- 200-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine
- Closely related to the Scion FR-s
- Only rear-wheel drive car Subaru makes
The 2014 Subaru BRZ is one of the few, pure sports cars still around and its debut last year was celebrated by driving enthusiasts everywhere.
The BRZ is a sports coupe, jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota (which named its variant of the car the Scion FR-S). Subaru is known for its all-wheel drive cars, and the BRZ is the only rear-wheel drive it makes (it’s also the only coupe). There are plenty of mechanical similarities between the BRZ and the FR-S, but also enough difference to allow each to stand on its own merits, especially when it comes to styling.
From the outside, the BRZ is good looking, if a bit understated for our tastes. It doesn’t have the same drama that you find front and center on the FR-S, but it’s a handsome car from both the front and side. The rear integrates the dual exhausts into a subtle rear diffuser and the rear brake light is a triangle that sits between the exhaust pipes. High-intensity discharge headlights come standard, while a trunk spoiler and fog lights come with the Limited trim.
Under the hood lies an engine that features technology from both Subaru (the horizontally-opposed cylinders) and Toyota (direct-injection fuel system). The 2.0-liter flat four produces 200-horsepower and 151 pounds-feet of torque, and is mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Fuel economy ratings check in at 22/30 mpg city/highway for the manual, while the automatic bumps those numbers up to 25/34 mpg city/highway.
At first glance, those power numbers look a little low for a rear-wheel drive sports car. But the 2013 BRZ makes up for it with a curb weight of just over 2700 pounds, 53/47 front/rear weight distribution, and an absurdly low center of gravity. This all adds up to a car that has excellent balance, predictable steering, and is one of the best handling street cars on the road today this side of a Porsche Boxster.
The BRZ does sport a higher base price than the FR-S, but it also offers more when it comes to standard equipment, including a voice activated navigation system with a 6.1-inch screen and the aforementioned HIDs. Also standard is Bluetooth® connectivity, keyless entry, HD radio, USB/auxiliary audio ports, power windows and lock, and leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle. Upgrading to the Limited trim adds heated front seats, Alcantara leather upholstery, push button start, and automatic climate control. For 2014, the navigation system adds Aha smartphone integration.
Standard safety equipment includes six standard airbags, active front head restrains, vehicle stability control, and ABS.