It is a well-known fact that I like a Subaru. I may have mentioned this before. I may even have mentioned mentioning this before too, if memory serves. Their whole range appeals to me especially the Subaru BRZ sports coupé which offers a proper old-school driving experience as I discovered here. Now it has been updated with a comprehensive list of upgrades to further cement BRZ as the driver’s car of choice.
The update covers every area of the Subaru BRZ; exterior, interior, powertrain, suspension and safety, all refining the driving experience whilst enhancing sports car appeal.
The coupé shape remains, but is enhanced with a wider, lower stance at the front end. Mind you, this isn’t just for show as the 45⁰ stepped accent on the bumper limits airflow into the air intake, which works to improves handling and ride. The sports car’s ‘face’ is finished off with full-LED headlights, a Subaru first. New design rear lamps and aerodynamic pedestal spoiler top off the rear of the car. The wheels are now a 10 spoke aluminium design.
Inside, a 4.2” colour LCD multi-information display has been added into the instrument panel. The display features a G-force meter, steering angle gauge, brake force gauge, lap timer and torque/power curves for bringing out the sportier side of any driver. I do sometimes wonder if anyone actually uses these things more than once but they are there if you feel the need for that sort of thing. Personally, I’d rather get on with the business of driving the wheels off this great little sports car myself.
The steering wheel of the Subaru BRZ has also been redesigned into a smaller package with different leather to increase the driver’s grip for a more engaging experience, say the company. It is finished off with audio control switches. Focus has been directed to upgrading the feel of components generally by using higher quality materials throughout the cabin, including Alcantara and leather seats.
The Subaru BRZ was built to deliver a linear driving feel, ensuring that the car responds exactly as the driver intended. That is certainly the case with the current model which drives with a fluid grace through even the most demanding and twisting of roads. Keeping the purity of experience concept in mind, the car’s suspension, engine and drivetrain have been further refined to enhance still more its poised handling and driving experience.
On the technical front, the strength of the cylinder blocks has been increased in the traditional 2.0L Boxer engine. The valve stems have been buffed and polished, the camshaft is lower friction and the weight of the rocker arms has been reduced. These changes couple together to result in a more responsive, fuel efficient engine, Subaru insist.
They further tell us that the dampers have been redesigned to reduce body roll and increase precision whilst cornering, as well as damping vibration, therefore delivering improved ride comfort whilst being dynamically focused.
For sporty drivers who love their thrills, the new ‘TRACK’ mode enhances the stability of the car and allows for more refined accelerator inputs when driving on race circuits and consolidates the previous 5 VDC modes into 4. For urban drivers, there is a new type of Hill Start Assist (HSA) to help with uphill starts or downhill reversing.
Safety is always at the forefront for Subaru so there’s also a next-generation advanced airbag system which uses upgraded sensors for a greater level of safety. You can’t say fairer than that.
From Spring 2017, the BRZ will be available in SE Lux trim only with either a manual or automatic transmission. I for one can’t wait to drive it. Forget the ‘lifestyle’ vibe – this one is for the drivers. Geoff Maxted