Subaru shows shape of things to come at L.A. Auto Show
Amid much speculation, the BRZ STI concept arrives — only to spark more speculation.
Subaru BRZ Concept STI
Call it the Subiyota, or the Toyobaru, or the FT-86, or the FR-S or the BRZ. Whatever you call it, the joint sports-car venture between Toyota and Subaru has been a hot-button topic among car enthusiasts for years. While we've seen a seemingly new design concept every time Toyota brings one to an auto show, we've yet to see a version of the Subaru without heavy camouflage. Until now that is: Subaru decided to bring a concept to the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, and in STI trim, no less. Now that we have our first look at Subaru's first rear-wheel drive car, what do we think?
Subaru BRZ Concept STI
What is it? The Subaru BRZ Concept STI is a look at where the new coupe may be heading in high-performance STI trim. That doesn't sound like much, but it is a big deal.
What's hot? The deceptively simple aerodynamics of the BRZ STI belie a car that gets more fun to look at the more you look at it. The BRZ is designed to be a corner-carver of the first order, and its squat ride height and horizontally opposed 2.0-liter boxer engine should make for an entertaining drive, even if it arrives without a turbocharger.
What's not? Much has been made of the lack of a horsepower number coming from Subaru and Toyota on that boxer engine. Concerns continue to grow that the BRZ may be underpowered save for more expensive trim levels, such as an STI model. Regarding the STI Concept we're seeing at L.A. — that spoiler is going to launch flame wars on forums all over the Internet.
How much and when? Subaru says the BRZ will begin production in spring 2012. Pricing, delivery date and trim option costs are still unknown.
MSN Autos' verdict: The BRZ and its developmental brother, the FR-S, are two of the most promising cars in ages. The demand for an affordable, seriously contending 2-door is higher than it's been in a very long time. There's still a lot that can go and wrong with the BRZ; too little power from the boxer engine or too high a price on even the base model could easily derail what could be the car that saves fun, inexpensive sports cars. As it always seems with this project, we'll have to wait and see where it goes. For now, the Subaru BRZ Concept STI is just pretty cool to look at.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trendand European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
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The Spoiler on Trunk is horrible and the Car seems underpowered. It would not do well! I can bet on it!
I like this car a lot but, I wish they would have thrown a V6 in it instead of a boxer 4 banger.