2013 SUBARU BRZ | December 30, 2011

One of many questions has plagued me for as long as I’ve known Subaru. With their championship rally history and their all wheel drive super fast line up, Why hasn’t this company ever made a low-slung, can’t see through traffic, rear wheel drive, drift around the corner, boy racer killing sports car?

I guess they must have questioned it themselves. So they have collaborated with Toyota to bring us the Subaru BRZ, rear wheel drive sports car. Subaru says that the NEW engine in its BRZ, a 2.0-liter flat-four will form the basis of its next turbo motor. For its part, Toyota says that their version of the car to be sold as the Toyota 86 in Japan, as the GT 86 in at least the U.K., and as the Scion FR-S here, makes sense as a first thrust in its plan to again build sporty, fun-to-drive vehicles.

In developing the BRZ, Subaru took an almost maniacal approach to weight and its management, keeping it low and evenly distributed between the car’s axles. The company claims that 54 percent of this car’s mass rides on the front wheels and 46 over the rear, and says that its center of gravity is right around 18 inches high. That latter figure rivals or beats the measurements for the Porsche Cayman and Mazda RX-8, among others.

Powering this sporty ride is the FA flat-four. Compared to the FB four found in other Subies, the FA’s intake is 2.6 inches lower and the oil pan clings closer to the crankcase, allowing it to be mounted with its crankshaft centerline 2.4 inches lower. Amazingly, the engine is mounted 9.4 inches farther back in the chassis than an Impreza’s four. A Subaru spokesman says the two engines share “maybe a few screws,” but are otherwise completely separate pieces. We’re told the weight difference between the two is negligibly in favor of the A. Placing the engine so far rearward of course helps balance the car, but it also precludes Subaru from fitting an all-wheel-drive system. The company says that it has no room for a turbocharger either, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out soon enough.

So ONE of my queries have now been rectified and I expect to see one of these irresponsibly flying in and out of traffic with a douche bag behind the wheel, real soon.



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