Subaru BRZ

March 3, 2012

Subaru: Top spec BRZ coupe for NZ and AUS

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Written by: Goran Has
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Subaru: Top spec BRZ coupe for NZ and AUS

will launch its coupe in New Zealand and later this year with a one-only high-spec model. Both countries have turned down the mid-spec and lightweight bare-bones variants that will be sold in Britain and .

“Like us, Subaru Australia believes that a high-spec has huge potential,” said Subaru NZ managing director Wallis Dumper. “They are bringing in the one model and it makes sense for us, in a low-volume market, to do the same.”

The two-plus-two coupe for both countries is now undergoing Australian design rule approval. Next step is the Australasian new car assessment programme, where it will be crash-tested.

The rear-drive has been developed side-by-side with the , the result of ‘s 17 per cent share in Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries.

The GT is expected to go on sale in New Zealand in August, but it is not known if Toyota will offer more than one variant.

Subaru dealers in Britain and Japan will have three BRZ variants: top-spec, lower-spec and a stripped-out version that, reports say, will find its way into motorsport.

British Subaru distributor International Motors said the stripped-out BRZ promised to be “the perfect solution for those who wish to tune and fettle the BRZ to their own tastes, as well as track-day enthusiasts”.

Subaru has prepared a BRZ to replace the Legacy in this year’s GT 300 series in Japan. In Japan, the BRZ is available in stripped-out “RA” format. Subaru’s Japanese consumer site says the car has no limited-slip differential or front foglights, and the audio system, air-conditioning and keyless start systems are deleted.

The RA also downgrades to 16-inch steel , unpainted mirrors and a plain interior with bare urethane gearshifter, handbrake and steering wheel, and rubber pedals. All silver highlights, including the sill plates, are removed, as are cupholders, the parcel shelf, boot carpet, some interior lights, the rear privacy glass, aerodynamic undertray, under-floor sound insulation, rear spoiler and engine intake manifold cover.

The manual-only RA weighs 1190kg. The top-spec S variant weighs 1230kg in manual guise and 1250kg as an automatic. The top-spec BRZ for Britain comes with 17-inch alloy , torque-sensing limited-slip differential, electronic stability control, seven airbags, cruise control, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning and a six-speaker CD sound system with USB and iPod connectivity.

Other standard equipment includes keyless entry and start, high-intensity discharge headlights, front foglights, LED daytime-running lights, electrically adjustable and heated folding door mirrors, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

The BRZ’s dimensions are identical to the GT 86, at 4240mm long, 1775mm wide and 1285mm high, with all main metal panels – including the lightweight aluminium bonnet – a match. The BRZ apparently has a slightly different suspension set-up to the , suggesting the Subaru version is slightly sportier.

Both coupes have a 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution and an especially low centre of gravity – they were benchmarked against the Porsche Cayman to major in fun, agile handling and driver involvement.

The joint development began in 2008 at a meeting between product chiefs of Toyota, Subaru and Daihatsu. Toyota wanted a sports coupe to inject excitement back into its product range and Subaru was looking at adding to its go-fast Impreza-based line-up. They agreed: Toyota would manage the product planning and styling of the proposed coupe – codenamed 086A – while Subaru would be responsible for the engineering and production.

Subaru supplied the 2-litre flat-four engine in both cars, but Toyota equipped it with its own direct-injection system. The engine is identical and delivers 147kW at 7000rpm and 205Nm at 6000rpm, driving the rear via either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Both cars are expected to sprint from 0-100km/h in under seven seconds.

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