When Subaru first introduced the rear-wheel drive BRZ, much was made of the “BRZ” name (one of my favorite designations was “Bragging Rights Zone”) and for good reason. Subaru tapped into true sports car design heritage when developing the BRZ and sought to create a racing-light, sharp-steering and low center of gravity vehicle that would bring out the inner sports car pilot in everyone. Subaru ditched the all-wheel drive and a turbocharged option to further showcase the true essence of a “driver’s car”
The result? A true performance sports car that instantly makes anyone behind the wheel a capable race track driver. Seriously! The overall power-to-weight ratio combined with a super-low stance and crisp steering make every trip behind the wheel something worth smiling about.
BRZ = BOXER. REAR-WHEEL DRIVE. ZENITH.
So how did Subaru achieve such driving purist heights? It’s in the name:
boxer – The 2017 Subaru BRZ is powered by their naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder boxer engine putting out 205HP and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Not exactly a “rocket” but with the BRZ it’s less about raw horsepower and so much more about driver-feel and vehicle control.
rear-wheel drive – Nothing complicated here. Subaru shows that it’s not 100% tied to it’s all-wheel drive heritage and gave the BRZ a rear-wheel drive setup to round out the sports car package. Having the power dedicated to the rear wheels lets the front wheels control the steering and creates an overall balance to cars performance dynamics.
zenith – A little more confusing on this part but since the word “zenith” means highest point reached, it could be argued that with the BRZ, Subaru reached the pinnacle or best possible balance in creating a true rear-wheel drive sports car. In any case, the 2017 Subaru BRZ is indeed one incredible car.
Simply put, the BRZ is a solid sports car that embodies what a classic race car should feel like. It has the ability to turn your dull daily-driving duties into fun-filled excursions. On a practical note, the BRZ will handle said daily-driving duties with ease and acceptable comfort.
What’s not to love?
Well, a few things actually. The interior is cramped, the seats are a bit snug for anyone with any amount of heft, the road noise gets old after a bit, you’ll feel every little bump and pothole and the car sits low enough that enough entry and exits will leave you wondering how long your lower back can handle it. However, despite the items mentioned above along with a steep sticker price for what is essentially a two-seater, I’m still in love.
You will be hard-pressed to find another sub-$30K sports car that will give you the controlled thrills and driving exhilaration that come from the 2017 Subaru BRZ Limited. It’s just that balanced.
My BRZ Limited was equipped with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, summer-performance tires, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, automatic LED headlights, keyless entry with push-button start, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat with rear fold-down seats (very handy when carrying any extra gear/groceries/etc). The BRZ Limited also includes Alcantara-trimmed seats, a rear vision camera and a 6.2-inch infotainment system.
The added performance package – a $1,195 option – included a Brembo performance braking system, SACHS front struts and rear shock absorbers, and a dark grey finish on the 17-inch allow wheels.
The 2017 Subaru BRZ Limited is centered around the driving experience. It is meant to deliver the most-fun-possible driving experience possible, and it does just that. Leave practicality at home. You’re in for the (daily) drive of your life.