mark and David Higgins were featured at the automaker’s SEMA booth. Mark’s record-breaking Isle of Man rally car showed the capability of a nearly stock Impreza WRX STI, while David’s Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI, which won the 2011 Rally America Championship, was on hand as well. The Rally Team USA car also set a new record earlier this year at the Mount Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire.

“Subaru is devoted to excellence both on and off the beaten path,” Dunn noted. “The lessons it learns in racing make their way to the production vehicles, which is one reason why Subarus are so durable in all sorts of conditions.”

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