Subaru returns to coupes in a collaboration with Toyota
Australia. The BRZ is a joint venture with Toyota and, even though Subaru is responsible for the basic chassis design and the car’s horizontally opposed fourcylinder engine, the company is still lagging more than six months behind its partner’s preview plan for a car expected to be called the Toyota 86.
A pair of FT-86 concepts have been on the motor show trail for more than 18 months, with a showroom-ready Series II model unveiled at the New York show back in April.
The BRZ STI looks much as expected, with the same basic body as the 86 and tweaking by STI to give it extra punch— including a new twist on Subaru’s classic World Rally Championship colour called Wrblue Pearl II.
The STI work is concentrated around the edges— with a deep front spoiler, rear wing, wheelarch flares, rear diffuser and twin exhaust pipes— but there is a carbon-fibre roof.
An Stiwrxalready has a carbon roof in Japan but there is no news on whether it will make it to production. But the roof will cut weight and lower the car’s centre of gravity, helping with what Subaru is already claiming as ‘‘ pure handling delight’’ in the BRZ.
Looking closer at the BRZ, the nose gets Subarudna including a hexagonal grille, ‘‘ hawk-eye’’ headlamps and fin-shaped fog lamps. Subaru says the car’s 2.0-litre flat fourcylinder has direct fuel injection, using Toyota’s D-4S technology for a high output and high environmental standards, although it gives no power or torque figures.
But the engine is set a full 120mm lower and 240mm closer to the centre of the chassis than other Subaru cars.
‘‘ As a result, it achieves one of the lowest possible centres of gravity compared to other cars on the market,’’ Subaru says.
‘‘ By including lightweight parts such as the carbon fibre roof, the overall weight has been reduced. The body structure is both lightweight and highly rigid.’’
The other notable inclusions on the car are Brembo fourwheel disc brakes and STI lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels with STI sports suspension. When the BRZ hits the road it will become the first Subaru coupe since the flabby SVX of 1991. That car was intended as a grand tourer and had a six-cylinder engine, as well as jet-fighter-style side glass with a small opening for the windows in the doors.
Purposeful: The muscular looks of the Subaru BRZ