Apair of fives

The BRZ matches its per­fect Cars­guide score with a top safety mark

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­guide.com.au

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)

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