It’s here! Finally, the hottest new vehicle to hit Australia’s shores in 2012 is in the showrooms and the customers are lining up to buy… if they can, as only a limited number are available so far and they can only be seen at a very select handful of Australian car dealers. We’re talking about the Subaru BRZ, the sizzling new sports coupé that’s already generated a lot of media interest.
A lot of you can’t get down to these dealers conveniently (although a few of you will!) so here, we can give you the low-down and all the currently available specs of the Subaru BRZ. Although, once you read all about it and see the pictures, you might want to nip down and get a closer look… and take it for a test-drive, if you’re very, very lucky and ask extremely nicely.
A quick word about the name, though. We all know that manufacturers who use letters and numbers to name their models don’t just choose them by grabbing blindly in the Scrabble set and seeing what comes out. Subaru is one of those marques that sometimes goes for a well-chosen word and sometimes uses an alphanumerical designation, so let’s take a moment to analyse the possible reasons for naming this the BRZ. Immediately, this suggests words like “brazen”, “breeze and “brazier” (a container for hot coals). And they’re all applicable to the Subaru BRZ, so the three letters of the name have had some thought put into them. The Oxford Dictionary also lists “britzka”, a rather obscure word meaning “an open carriage with a calash top and space for reclining” – which will be more appropriate when they come out with a convertible version of the Subaru BRZ, which isn’t the case yet – it’s “just” a classic sports coupé.
OK, what does the Subaru BRZ look like? As would be expected, the BRZ streamlined profile and lines that is shares with all other wild things designed for speed and power – everything from its on-road rivals to predators such as sharks and falcons. The angled headlights are suggestive of a bird of prey and emphasise the predatory aggression of the car, while the aerial on the rear windscreen is more reminiscent of a shark. Add the low, ground-hugging body perched atop 17-inch alloy tyres and you have the recipe for a vehicle that will have young and old drooling, or at least admiring. And while the looks of the Subaru BRZ make a bold declaration of power and speed, the looks are far from brazen and are kept tasteful; a black panther rather than a leopard. Even as it says goodbye, the Subaru BRZ is stylish: the rear lights flash a ring of red jewel-like dots.
What is brazen, however, in the Subaru BRZ is the power on offer: 147 kW @ 7000 rpm for the maximum power and 205 Nm @ 6600 rpm for the peak of the torque curve. The top speed of the Subaru BRZ is less of a breeze and more of a hurricane, according to the Beaufort scale: 226 km/h in the manual variant of the Subaru BRZ and a slightly slower 201 km/h in the automatic. This output is produced not by a V8 or a V6 with a lot of capacity but by a 2-litre engine – the same size as found in many sedate family sedans – with DOHC with dual AVCS and a bore x stroke rating of 86.0 x 86.0 and a compression ratio of 12.5:1. Subaru call this engine the FA20, and it’s a beauty of a Boxer. The Subaru BRZ’s FA20 engine comes harnessed to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto transmission. On the economy front, the Subaru BRZ seems to have struck a happy compromise between pure performance and performance at the pump, with the automatic variant of the Subaru BRZ having the better economy figures: the automatic has a combined economy figure of 7.1 litres/100 km compared with the manual’s 7.8. In many ways, it is this engine that is the unique feature of the Subaru BRZ, as the vehicle itself has an “evil twin” in the form of the Toyota 86.
The full set of specifications for the Subaru BRZ as we will see it in Australia is yet to be seen. However, we do know that it will have a number of doughty active safety features including the 4-channel, 4-sensor Super Sport ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and it will have power steering. And that aerial that sits like a shark’s fin on the roof is bound to be there for something, probably Bluetooth connectivity or navigation – we shall see! We also know that one luxury variant of the Subaru BRZ will have leather trim and heated front seats. A peek at the official Australian Subaru BRZ site seems to suggest that the Subaru BRZ has front fog lights and a stop-start button, and that the distinctive circles of the rear lights are echoed in the styling on the dashboard. Cruise control and sports seats also have been “mentioned in dispatches”.
Reviewers everywhere have commented that the Subaru BRZ has a lot in common with the Toyota 86, another hot new release that has just hit the Australian market. However, the Subaru BRZ does have that special Boxer engine and it is just a tad more exclusive in this part of the world, as there’s only going to be one Subaru BRZ to every eight Toyota 86s. If you are interested in the Subaru BRZ, you had better be in quick because the first few models to come Down Under sold out in a mere three hours – the buyers were almost as quick as the car itself.
The current Subaru BRZ models include the:
For any more information on the Subaru BRZ or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Subaru dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
Back to Subaru Car Reviews