2013 Subaru BRZ: A Daily Driver If You Want It to Be
September 17, 2012
I remember when the power and torque ratings first leaked out for the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, and I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing -- 151 pound-feet at 6,400 rpm. Apart from dedicated track-day guys, what modern-day enthusiast would put up with that kind of sky-high torque peak? There's a reason not everyone drives Civic Si coupes and S2000s.
Of course, Kavanagh's dyno-testing subsequently showed that in actuality the 2.0-liter engine's torque curve is more or less flat, with the bulk of that pound-footage available way, way earlier than 6,000.
And that is exactly how the BRZ feels in traffic. You really only need to be around 3,000 rpm to have usable grunt. Lately, I haven't been getting out the door before morning traffic loads up on the infamous South Bay Curve, but it's not hugely taxing in this car. At one point, I noticed vehicle speed had dipped to 6 mph but the BRZ held 2nd gear just fine. Of course, I still worked through the gears quite a bit, and the pedals are close enough together that it's pretty easy to blip the throttle a bit here and there to keeps things progressing smoothly.
I didn't spend the whole weekend in traffic, as we made our way to Fontana for the IndyCar race on Saturday. I agree with Brent that the ride quality in this car is totally livable. Nah, it's not like a Camry, but if you know what you're getting when you buy one of these (that is, a car you'll love on back roads and take to the occasional track day), you'll be totally fine with it.
The BRZ rides firmly, but it's not harsh. And in trade for the compliance you're giving up, you get a ton of feedback. Granted, you can't really make use of that information on the freeway, but, along with the quick steering, it encourages you to pay more attention to everything going on around you and whets your appetite for longer, more interesting drives in the BRZ.
There's a Scion FR-S billboard ad along my route. "Driving Is Back," it says. Driving never left my world, but the ad guys' sentiment is right on for this pair of coupes.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,774 miles