2013 Subaru BRZ: I Wish I Was Back in England
May 28, 2013
West L.A. traffic is a depressing place to be in a Subaru BRZ. And yet there I was yesterday, caged like a caffeinated puppy, raring to go with no ability to do so. So instead I zoned out for a bit and pictured myself two weeks prior, on vacation, and touring the English countryside. Then I had a 1.6-liter Nissan Qashqai: a comfortable, easy-to-drive runabout rather well suited to sitting in suburban traffic. If only a trade of automobile and setting would've been possible...
There was one particular road, the B3109 in Wiltshire leading roughly from Box to Bradford-on-Avon. Nothing especially technical and hardly one of those sinewy lanes you'd see on the pages of Evo with sheep sprinkled in the foreground and grand hilly vistas beyond. (I'd get a taste of that briefly in South Wales, but fog and the Qashqai dampened the fun). Just gentle bends, barely two cars wide and lined in manicured hedges six feet high, creating loads of blind corners and the general feeling that I was driving with Alice through Wonderland.
It was on roads like this where I began to understand why Britons like their cars small and agile. (The even narrower village lanes drove home the point). And it's on roads like this where the BRZ belongs. It's sharp, it's nimble and it's the perfect size. The snick-snick shifter would've been a treat to row and there are no great elevation climbs like on our own twisty roads through the mountains to flummox its humble boxer.
As I continued to pine for this glorious match of car and road, reality rears its ugly head and I come to a stop at a traffic-clogging red light intersection. "Roundabouts," I say to myself with equal parts longing and regret. The BRZ would be an absolute hoot on a clear roundabout of just the right size. Brake, blip and downshift, a quick flick left, right and left with the just-right wheel, and then back on the gas with maybe just a smidgen of tail wag if the weather's been, as the Scottish would say, "atmospheric."
Damn it, I wish I was back in England ... and I wish the BRZ was with me.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 15,398 miles