BREAKING THE RULES
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?