Apair of fives
The BRZ matches its perfect Carsguide score with a top safety mark
THE first head-to-head confrontation between Japan’s hottest new sports car stars has produced a knockout win for the Subaru BRZ.
The coupe beat the Toyota 86 to a coveted five-star ANCAP score, thanks to an early test in Japan as part of Subaru’s long-term commitment to Australia’s crash-test rating program.
Subaru was the first to trumpet a five-star ANCAP result, at a time when other makers shunned the system.
Five stars are central to our safety story and commitment. The testing was done in Japan, but it is a five-star ANCAP rating,’’ says Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior.
Toyota admits it has been trumped. The car will be tested and we’re confident it will be five stars,’’ spokesman Mike Breen says.
The BRZ’s success is matched by the Holden Colorado ute and the new Hyundai i30 hatchback, which also pick up five stars. The Colorado joins the Ford Ranger-Mazda BT50 twins, which were the first utes in the world to rate five stars, while the i30 continues Hyundai’s recent crash-test successes and repeats the five-star score of the previous i30.
For Subaru, the result is part of a push that has created a sixmonth waiting list for the BRZ.
The company is also taking a new approach to selling with the BRZ, trialling an online selling system for the hot coupe of which only 201 examples are available this year. That’s not enough to go around the dealerships.
We don’t see this is as changing the nature of automative retailing overnight,’’ Senior says, but we’ll trial it for six months while we have this very low stock.
Our online initiative offers a fantastic level of transparency. Customers will know exactly what the price is going to be and vehicle availability. They can choose their delivering dealership and arrange a trade-in valuation.’’
Senior remains unable to pin down the Australian arrival of Subaru’s next performance headliner, the all-new WRX.
That’s still about a couple of years away before we see an all-newWRXand STi,’’ he says. There’s the halo effect of BRZ butWRXis still selling about 150 a month. We have had about two months’ backorders onWRXsince the wide- body shape came in just on two years ago.’’
One thing is certain: the WRXand STi will not follow the BRZ down the rear-wheel drive path. BRZ is a unique departure. There is nothing in the product planning charts for another rear-wheel drive, or a front-wheel drive car.’’
It’s a knockout: With five ANCAP stars, Subaru’s BRZ trumps the Toyota 86 (below)