Some people are fans of the Subaru BRZ. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Subaru BRZ. This 2014 tongue-in-cheek car "review" is for those in the latter group.
This is part of an ongoing series of articles I will be writing using the formula laid out by Drew Magary on Deadspin.
Your Car: 2015 Subaru BRZ
Your 2015 Model Year Vital Stats: 200 horsepower, 2700-ish pounds, 4 cylinders, six speeds, rear wheel drive and not… really… much of anything else. Uh, it has four wheels and a radio. It's cheap too! It's so cheap you should be able to convince your Dad to buy you one. With current discounts you can have one for less than 25 thousand of his hard earned money, brah.
Your Engine: FA20 2.0 liter 4 Cylinder Boxer Engine.
If there's one word to describe the engine choice of Subaru in the BRS, that word would be unfortunate and even that may be an understatement. The high revving screamer in the BRZ isn't a bad engine by any means but it certainly sucks in this application. The FA20 is a light weight open deck block cast in aluminum, perfectly square with a bore and stroke of 86mm, dual overheads cams with variable valve timing. Strangely enough this engine is equipped with both port and direct injection. In a base model Impreza, this would be one hell of an engine. Unfortunately they dropped it into a sports car. This is the same Subaru that has in its stable of engines the tried and true EJ257 that delivers 305 horsepower to all four wheels in the USDM Subaru WRX STi . The EJ257 stablemate, the new WRX FA20DIT would have been another much better choice with its 268 horsepower and impressive torque band. But no, the Japanese decided to attempt balance and driving pleasure, they should have learned from Mazda's snooze-fest Miata, to get people to take you seriously as a sports car contender in this modern age 200 hp doesn't cut it, especially when a Kia Sedona minivan makes 276. Nor does the complete lack of torque. The FA20 only produces a peak of 151 ft/lbs at nearly 6600 rpm, I've seen blenders with more. Here I thought Honda had the market cornered on torque-less wonders. Apparently not.
Your Aesthetics Recipe: On the bar, line up a can of Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin. Grab your BRZ key and shotgun each one, because of course you would, Stance Bro! Come to the startling realization that all Japanese beer tastes exactly the same, just like the FT-86, FRS and BRZ look exactly the same. This is because they are all the same lazy Toyobaru attempt at a sports car. Repeat until the BRZ looks pretty or until you pass out. I'd place my money on the later happening. Well, at least passing out drunk on shitty Japanese beer is preferable to driving a BRZ.
What's new that sucks: Still no turbo. The interior is akin to something found in the Pontiac Aztek. If you were concerned with what happened to the automotive supplier that delivered cheap plastic-y interior parts to General Motors in the mid 90's and early 2000's after the Carpocalypse, don't worry, I'm pretty sure they ended up supplying Subaru with the BRZ interior.
People are actually buying it now! The heavy incentives offered on this car seem to have made it a bit more popular, I know that with a sticker price of 27k+ the BRZ is knocking on the door of the trio of V8 powered Detroit iron, which ironically two of which are built in Canada, but I've seen as much as three grand knocked off of a BRZ. It would seem like a good deal at that price, wouldn't it? Except that it still isn't. The BRZ is on par with Mitsubishi Mirage in terms of interior, looks, and cool factor. In many ways the Subaru BRZ is just a generic lump of sports car with absolutely no remarkable features, what is even more remarkable, is that its a Subaru, a company known worldwide for their
utterly hideous quirky styling.
What has always sucked: First and foremost, Subaru had spent the past 16 years extolling the virtues of symmetrical all wheel drive, and now builds a milquetoast RWD sports car. If all wheel drive is so much better as the Subaru marketing department has told us for the last 16 years, then how does the BRZ fit into the brand? Was the Subaru WRX STi not sporty enough for you? Why not take the drivetrain of one of the most dominant world rally cars of all time, and make a 2 door sports car out of that? Nope. Not Subaru. They abandoned their claim of being the only automaker with a full car line with all wheel drive standard for a joint venture product with crowned king of beige, the sultan of suck, the grand poo-bah of boring: Toyota. Who in their right mind would buy a car like this?
Stance Bros, That's who! I'm just going to come out and say it: It takes a certain type of person to own a BRZ. The same type of person who puts Monster stickers on the back window of their car, or wears a brightly colored flat brim baseball cap at all times. The very same people described above are taking what I can only imagine as millions of dollars and thousands of research hours put into the suspension of the BRZ by Toyota and Subaru and ruining all of it. On Purpose no less. These are also the people who get blown out of the water by 5.0 Mustangs with scrawny white man-children behind the wheel yelling "V8 BRAH" while downshifting and making quite the ruckus.
But in many ways the BRZ is the perfect car for the Stance Bro, It's slow, terribly under-powered and the exhaust note from the factory is quite lacking in something I like to call "sound". Why are these aforementioned traits good for the Stance Bro? Well first It's hard when you're 16 to ask your dad for a 400+ horsepower muscle car, He'll scoff and say you're going to kill yourself with that much power but because the 0-60 time of the BRZ needs to be measured by sundial, he'll have no problem buying you one for your first car. That way when you idiotically and purposefully spoil the suspension so that only a fraction of the normal contact patch of the tire is touching the road, the feeble flat four isn't going to completely overpower the suspension sending you careening off a cliff, though we all wish it would, even your Dad. Second because it's under-powered from the factory you can install things like a cold air intake and a cat back exhaust and something called a "Tune" which now makes your vehicle require premium, get worse fuel economy and make roughly 3 extra horsepower, whilst voiding your warranty. These new upgrades require you to claim that you're putting down "at least a solid 300 horses" to the rear wheels. Of course you won't be able to back these claims up, with a dyno sheet, or in a race. When you lose at said race, you'll simply claim that your tune wasn't done right or that you had to much positive camber.
What might not suck: Three Letters: STI. No not what your doctor said you contracted after you went to the strip club outside of H2oi. I'm talking about Subaru Technica International. They already have a phenomenal motor in the FA20F boxer 4 that outputs 298 direct injected and turbocharged ponies, sure the turbo manifold might scrape on the ground with your "stance" but for the rest of us sane, tasteful car owners, it could be a lightweight Japanese boxer (you see what I did there?) that could TKO heavyweights like the Mustang GT and the Camaro SS.
Next time on Why your Car Sucks: The Scion FRS… Oh, wait same car... I should probably pick something else. Up next week: Mercedes AMG GT.
Share your opinions in the Comment Section Below. Remember, this is all in good fun.
Travis - King of Spun Bearings is not a king, author, journalist or even a part-time fanfic writer. Instead he spends his days driving his classic Chevrolet across SE-Michigan and his quiet nights at home drinking cheap whiskey and listening to The Cranberries. Occasionally he has a valid idea or opinion which he feels must be shared on the internet. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org