By on May 27, 2016

2017 Subaru BRZ

Are modest improvements in looks and power enough to revive consumer interest in the Subaru BRZ? The automaker sure hopes so.

A host of small changes were just announced for the rear-drive coupe’s 2017 model year, which sees its sister car (the Scion FR-S Toyota 86) switch identities. Every change aims to nudge the BRZ closer to what the public feels it should be — a performance car worthy of special status.

Well, looks are the first thing buyers will notice. For 2017, the BRZ’s face grows meaner, with a redesigned front fascia, wider grille and LED headlights. Exterior trim sees some minor changes, and an aluminum spoiler now comes standard on all models.

Underneath, Subaru added chassis reinforcements to boost the BRZ’s rigidity. Suspension upgrades, including a larger rear stabilizer bar, have improved handling in mind.

2017 Subaru BRZ

If you’re the type who likes to show off, the BRZ’s stability control system becomes less intrusive, with a higher threshold to cross before the electronic nannies pounce. Because of this, “sport” mode now becomes “track” mode.

A Performance Package is available for improved braking and suspension feel.

What about power, you ask? Prepare to get excited about five more horsepower and five added pounds-feet of torque, in manual transmission models only. Output now stands at 205 hp and 156 lb-ft, though a lowered final drive ratio (4.3:1, instead of 4.1:1) should help improve acceleration.

In Limited trim, a driver information display will log your BRZ’s handling data in a readout next to the tachometer. Other interior improvements include more convenient audio and display controls.

With the 2017 BRZ, it looks like Subaru took the “everything in moderation” approach to the makeover. With BRZ sales falling since its first full year on the market (2013), are the changes big enough to get consumers excited again?

[Image: Subaru of America]

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71 Comments on “Subaru Hopes BRZ Design Tweaks, Power Bump Get Buyers Hot and Bothered...”


  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    if the gearing and motor work good its all set.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    You gotta really hate convertibles to consider this.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      +1.

      On the 86 forums, they often compare it to an e30 M3. Similar power, wheel base, weight distribution, etc. IMO an interesting argument.

      Maybe it is a great deal of fun dogging it at the track? (Not 1/4 mile)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This thing is doomed no matter what, but 500ccs more displacement for this, the WRX, and replacing the ancient EJ in the STI with an FA25T is really what Subaru needs to do. 500ccs would turn this thing from kind of fun to a full on serious sports car. Best part is that power would come free of any cost or weight penalty (maybe a little more cooling capacity and front brakes- that’s it). Till then they can keep it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      No, it needs 500cc’s less displacement and a turbo.

      I so wanted to love this car, but the engine is simply no fun at all. It wants to be hauling a Legacy around saddled with a CVT, not having fun.

      Maybe the retune has helped that feeling.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Aren’t there enough dull-as-death, rev challenged, RC sized engines with vacuum cleaners hooked up to them, to choose from as it is?

        Just lighten internals of the boxer, give it another 500-1000 revs and a shorter time to get there, and all conceivable “performance” concerns should be moot. But even as it is, it’s still a charming package for a pragmatic “enthusiast” car.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Turbo = added cost, added weight, added complexity, worse response, worse sound.

      “Lightened internals” = doesn’t even make sense. Added cost, no added power, slightly better response. A lightened flywheel would do the same for a lot less money and hassle.

      500ccs to the existing NA engine = more power, more torque, better response, more tuning flexibility, no added weight, no added cost, no added complexity. When in the face of several means to achieve a goal the simplest solution is always the best.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Lightened internals allows for a higher redline. And aids in making the engine more responsive. 500ccs more can be fine and good, but the bigger pistons, longer stroke, heavier crank etc. render, all else being equal, the engine less quick responding and sporty.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Yeah, because a more gawping grill opening is just what every modern car needs…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    5 HORSEPOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did you hear that kids!

  • avatar
    raph

    >>shrugs<< if Subaru wants to get people in and the BRZ out the door it needs to be a giant killer outside of an autocross. It needs to put the Mustang GT and even more athletic Camaro SS on the trailer at both the drag strip and road course and beat them both in handily in the price arena.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Why try to beat pony cars at their own game? The WRX/STi are supposed to be the giant killers (but they’re not anymore).

      And the FR-S/BRZ beat the V8 pony cars handily in price. Most Mustang GTs I’ve seen on the lot have $35k+ stickers.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        The ubiquitous V8 pony car sets the standard when it cones to domestic performamce so if your looking to pull a crowd of people in that’s where you set your target, especially if your target is the import crowd that would like nothing more than to ridicule and emasculate those cars whenever possible and as in many areas as possible.

        If the Toyobaru twins appealed to more than a bunch of misty eyed old guys that grew up wanting a 270Z or old live axle RX7 they would have sold better.

        While plenty of people sayou they want a fun car at moderate speeds they really don’t. People want cars that pin them in the seat, that suck them into the window on a fast turn, frankly cars that have more capability than they have nerve or sense.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          Perhaps, but how can you explain people buying the Mustang GT with 220 hp in the 90s when the Supra was available with 300 horsepower?

          If people wanted to feel their performance, surely the Supra offered more.

          And the Supra TT would lay the hurt on a mustang gt. Yet cars like the 240sx and all the mitsuibishis sold way more examples. Obviously the people buying new import performance cars aren’t buying their cars based on whether or not they can embarrass pony cars.

          And if people are buying pony cars purely for performance, why are they paying more for convertibles? The newest convertibles don’t have too much of a trade off, but they sure did a year or two ago.

          For what it’s worth Edmunds suggests the average BRZ buyer is around 35, and the FR-S buyer is 40. But the average mustang buyer is 50 according to bloomberg.

          But the average new car buyer is 51.7 years old (across all vehicles) so the mustang is very typical.

          Obviously, if you want to sell new cars, you have to appeal to 50 year olds with money or credit. Especially since the average Mustang buyer has a household income of 72k or so, which seems very low for a 25-35k car but that’s besides the point.

          The FRS and BRZ combined sell more than the GTI, the Miata, the 370z, and the Genesis Coupe in America and probably around the world (although the GTI might sell more globally).

          I think the sales are more nuanced than you would have me believe. But you’re not wrong, if they could make cars that dominated the muscle cars for less money, they’d sell ’em like hotcakes. Though you have to wonder if their shareholders would let them do something so generous.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There were an awful lot of early ’90s sporty or sports car ‘choices’, but it always comes down to performance “bang for your buck”. Think for a moment why Mustangs have never left, still hanging in..

            220 HP?? HA, that Mustang GT had 300 lbs/ft of torque, a wee bit more than the Supra Turbo, at substantial savings. The LX 5.0 started at around $10K or about half the price of the Supra Turbo. Plenty of ‘juice’ left over for a set of KONI shocks.

            Maybe the price is too high on these BRZ cars. And not enough ‘new car’ buyers/leasees know or care why RWD is such a big deal here. It’s the true, enthusiasts really, really care, but they’re mostly 2nd or 3rd owners.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            What was the price difference between a Mustang GT and a 30p hp Supra? What about an Eclipse or 240? The non-turbo Supra was best described as “Camaro performance for Corvette money”. Having driven one, it seems accurate. I like how you tell half the story by purposely leaving out the major price differences.

            Mustang has a higher average age buyer? For a car that debuted in 1964, that seems right. People who grew up with Mustangs in the family are still buying them. My parents had a new 66, and in 96, they bought one for my brother’s graduation present. My dad still admires them, he points them out and reads up on the new one, even though being in his mid-70s with health issues like a bad back, its not the ideal car for him. It doesn’t matter, he still loves them.

            Nobody was sitting in a classroom in Jr. High school dreaming of one day buying a Subaru. Mustang, like Camaro and Wrangler, are engrained in our DNA, they are iconic, and they appeal to people of all ages.

            The Fox body 5.0 was very light, so 220 hp went a long way without the weight of modern safety and infotainment systems. It also had a damn sight more than 156 ft/lb of torque. If you bumped up a BRZ to 220 hp, my money would still be on the 1992 5.0L.

          • 0 avatar
            wumpus

            I’d make a great BRZ buyer. I drove the hell out of my father’s 83 corrola SR-5 (which appears to have been a AE-85 although wiki seems to think it was a AE-86). Near as I can tell, the BRZ *barely* has any more power/weight than the GT-S (much more than the SR-5).

            Somehow I think the “older I get the faster I was” is killing this car. Between modern tire grip, the hillarity that was driving the thing over 85mph (which buried the needle in ’83) and it bouncing all over the place and roaring like it was ready to fall apart. It just needs a lot more power to capture the magic. Low weight does a lot, but 205 hp just won’t do it (yes, I know it is way more than the old one. But there has been this “hp inflation” that matched the financial one).

            I’ll have to check it for headroom while they still make this car. Dear old dad’s car had a sunroof, and my head stuck up into that thing (meaning a hit on the left would rip out a chunk of my brain). Hopefully the new car will fit.

          • 0 avatar

            I had an ’83 SR5 liftback 4speed 4AC motor. I believe that one was an AE86 and not an AE85. Beautiful car,kind of a burnt copper with factory gold sorta honeycomb 13″ alloys. It even had a hood ornament. The only thing that spoiled it was those big black bumpers. The car was slow but seriously LOOSE “in teh twisties”. I used to love sliding around the mountains of N GA E TN and WNC in it.

            I thought long and hard about getting one of the Toyobarus out of AE86 nostalgia but they seem to me there is a 4-4-4 issue in that they need one of 3 things: 40 more horsepower, 400 less lbs or $4k lower sticker price.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            yamahog…

            The best explanation for why the mustang sold in early 90’s vs Supra was you could buy 2 new 5.0’s and maybe a high mileage used car for snow days for the cost of one Supra (last generation).

            HP had nothing to do with it, economics was the driver.

    • 0 avatar
      lukemo2

      A 2016 Camaro would mop the floor with this thing (in turbo or V6 form), for the same price.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        But then you would be driving a Camaro. No thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “But then you would be driving a Camaro.”

          *snort*

          That made me think of “..fightin’ in a basement!”

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          but then you would be driving a brz. No thanks

          These cars need 220-250hp. I would get the Toyota version to match my SUV

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I didn’t love the BRZ, but I have hated every Camaro I have been stuck with as a rental.

            It doesn’t need more horsepower. It needs more torque, and an engine that wants to play. A problem easily solved with a slightly smaller motor with a turbo. Baffles me that Subaru didn’t do that to start with, given their expertise with turbos. Toyota’s bad influence?

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            I think it’s pretty evident Subaru took care of the engine choice. Toyota agreed on having a lower centre of gravity that a boxer design offers.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    I really hope they made 6th gear taller. The engine spins too fast on the freeway as-is. I don’t know why Japanese mfgs insist on having passing power in top-gear and spinning the engines as fast as they do.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      For several reasons:
      Saves a shift for freeway passes
      Isn’t very detrimental to engine life or fuel economy (Lots of Hondas have done many highway miles at relatively high RPMs)

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        I understand it but I don’t like it. I really like how tall GM gears their vehicles – 1800 rpm at 70 mph? Yes please. None of that 4k rpm at 80 mph bologna that the Fit pulls. The Japanese are getting better at dropping the rpms of their CVTs on the freeway, but they didn’t get the memo for the manuals.

        Fun fact – the Honda CBR250RR spun at about 9-10k rpm at about 60 mph in top gear. And they go around 80-100k miles before you need to rering the pistons. But it also had a 18k redline and its piston velocity at 9k rpm was shockingly low.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Anyone who feels this car needs to compete with pony cars simply doesn’t get the BRZ. I just hope the “more convenient” audio and display controls aren’t on the steering wheel. The BRZ was perhaps the last car without a crapload of stupid buttons on its steering wheel.

    EDIT: I just checked out the photo again. It looks like the controls are indeed on the steering wheel. Are people really that lazy or incapable? A pity.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Agreed. This car is not supposed to be an alternative to a pony car. And that’s fine. However, this car needed a 50 HP boost, not 5. Sharp handling is actually more fun (to me) that blazing acceleration. Then again, I bought a car with both.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Current 0-60 times in the low 6’s is OK (kind of), but you gotta work too hard to get those numbers. Give the thing 60 more ft/lb of torque and I’d be a lot happier.

        Screw it. I’m just gonna buy a used Saturn Sky Redline. They understood this sh*t years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Apparently, a lot of people don’t “get” it, and therefore don’t buy one. Its hard to claim victory when pony cars are flying off dealer lots and these are glued to the lot.

      I do get it, the car is about handling and driving fun, more than being about straight line acceleration. But pony cars have evolved considerably in areas where this car was supposed to pick up the slack. Effectively, you can have your proverbial cake and eat it, too.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I’ll raise my hand. I’m a card carrying member of the BRZ/FRS needs more power club. So, yeah, I don’t get it.

      Same with the Miata. Really like the car. If you want me to open my wallet the car would need to make more power (but that’s true for all Mazdas). But I understand. Some like t*ts. Some like a$$.

      Why limit yourself? I like both.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Ironically, the Miata is now properly quick; pundits decry the low horsepower number, despite everyone who’s driven one saying how satisfying it is. Personally, I think that a car which makes a big deal about not being about straight-line line speed pulling off 0-60 numbers in the high 5s is plenty. I’ve also very briefly driven the car, and it ain’t slow nor boring.

        The Toyobaru is slower despite 50 more claimed hp, and people who’ve driven them complain about the dipping powerband being a kill-joy. Horsepower and torque numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Make the powertrain engaging, and 0-60 in the 6s range can be plenty fun. That’s about what an AP1 S2000 and Fox Mustang 5.0 run, and I don’t hear anyone complaining about the acceleration being boring.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          I liked the Miata when I drove it. I still think it needs more power.

          Granted, I didn’t do a high RPM clutch drop, but I didn’t do that in other roadsters and they felt more responsive.

          A more telling number might be the weight to power ratio.

          Miata- 2309/155=14.8

          Compared to other roadsters that are both heavier and more powerful the Miata’s numbers aren’t that great. And, at least for me, the test drive confirmed it.

          I’m glad the car exists. Having choices is good. I’d just choose something else.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Exactly. By the numbers, a 500 Abarth should be a snooze. But that ridiculous motor just makes you grin non-stop. The Toyobaru doesn’t need to be faster, it needs to be more fun and grin inducing.

  • avatar

    5 Horsepower

    That is BRILLIANT.

    So much better than a Twin Turbo or Supercharged something putting out 500 Horsepower.

    Gee, should I buy a BR-Z or get an old Supra with 1000+ HP?

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Any Supra making 1000+ hp is going to cost about the price of a hellcat. But there are enough Fast n Furious fanboys willing to pay the premium.

      There’s a good dumb joke though – what do a 600 hp supra, a 700 hp supra, an 800 hp supra, and a 900 hp supra have in common? An 11 second 1/4 mile.

      Very few people make Supras into really fast dragsters, they just don’t have the displacement to keep big turbos spinning for enough of the rev range. And they don’t put the power down super well either.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        11 secs but they are doing 130mph plus.

        Thing is Supras are now more expensive than a BRZ. You can thank Paul Walker for that.

        A clean twin turbo six speed Supra is money on the bank.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I wish they had made one of the hatchback/wagon/breadvan concepts. Aim this thing at Cooper S, 500 Abarth, and Ford ST buyers by offering similar space but RWD dynamics. If you want affordable fun and practicality, you’re stuck buying FWD. I would’ve been a target buyer for this: early 30s, enthusiast, owned a BMW, and needed something with lower ownership costs but able to carry my stuff (I need at least 30 cubic feet of seats folded space as well as the ability to transport a 12 ft Kayak). I looked at Mini Clubmans, Fiesta STs, and 500 Abarths and ended up with the Fiat.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Do you use a trailer to pull the kayak. I can’t imagine it on the roof of the Abarth.

      And don’t forget about the WRX. More performance than everything you listed and AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @hubcap – unfortunately, they no longer make WRX hatchbacks :-(. The WRX is also a little too fuel thirsty. I drive a lot. I’m averaging 2k miles a mont on the Abarth so even small differences in mpg can hit my pocketbook. I drove a friends FR-S and was able to comfortably beat the EPA’s numbers (aveaged 35 mpg on the same highway I use on my commute). Even though it’s certainly a lot of fun, I don’t ultimately need WRX levels of peformance, and couldn’t afford to pay for its 18/25 thirst for fuel (what the previous gen hatchbacks got). I actually agree with Yamahahog and LS1 Fan below – I would rather have a 160 hp version that weighed less, cost less, and got better fuel economy. I also don’t really like AWD. Aside from preventing the occasional torque steer, all it does is add expense and weight and lowers performance and efficiency.

        As far as the Kayak goes, it does fine on the Abarth. Looks a bit goofy with a 12 ft kayak on top of a 12 ft car, but it drives just fine. no stability issues so far. The only problem I’ve run into is that when the Kayak carrier adapter is attacked to the roof rack (I bought the Mopar/Thule one that Fiat sells), I can’t open the hatch. It’s a function of the cars length and the hatch mounted spoiler on the Abarth, which gets in the way.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          Never underestimate what you can carry on a small car with a properly set up roof rack. In my early days of doing 17th century reenactment, I would carry 18′ pikes (long spears) on the roof of a Ford Festiva.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      How are you liking the Abarth? Is it holding together well? Has it stayed fun or does it get frustrating after awhile?

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @yamahog – the only real complaint I have about the Abarth is I wish it was bigger. I said 30 cubic feet of space above because that’s what the 500 has seats folded and I regularly max that out. I could certainly use more, but I can manage with what I have. I also wouldn’t mind better mpg, especially above 70 mph on the highway, but that’s because I’m cheap (I can’t help thinking that I would be at least $1,000 richer due to fuel cost alone if I had bought a Prius instead of this). It does fine though, especially considering I don’t baby it. I’ve averaged 30 mpg, and that’s with many mileage killing 75 mph road trips. It reliably gets high 20s in the city which is nice with the traffic congestion near my house.

        It’s holding together and been generally reliable. I’ve put 30k miles on it since I bought it used with 24k and its only needed unscheduled service once. It remains a blast to drive, the steering is pretty good for EPS once you start throwing it around (I’m guessing the light weight helps there), and that awesome exhaust sound has yet to get old. If I don’t seem substantive with praise there, it’s because my previous car, a 330i zhp, is the gold standard for how a car should drive to me and everything else I drive falls short of it. Owning that car was a mistake but I’ll be perpetually disappointed haha. The Abarth is an attention getter. I’ve had more people approach me and ask questions and give compliments than I did in my BMW.

        It doesn’t shine on the highway as much as it does in the cities and suburbs, but its not poor. As I said in another response, I’ve been putting 2k miles a month on it since I got it so I spend plenty of time on road trips in it. My boyfriend lives 150 miles away, and my closest friends each live about 100 miles away, all in different directions, so I’m constantly on the road to their different places. I’ve even commuted the 3 hour 180 miles drive from my boyfriends place to work before with the car multiple times. The ride is surprisingly comfy on smooth roads, the exhaust doesn’t done awfully, the upgrades beats audio system is pretty good, and the seats are quite good so it’s a pleasant enough place to pass the miles.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          You know, after reading your Prius comment, I can’t help but wonder why the idea of a hybrid with a truly sporty suspension option is viewed as a non-starter. I wound up with the Altima hybrid, which has vastly better dynamics than a Prius. I would still like more though, but I can’t modify it because it belongs to my employer. That said I think there would be a market for those who enjoy good handling and have a desire for saving fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @golden2husky – I test drove a first generation Honda Civic Hybrid with a manual and it wasn’t awful. Although it wasn’t the right car for me, it did get me thinking that it’s a shame there isn’t a fun, manual transmission, efficient, sporty, fun hybrid out there. With the demise of VW’s 2.0 diesels, you have limited options for high efficiency (say over 30 mpg city or more than 35 combined number), manual transmissions, and a quality, fun chassis. I think the Fiesta 1.0 EB is about the only choice, although the Civic 1.5T may be another option once it gets a stick. I wish Lexus had made a CT200H with a manual. That would’ve been perfect for me.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Well, there is the GS450h F-Sport or the Q50 Hybrid.

            They are bigger bucks though and the 2016 GS looks like an angry & ugly sea monster now.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @ajla – more critically, they are both automatic only. no manuals. Also, getting the Q50 as a hybrid means you have to take that awful steer by wire system. Hardly an enthusiast oriented or legitimately sporting hybrid.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Golf or Jetta TSI. My best gal-pal is getting low 30’s city/suburban in her 5spd Jetta TSI. At least until she nailed bambi with the poor thing. The chassis is on the comfortable side rather than particularly sporting, but it drives very nicely. And quickish when you need it to be.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Krhodes – both the Golf and Jetta show under 30 city and under 35 combined EPA. Fuelly’s numbers are consistent with that. Plus, the Golf only offers a manual on the base models. Jetta wouldn’t have worked in my case because it’s a sedan, not a liftback. They do drive nice though. I enjoyed one that I had as a rental.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The base model is the way to go with these cars, IMHO. Cheap cars should be cheap, if you are going to buy a loaded one, spend the extra and get an actual premium car.

            There is “city” and then there is city – where I am, what passes for city is 30mpg+ in that car, which I find quite impressive. We don’t do stop and go here. I expect it to settle in to around the combined figure, and I bet I can easily beat that 40mpg on a long trip.

            I infinitely prefer the Golf, and if it was my money it would have been a Golf, but she had a payment budget to hit, which meant settling for the Jetta.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @krhodes – unfortunately, city traffic where I live is city traffic. Lots of stop n go and lots of idling at traffic lights. My BMW 330i would get 18-19 being driven normally and maybe 20-21 if I hypermiled it. One thing I like about the Abarth is that I can comfortably get 28-29 while still enjoying it. I expect the VW’s would be down in the mid 20s as well. That being said, I’ve had rental Jettas and Passats with the 1.8t and both handidly beat the EPA numbers on the highway, and that would be helpful to me. Unfortunately, most of my driving is of the most inefficient sort – either city congestion or 75 mph+ on the highway, and I do a lot of it. I’ve been averaging 2k miles a month on my Abarth since I got it. Thank God I did buy it because I can’t imagine doing that in an out of warranty BMW. However, that amount of mileage is why even though the Fiat is pretty efficient and gas is cheap, had I bought a Prius, it would still have made a significant difference in $.

            I do have to disagree when you say “Cheap cars should be cheap, if you are going to buy a loaded one, spend the extra and get an actual premium car.” Premium cars bring premium ownership expenses and operating costs. Sometimes its nice to have premium features in an affordable to own car. and for the record, I’m not asking for self driving, active safety, or anything like that. The only feature my Abarth lacks that I would’ve wanted is dual zone climate control. A sunroof would also have been nice, but on the Fiats, you can’t have that with a roof rack. Otherwise, when I say premium features, I mean stuff like heated seats, satellite radio, a high quality sound system, bluetooth, upgraded/sports suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes, and maybe leather, although I could live without that. If cars today had a la carte optioning, that would be fine, but unfortunately trimlines and packages mean you end up having to option up just to get one or two features.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    More horsepower?

    Nope. If anything it needs LESS.

    Yup. I just said it. Go ahead haters- I’ve upped my pitchfork insurance.

    This car is aimed at younger buyers who want a *practical* enthusiast driving experience. 300+ HP means jack s–t in real life driving regimes; fat lot of good that’s gonna do you in bumper to bumper congestion.

    What about freeways? Glad you asked. Max legal limit in the nation is 80, and you’ll only “safely” be able to do 85 before the Campaign Hat Squad halts you for an expensive chat.

    Then there’s canyon roads, but you don’t need a lot of power to enjoy those -and high power can be and is a liability for inexperienced drivers . See YouTube.

    What it needs is 160HP and a lower price tag. This way Joe and Jane Teenager , shopping for a used 2 door Civic, instead pick this and discover the joys of owning an honest car versus the modern idiom of rolling iPads with airbags . Subaru will sell a pile of them, and the owners might actually live long enough to appreciate and buy enthusiast cars with more power.

    Like used Hellcats.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      With any luck, Toyota’s going to bring the S-FR here. It’s a concept car but it uses a 1.5 liter engine out of a Corolla. Expect it to weight ~2200 lbs, make 130 horsepower, drive the rear wheels, and cost ~20k.

      If it has cruise control and a slick transmission and >35 mpg on the freeway, I’ll buy a new one. Yellow.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I would largely disagree with LS1Fan. He’s overstating what actually happens in reality.

        I remember when the 86 first came out people were saying that as “their First RWD car” there would be a spate of accidents due to the tail happy nature.

        In my country there used to be a fad where every young male was buying cheap Japanese rwd sports cars with 300+ hp and more on tap and there would be ‘carnage on the roads’. This has now tailed off as they have banned higher powered cars for novice drivers.

        None of these ‘disasters’ happened. Of course there were some high profile cases but it wasnt even a blip.

        People arent really killing themselves at huge rates in RWD high powered cars.

        The vast majority of people either:

        A. get it out of their systems and buy Camrys with large wheels.

        B. get a CUV

        C. become died in the wool enthusiasts who graduate to bigger power cars.

        Every generation has their scaremongering. I find it incredulous that it was the 86 when it was released a few years back and its STILL the 86 now.

        Its a 200hp 3,000lb car with every safety doodad under the sun. Get a grip.

        • 0 avatar
          LS1Fan

          Punch the string “BRZ Crashes” into YouTube.

          Bring a big thermos of coffee , as its back to back video examples of people wrecking 3000lb cars with every safety doodad and 200 HP .

          For folks in the targeted demographic, 300 Hp would be a major liability.Not only would more owners end up in wrecks, but you’ll also have higher insurance rates.

          Higher insurance rates = car unaffordable for young drivers.

          Besides, where in day to day legal driving is 300 + HP going to matter?

  • avatar
    CrapBox

    I like my BRZ, but what do I know? I just drive the thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I’m with you. My FR-S is far from perfect (mostly complaints about the Subaru rattles), but the thing is an absolute joy to drive on a backroad. Hard on the brakes, rev match downshift (with your foot rather than letting the computer do it), through the corner, and ride to redline out. It transitions so well and makes you a better driver by rewarding smoothness and staying in the right gear.

      This BRZ update will be great for the auto-x guys, I think.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    This car was made to be fun to drive, and as far as I know, most people who have really tried it, knowing what it was made to do, considers it kinda fun to drive. This was not ment to challenge Mustangs or Hellcats on the straight, but more to be an alternative to those who really want a Miata, or possible an S2000, but need more space and an extra seat or two.
    Or (like me) just live somewhere where having a battleship with a spaceshuttle engine is just too expensive for a bluecollar guy.
    I don’t know how many they were expecting to sell, but even if they lose money on it, the enthusiasts who really wanted it are happy, and that’s what counts with a car like this.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I still think a detuned FA20 form the WRX would work wonders for this car. Bring the torque and horsepower to the 220-230ish range and you’d have a much more enjoyable vehicle (at least for me).

      I don’t know why Subie/Toyota engineers thought that the torque dip that the car has would be acceptable for a fun car.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      When an early buying frenzy dies down, there has to be good value. Now let’s drop the price between a Corolla and Mustang, where it belongs. The ’80s AE86 was overpriced too.

      Yes I know, GTI, Miata, but still. Cars don’t get pulled without a good reason.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    I don’t know what the weird agreement is with Toyota the keeps them from making this car truly a sports car. Maybe that engine can’t have forced induction reliably with out expensive upgrades. Maybe they think this is a great car to give your 16 year old daughter and not really a sports car.

    I do think that Subaru knows that this car isn’t fun until horsepower approaches 250 along with 250 lb ft of torque and they are just being asses about it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Thinking more and more about it, I think they need to combine this with the Impreza/WRX. The big hurdle is the form factor. It’s pretty much a 2 seater. If they took the Impreza platform, configured it in RWD, and punched out the BRZ’s motor to 2.5L…. or better yet, just went with a 3.0L flat 6, I think a lot of people would take notice. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a WRX with that ghastly wing and cheesy interior, but I’m OK with the BRZ. For ~$5K more, making it a sedan (or “4 door coupe”) would make it a viable to a much wider audience without killing its ethos.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      The normal WRX doesn’t have the wing. The STI does and there’s a wing delete option.

      Have you sat in the new WRX? I know this is partially subjective but to me the interior is much better than it was and is close to the GTI.

      And the WRX drives with an eagerness the GTI just can’t match.

      You wouldn’t be caught dead in a WRX because of a “cheesy” interior, yet you have no problems with a Civic or a 350Z.

      Funny that.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    So they didn’t fix the only thing that was wrong – weaksauce motor.


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