The Subaru BRZ is hands down one of my favorite cars to drive. It is not as quick off of the line as most sports cars, but it is arguably more fun. The BRZ’s unique feel instantly turns any shopping mall parking lot into the Le Mans circuit. The best part is… you can drive it hard without breaking any traffic laws. It is thrilling, but yet you don’t have to get carried away with how fast you are going.
It is vehicle that was born from the temporary marriage of two Japanese companies: Subaru and Toyota. Each organization brought their best traits to the table. Luckily for us, Subaru got the engine department. So, both models offer a 2.0L Flat 4-cylinder motor. Flat or “boxer” engines are superior for momentum vehicles like the BRZ because they allow automakers to build cars with a lower the center of gravity, and thus improving the handling characteristics.
The Toyota FRS and Subaru BRZ share similar design and drivetrain options on the lower level base models, but the Subaru branded version outshines the FRS when it comes to the higher trim levels. The model I am testing this week is the limited edition tS spec. Only 500 are being made worldwide. Which is a shame, because this track ready BRZ is the best Subaru ever made. The power is still limited to 205 horses, which by many accounts make it under powered. But the tS features an assortment of performance upgrades over other BRZ models to make up for it. Brembo performance brakes come standard for example. It also features SACHS performance shock absorbers and stickier Michelin tires. I do want to point out that all BRZ models come with TORSEN limited-slip differentials and a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Back to the limited edition BRZ tS, it also comes with a few visual upgrades. Most notably a gigantic rear wing. Typically, the effects of a rear wing don’t come into play unless you are going 100+ mph because you need significant speed in order to create downforce, but they look ridiculously sporty. And the fact that Subaru offers this on a stock car is really cool!
I look at the tS version of the Subaru BRZ in the same light as the GT3 version of the Porsche 911. Unless you are at the race track every weekend, both are over kill for the street. But the performance enhancements make these cars uniquely desirable.
With a starting price of $33,495, the Subaur BRZ tS is seemingly a great value when you take into account that you can be the neighborhood boy racer of a limited production sports car for less than the cost of 3-series BMW.