Even Subaru of America’s Tom Doll is saying BRZ could use a boost.
Subaru’s only other performance car is WRX and WRX STI, which have inexplicably gone sedan-only, while sedans are dying. jalopnik.com-MorningShift- The Midsize Sedan is Dying Fast and No One Will Miss It
Subaru is making more money than ever, and still setting sales records year after year.
Yet, it is still a DARK time for Subaru enthusiasts, even if the new 2015 WRX is as good a performer as it has ever been.
There is no variety. WRX and STI are sedan-only, and look almost identical. STI is as expensive as ever, with a 10-year-old drivetrain that should be more than amortized by now, but no other cars use the great driveline, and STI doesn’t use the nice new engine family, and if you want a hatch, rather than a prohibitively tiny trunk lid, you are out of luck. At least until Ford pulls you away with the upcoming 5-door Focus RS.
If you want rally-car ground clearance... you are also out of luck. WRX hardware, or better yet STI driveline, with a WRX FA20DIT engine, in an XV Crosstrek body would solve it. (with long-throw bilsteins, Brembos, etc... included, maybe even torque-vectoring and SI-Drive.)
And frankly, they could go further, and make something more interesting...
I am not a fan of the B5-TPH concept car, but the clam-shell rear hatch has some interesting possibilities for a modular shooting-brake when on, or BRAT-style mini-truck when removed... or other variants... similar to the modularity of the Nissan Pulsar’s rear hatch, on a versatile AWD subaru platform.
If you want to like a new Mustang, but really prefer Subaru’s all-weather-conquering full-time AWD, you are REALLY, REALLY out of luck... there isn’t an affordable AWD sport coupe on the market from ANY brand, they are all premium cars that barely start under $40K. Subaru could do something, and capitalize without ANY direct competition, certainly not from Mitsubishi.
Subaru knows sedans are dying. Impreza sedan, and Legacy are also-ran models in the lineup, yet WRX is inexplicably sedan-only.
Coupes are a hard sell, and if they aren’t block-busters, they tend to fall short, and now they are finally admitting that an excuse-necessitating power level is less advantageous than a higher power level that would negate any need for an excuse about the power level. Plus, a redundant model is hard to sell amongst even a moderate level of coupe competition. There are coupe buyers, but there are not an abundance of them. A killer aspect can make all the difference. A big power-to-weight ratio, or sole availability of high-grade AWD in a sport coupe could be that aspect.
Subaru has done it before.
They could do it again.
Subaru is in a great position, with a lot of revenue for the small size of the company, and a partnership with Toyota that it can leverage for supplier and sub-assembler supply chains...
They could take on both compact and mid-sized innovations in crossover vehicles, as well as offering a single killer-aspect turbocharged AWD 3-door hatchback sport coupe
Both new avenues of product lines could be equipped with current WRX/STI hardware, as well as further advancements.
Appliance sales will continue, but it is time for Subaru to do more than just build AWD appliances, and get back to building cars that people can actually love the way their advertising suggests, and the way people like me used to, but currently no longer can.
It is time to realize some of the latent potential that Subaru, and their modular longitudinal-AWD platforms have more than many other FWD or RWD oriented mainstream brands are tooled up for.