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BRZ – The Driver’s Drive

BRZ – The Driver’s Drive

21 BRZ   The Driver’s DriveJointly developed by both Toyota and Subaru the BRZ/GT-86 siblings first saw the light of day as concepts in 2007 and finally appeared as fully formed twins in 2012. They look the same and cost the same. The model was conceived by Toyota. Their boss specified the need for a car that was built for pure driving pleasure that transcended current trends and his designers really came up with the goods. As it turned out – thanks to their rally heritage – the joint project was almost entirely designed and engineered by Subaru (although built by Toyota) and it is their version we are concentrating on here.

As stated, there is virtually no difference in these cars although there are a couple of styling tweaks that are virtually unnoticeable. Yet, in driving, which is where Motor Blogger makes the distinction, the BRZ is noticeably less tail happy. Knowing that their loyal customer base is accustomed to the characteristics of their symmetrical all wheel-drive system found in products like the Impreza and Forester, Subaru went and made the front suspension of their version slightly firmer. This increases the car’s tendency to understeer.

Consequently the rear-wheel drive BRZ behaves in a far more neutral manner when driven with anger around oue everyday highways. Pile into a corner and get too enthusiastic on the loud pedal and that nose will just slowly start washing out. It’s all very safe; very Subaru, in fact. The GT-86 is definitely more likely to throw the tail off line – fine if drifting is your style, but for most the more predictable BRZ might be preferable.

The driving experience is fantastically sporty. The BRZ has the lowest centre of gravity of any car on the market which aids such a sweet handling experience, thanks to the low-slung 2.0L Boxer engine which sits as far back and as low as possible in the engine bay for an almost perfect weight distribution of 53% in front and 47% in the rear.

The suspension is quite soft when compared to similarly priced hot hatches, which need rock hard suspension to counter the fact that they are basically regular hatchbacks that have been tuned up. The comfort is helped by the same tyres as used on the Toyota Prius. This is not an expensive car to run especially when you consider an average of 35mpg. Brilliant for a sports car.

The Subaru BRZ is uncomplicated, handles brilliantly and lets you explore the limits of grip without having to worry about sudden death in a hedgerow. It isn’t especially fast, it is priced at a bargain £25k and is the best driving car on the market. Take it out for a spin down Britain’s country roads and your eyes will be opened to what real driving is about.

 

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==