If I were opening a performance driving school tomorrow and needed to strike a deal with an OEM for a supply of cars, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ would be on that list.
To be sure, plenty of other production cars are well-suited to the purpose of instructing students. Last time I went through a track school, the company used BMWs (3 Series, if memory serves, but the 2 Series is also good). The Mazda Miata and its related cousin, the Fiat 124 Spider, would also serve as good choices. I could probably, without much effort, pick a whole bunch of cars from the current market, utilizing all types of drivetrains and transmissions, that would be great for novice track drivers to get their feet wet with.
Back in May of this year, TTAC reported the list of changes coming for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and asked if what amounted to a rather modest workover would get consumers excited enough to reverse the sports coupe’s declining sales trend.
Having spent a week acting barely responsible in Subaru’s only two-wheel-drive offering, my belief is no, the BRZ will not buck the trend. After commuting in it, doing school pick up duty and grocery runs — all in a most irresponsible way, revving the little four-cylinder boxer engine to redline again and again — I expect there will be a blip on the sales radar this year. Sadly, I also expect the BRZ (and its Toyota 86 twin) to slowly slip into automotive obscurity.
This terribly depressing thought has mostly to do with declining overall consumer interest in fun, driver-oriented cars, and it does nothing to celebrate what a wildly fun machine this is.
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 [s]Scion FR-S[/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.