Subaru BRZ, 2013: Toyota, Subaru team to offer gifted sports coupe

James Raia

The 2013 Subaru BRZ is the real deal. After  two days of driving the 200 horsepower rear-wheel drive sport coupe on the street and at the race track, there is no doubt Subaru's new sport coupe is gifted with exceptional balance and poise.

The BRZ is a rear-wheel drive sports coupe that came about as a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. The manufactuers' design focus was to engineer a sports coupe with a low center of gravity, light weight and precision handling. The results are two affordable sports coupes that attain their design goals and exceed expectations.

2013 Subar BRZ

The BRZ (like the Scion FR-S) is propelled by a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injected horizontally opposed ('flat') four-cylinder engine, with rear-wheel drive and a Torsen limited-slip differential. For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) stability and traction system offers the driver five different settings.

Featuring an all-new Subaru Boxer engine not shared with any other Subaru models, the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine combines low weight with high strength, high compression and high-revving responsiveness. With a 7,400 rpm redline, the engine delivers 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 150 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 6,400 rpm.

2013 Subar BRZ

Integrated into the new Boxer engine is Toyota's fuel injection system that uniquely combines direct injection and port injection technology. This enables a high 12.5:1 compression ratio to extract maximum energy from the fuel, while delivering impressive fuel economy and ultra-low emissions.

That Boxer engine is mounted at the lowest possible point on a specially designed sub-frame which forms an "ultra-low center of gravity package." A low driving position is achieved with this arrangement and further enhances the sports car ethos of the BRZ.

If you think driving a sports car means sacrificing daily comfort and practicality, think again. The BRZ has excellent driving dynamics on bumpy roads without the ultra-stiff ride. Dropping the rear seats gives you enough space to fit four wheels /tires and a set of tools for track day.

2013 Subar BRZ has a generous size trunk for a sports car

While 99.9 percent of the modern cars have some degree of understeer, overcoming it in the BRZ can be done with perfectly timed and moderated inputs. And it is possible to avoid understeer altogether, turning it into delightful predictable and gradual oversteer. Execution is aided by BRZ's rear wheel drive and favorable power-to-weight ratio. 

Steering response and feedback is near brilliant for a car with electric power steering. Not too heavy, not too light. The seat-of-the-pants feel and feedback from the wheel give the BRZ the goods to satisfy nearly any driving enthusiast, though some horsepower junkies may yearn for more under-hood punch. Still, you cannot argue with a car that delivers pinpoint handling precision and an unmatched driving experience for sports car enthusiasts of all skill levels.

2013 Subar BRZ interior

Pricing for the 2013 Subaru BRZ starts at $25,495 for the Premium model with a six-speed manual transmission. The six-speed automatic version starts at $26,595. Premium models come standard with touch-screen GPS Navigation, Bluetooth® connectivity and HID headlamps. Above the well-appointed Premium model, Limited models add Alcantara seat inserts with leather bolsters, heated seats and mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control system, fog lights, Keyless Access & Start and body-color decklid spoiler. Limited models come equipped with leather seats and start at $27,495 when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and $28,595 for automatic versions. (Prices are MSRP before $750 destination charge.)

2013 Subar BRZ

2013 Subaru BRZ:

  • Engine: 2.0 liter Subaru Boxer direct injection engine
  • Horsepower:  200 hp
  • Torque: 150 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual
  • Suspension: 4-wheel independent / front – MacPherson-type struts / rear – double wishbone
  • Trim: Premium
  • Price: $25,495 (6MT) | 26,595 (6AT)

Content Value:

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control system (TCS) with 5 modes, including Sport mode and TCS Off for track driving.
  • 17 x 7 inch aluminum alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 summer performance tires
  • Aluminum hood
  • Navigation system with voice control and infotainment features standard equipment with Premium trim

Key Safety Features:

  • Ring Shaped Frame Reinforcement body structure provides outstanding occupant protection.
  • 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters.
  • Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System; dual-stage deployment driver and front passenger airbags; front seat side pelvis/torso air bags and side-curtain air bags (SRS).
  • 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Brake Override system.
  • Safety pedal system.
  • Whiplash protection front seats.

Standard Features, BRZ Premium:

  • 12v power outlets: one in glove box and one in center console
  • 24-hour roadside assistance for vehicle limited warranty period
  • 3-spoke leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel with red stitching.
  • Fold-down rear seatback
  • Aluminum-alloy pedal covers (including driver's footrest)
  • Auto on/off High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, low and high beam
  • Touch-screen GPS navigation system with: < >6.1-inch LCD screenAM/FM stereo with HD radioSingle-disc in-dash CD player196-watt amplifier8 speakersMP3/WMA capabilityVoice activated controlsBluetooth hands-free phone connectivityBluetooth audio streaming connectivityiPod® control capabilityiTunes® tagging capabilityUSB portXM® Satellite Radio (subscription required)XM NavTraffic (subscription required)SMS text messaging capability3.5mm auxiliary audio input jack
  • Manual climate control system with cabin air filtration
  • Carpeted floor mats 
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Cruise control
  • Cup holders integrated into door panels and two in center console
  • Digital clock
  • Digital dual-mode trip odometer
  • Digital outside temperature gauge
  • Dome light with off-delay
  • Driver's footrest
  • Sport design instrument panel gauges: Speedometer, tachometer, digital speedometer integrated within tachometer, coolant temperature gauge, fuel gauge
  • Height-adjustable driver's seat
  • Illuminated ignition switch ring
  • Dual visor vanity mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped shift handle and parking brake handle
  • Multi function display with current and average fuel economy
  • Performance-design front seats with height-adjustable head restraints
  • Power door locks
  • Power side mirrors
  • Power windows with driver's and passenger's auto up/down with pinch protection
  • Rear window defroster with timer
  • Remote fuel door release
  • Remote keyless entry system with engine immobilizer system
  • Seatback pocket on front passenger seat
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers

BRZ Limited adds:

  • Alcantara seat inserts with leather bolsters All-Weather Package (dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors) 
  • Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system
  • Fog lights
  • Front door courtesy lights
  • Keyless Access and Start with illuminated engine start/stop button
  • Rear trunk spoiler (body color)
  • Security system

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Article Last Updated: April 13, 2012.

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