BREAK­ING THE RULES

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - News -

FEW cars break more rules than Subaru’s two door 2+2 sports coupe, the BRZ.

It’s Subaru’s only rear wheel drive model (ev­ery­thing else be­ing sym­met­ri­cal All Wheel Drive). Press the start but­ton and a free spin­ning 200bhp Boxer pow­er­plant ac­cel­er­ates the ul­tra-light­weight BRZ like a go-kart on steroids.

Switch off trac­tion con­trol and the nar­row rear tyre sec­tion al­lows the back-end to step out and drift. Only one other pro­duc­tion car has an acous­tic cham­ber built into the dash to am­plify ex­haust tone and res­o­nance (the con­sid­er­ably more ex­pen­sive Ma­claren MP4).

This is Subaru’s rebel yell, a black sheep that en­sures the brand stand apart from the bland. The BRZ is a car the for­mer Top Gear team could have proudly un­veiled from the Projects Shed.

Give the key­fob to granny to pass her test, be­fore blast­ing off on a track night and em­bar­rass- ing se­ri­ously ex­pen­sive com­peti­tors. It’s a mo­tor­ing enigma, a pro­duc­tion-line kit car done se­ri­ously well, ev­ery­thing works beau­ti­fully and falls to hand per­fectly.

There’s even space for the weekly shop in the boot.

The er­gonomics are su­perb. The front bucket style seats hug and ca­ress. The un­clut­tered dash is easy to read, large revs and speedo dom­i­nate.

In the back are jockey seats strictly for the chil­dren, but it’s no Spar­tan — BRZ is beau­ti­fully trimmed and car­peted. Paint and body­work are sub­lime — wash­ing a BRZ is a labour of love, its lines low, sen­sual, sleek and flow­ing.

War­ranty is Subaru’s ad­mirable 100,000 mile five-year war­ranty — but you won’t need it, Ja­panese build qual­ity is im­pec­ca­ble.

Like all Subarus the Boxer en­gine sits down low. This lends it­self to great han­dling, su­perb aero­dy­nam­ics and a ground hug­ging seat height. 0- 60 is un­der eight secs and top speed sub­stan­tially il­le­gal, but the BRZ is not about that. More the feed­back from su­per sharp steer­ing, catch­ing off-cam­ber apexes per­fectly and con­coct­ing a rea­son to ex­tend your jour­ney.

This is a fun car, built to de­light the driver in you. At your des­ti­na­tion you sim­ply won’t want to get out and you will hide the key­fob from your part­ner.

Few cars sub six fig­ures in­stil this sort of self­ish­ness; the ul­tra-per­for­mance WRX STI is an­other model from Subaru with such be­havioural is­sues.

Pric­ing is ridicu­lous value, just £22,495 OTR de­liv­ered in North­ern Ire­land. The slick pad­dle-shift auto op­tion is £1,500, the SE Lux (leather seat­ing) a very jus­ti­fi­able £23,995 OTR.

If you feel the need to spend more then check out the hy­per ex­clu­sive tuned ver­sions — spe­cial­ist con­vert­ers can drop in a V8 bil­let block 400 bhp pow­er­plant with se­quen­tial shift, Re­caro seats, tuned big bore ex­haust and AP Pro stop­pers hang­ing off Oh­lins shocks and mon­ster rub­bers. Some will — be­cause the bal­ance, power and per­fec­tion of fac­tory stan­dard is never enough. Ei­ther way, you’re on a win­ner. It’s sim­ply a ques­tion of how many horses your wal­let re­ally must feed, and how many rules you want to break to­day?

Subaru BRZ

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