Subaru of America COO: BRZ Needs 'More Performance'

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
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subaru of america coo brz needs more performance

It seems enthusiasts aren’t the only folks looking for a little more performance from the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. Subaru of America COO Tom Doll would also like a little more performance — in terms of sales — from the sports car co-developed with Toyota.

Thankfully, he sees the best way to increase interest in the BRZ is to give us what we want.


Speaking on Autoline Detroit (via AutoGuide), Doll said: “We may have to do some things to (the BRZ) to enhance the driving performance a little more; take it up a little bit. Because I think that’s one of the learnings we’ve seen out of that vehicle, if it had a little bit more performance to it, it could really take up the sales level even more.”

Earlier this year, officials at Subaru confirmed a STI-branded BRZ would go on sale in the United States, but didn’t reveal specs or additions beyond the current car.

In addition to admitting the BRZ needs more performance — whether that means bumping up the power or giving the car some other tweaks — Doll also mentioned a second generation of the BRZ is still up in the air and wholly dependent on the intentions of executives in Japan.

A second-generation BRZ may also depend on Toyota. It’s been rumored the larger Japanese manufacturer is envious of the new Mazda MX-5 Miata — so much so that they’d be willing to use the architecture for the next Toyota GT86 and Scion FR-S. If that’s the case, don’t expect Subaru to follow suit.

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  • LS1Fan LS1Fan on Jul 15, 2015

    The dilemma with the BRZ/FRS is not the vehicles' power. The problem is with their intended customers. This conclusion became clear to me after I saw a backwards-cap wearing moron on my trip home last week. The car he drove; a faded maroon 1990s Camaro Z28 with shiny & heavy Eagle 077 rims. Upon seeing my own 2002 example he hurled the car around urban traffic like a total arse. While I realize the members of TTAC are mature enthusiasts (snicker), the rest of the US driving public frankly can't handle performance cars well. Don't believe me? Call the insurance companies,and while you're on hold for the stats department go search YouTube for '_insert your favorite performance car_ wrecks'. At the high end , the steep price for a performance car such as an AMG or Corvette acts as a small financial incentive to act right behind the wheel. At the proletariat level , neither the maturity or the skill exists in a mass scale for a firm to sell a 400 HP car without accepting the risk a LOT of them will end up at a wrecking yard. While historical cars like the Camaro and Mustang get around this by offering lower output V6s and pricing their go-fast models higher, for these ToyoBarus that business model doesn't work. Their entire sales niche is 'enthusiast fo-rehn car'.If they drop a 300 HP motor in them the price goes up, marginal revenue is unlikely to increase , and more cars are gonna get wrecked. Which means the insurance companies will whack them on the back end, and unlike Mr. AMG the buyers of these cars can't afford sports car premiums. That's why where I grew up at, the only folks driving brand new V8 F-cars were women and men who lied on their insurance forms.

  • John R John R on Jul 15, 2015

    Just put the FA20F motor in there, find a place for the intercooler and be done with it. Oh, and ditch those Prius tires.

  • TMA1 TMA1 on Jul 15, 2015

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the price of these things. Has anyone noticed that the Scion version has climbed to within $25 (MSRP) of the BRZ ($25,670 vs $25,695)? It's been creeping closer ever since the cars came out. At least the dealer might knock some cash off the BRZ that's been on the lot for 4 months, and with better equipment (standard Nav, etc), the Subaru becomes the much better buy. Another thing is, you have to really really want one of these things to pay the premium. The interiors are just so awful in these things. They'd be great interiors for an '88 Supra, but for cars that hit the road in 2012 they have no place in the market. And of course, no improvements are coming from the manufacturers. Primitive radio? Check. Terribly slow nav? Check. Tinny doors, Cobalt-grade plastics and knobs, and no controls on the steering wheel? Triple check. Seriously, go sit in a base, no options V6 Mustang with 100 more hp, and tell me you would rather pay two grand more to sit inside an FR-s. The Mustang is only retro on the outside, whereas Toyota/Subaru decided to go retro on the inside in the worst (and most authentic) way possible. At 20 grand, there might be a point to these cars. At $27K+ after taxes, forget it.

  • Jacob_coulter Jacob_coulter on Jul 15, 2015

    I can't understand why someone would not want more power, it's not like anyone is talking about putting a boat anchor iron block V8 in there that will ruin handling. Something like that's in the current "base" Subaru WRX 2.0L turbo would be night and day and would not hurt the driving dynamics. Very few people want a sports car experience that only focuses on handling. A new Chevy Tahoe would blow the doors off this thing at the dragstrip, you can't tell me that doesn't make a "sports car" buyer consider other options.