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Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
2/27/17 4:09 p.m.
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We've been writing about the Subaru BRZ a lot recently. Now it's time to take a look at the its Toyota counterpart: the 86.

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cmcgregor
cmcgregor Dork
2/27/17 4:31 p.m.

Interesting that the Toyota is now the more expensive of the 2. That was a big reason that I bought a Scion instead of a Subaru - lower base price, and lower resale for the used buyer (me).

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/27/17 6:47 p.m.

I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/27/17 6:56 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

I'll complain that it still doesn't come with respectable tires....unless it does now. Toyota's site doesn't specify the tire brand, what does this car have on it?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/27/17 8:16 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

News moar pwer.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/27/17 8:24 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

I'll complain that it still doesn't come with respectable tires....unless it does now. Toyota's site doesn't specify the tire brand, what does this car have on it?

Still buying into that "Its got Prius tires" nonsense?

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
2/27/17 8:26 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

It's already got almost twice the power of an AE86

parker
parker Reader
2/27/17 8:39 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

It's already got almost twice the power of an AE86

And more than an MR2 Turbo, although a bit lacking in torque.

Brian
Brian MegaDork
2/27/17 9:26 p.m.

Do they have the same suspension tuning?

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 Reader
2/28/17 12:00 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: I give this thread less than 10 posts before someone who's never driven an 86 complains about horsepower.

I've driven the BRZ a total of 3 times. It could use more power. Granted, I haven't driven the 2017+ model yet, so I can't say if the ~5hp and slightly shorter final drive would change my opinion much.

Disclaimer: I live in Denver, elevation= 5200+ft and my daily (VW Golf R) is turbocharged (boosted= less power lost at altitude), so my opinions might not align with others that live closer to sea level.

With that said, last year when I was shopping for a weekend playtoy car I shopped/drove the BRZ for the simplistic recipe they offer- lightweight, RWD, NA motor and a manual. I drove the BRZ back to back with a couple of other cars I was cross shopping (ND Miata and S2000) and it really felt like a dog in comparison.

People have complained about the BRZ's powerband and I understand why. The torque dip in the mid-range is certainly noticeable and it didn't do a whole lot up top. I pitched it around one of my favorite local canyon roads (Deer Creek Canyon Rd) and it seemed to be gasping for air on the slightest of inclines. For the record, I ended up buying an AP2 S2000.

For reference, the guys at TFL Car did a comparison of the FR-S vs ND Miata at our elevation (a mile high) and the acceleration results reflected what I found from my test drives:

FR-S 0-60mph at a mile high= 9.15

ND Miata 0-60mph at a mile high= 7.76

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHuxFFNv_DM&t=407s

^^^Maybe the Frisbee twins just don't adapt to elevation as well as the ND Miata or S2000. I have no idea. All I know is that after driving it multiple times and really wanting to like it, I just kept thinking "this car could really use an extra 30+hp".

YMMV.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/28/17 8:35 a.m.

9 posts. Prediction proven.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 Reader
2/28/17 8:57 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: 9 posts. Prediction proven.

Your prediction involved someone that has never driven the car. I've driven the Frisbee twins 3 times. They could use more power (at my elevation).

Although I will concede that I haven't driven the newest 86 iteration. For that, I would say: you're not wrong, based on technicality.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
2/28/17 9:03 a.m.

This is me sliding a BRZ. Needs more power.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
2/28/17 9:03 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed:

I though both had actually driven the car. One was a joke and the other with back to back experience and data to support. So nope, hypothisis not proven.

My big issue with the car is it's not a drop top as I'm a huge drop top fan. I was super stoked about the ND until I sat in one. Just not on for me, the interior size, layout and ergo just doesn't work for me. I'm one of the few who would buy an NC over and ND just because of the interior size and shape. Note, YMMV, actually Your Mileage will almost certainly vary. Personal fit in a car is massively subjective. An NA fits me like a glove, an ND fit's me like one of my grandsons socks.

Back to the Frisbee twins. I'd love a cheap one in the future and if the power isn't up to it check out the Every Day Driver vid where they do a header, Exhaust and flash, they are delighted with the results.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
2/28/17 9:06 a.m.

Now that this is post ̶ ̶1̶2̶ ̶1̶3̶ 14: Needs more horsepower.

Then again, is there a vehicle out there that doesn't?

Edit: I really need to learn to count

penultimeta
penultimeta Reader
2/28/17 10:50 a.m.

Man, if only they put the STI's engine in this with similar suspension tuning and AWD. Then this thing would be a beast.

Ok, now nobody else needs to say it.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 Reader
2/28/17 11:14 a.m.

In reply to penultimeta:

I would prefer the WRX's more responsive 2.0T FA20DIT over the STI's EJ25. The WRX's more modern motor is essentially a factory boosted BRZ engine, so it makes more sense.

I thought the BRZ's suspension setup was dialed in pretty well for a factory car. Suspension wasn't the problem.

I would keep it RWD with the extra power. No need to add all the extra weight and complexity with an AWD setup.

There, I fixed your statement for you.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
2/28/17 11:15 a.m.

AWD would absolutely ruin the car.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 Reader
2/28/17 11:17 a.m.
DaveEstey wrote: AWD would absolutely ruin the car.

^^^This.

The0retical
The0retical Dork
2/28/17 11:31 a.m.

I don't understand why it doesn't have a V12, KERS system, all wheel drive and house 335s so I can slay Ferraris for less than 30 thousand dollars.

Different tool for a different purpose, not sure why people don't understand that. There are a gazillion parts for this thing, if you want it to have 500 HP and house 335s go buy the parts to do it. If you don't have those skills develop them or quit bitching. The BRZ is the erector set of vehicles that I thought we'd never see again after the mid 90s.

That said I learned a lot about myself when I drove an FRS back to back with a Mazdaspeed 3, then bought the Mazda because it felt more ridiculous. I sort of wish I had taken my own advice above but I do love that absurd little hatchback.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/28/17 11:51 a.m.

I've gotta disagree with David a tiny bit......

I prefer the 86's unadorned styling. (well, besides the fat-lip) I really didn't like the spoiler on the BRZ--- it looks like something out of a JC Whitney catalog--- cheap and tacked-on. I much prefer the understated, clean rear of the Toyota. As long as I got it in a dark color, the "fat lip" wouldn't be nearly as noticeable.

I also like the fact that the twins come on non-egressive rubber. A big reason these cars are so fun is they slide around, and are fun to balance with the gas pedal. Sure, I'd get fatter- sticker rubber for the track, but for the street--- I like the stock tires.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
2/28/17 12:08 p.m.

Forget more horspower, make the retail about $20k. Sell by the truckload.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 Reader
2/28/17 12:54 p.m.
The0retical wrote: Different tool for a different purpose, not sure why people don't understand that. There are a gazillion parts for this thing, if you want it to have 500 HP and house 335s go buy the parts to do it. If you don't have those skills develop them or quit bitching. The BRZ is the erector set of vehicles that I thought we'd never see again after the mid 90s.

I get it. The BRZ is built with a budget in mind. I'm no stranger to momentum cars- I own an S2000 and have owned 2 Miata's in the past.

The 86 chassis just feels like it could handle considerably more power without feeling unbalanced or overpowered. At my elevation, it felt sorely lacking in the power department, even when compared to other "momentum cars" like the S2000, the ND Miata, RX-8, ect. Again, at sea level, YMMV.

Like anything else, it's build to a price point. However, so are a whole slew of cars (under $30k) that offer stronger acceleration for similar cash:

-ND Miata -Hyundai Genesis Coupe (3.8L or 2.0T) -Camaro (3.6L V6 or 2.0T version) -Mustang Ecoboost -370Z (base= $29,990!) -GTI -WRX -Focus ST

^^^Some of those cars have some advantages, like being based on econo-boxes or rental cars, so they can keep the price down. However, the 86 platform/chassis and gearbox are both based on the Subaru Impreza chassis/platform with a simple strut design up front, so it's not like we're talking about a low production Porsche or Ferrari here.

No one is asking for 500hp here. But an extra ~50hp or so would be nice, and would give it comparable acceleration to some of it's similarly priced competitors.

To my knowledge, the BRZ's gearbox is based on the same unit that's already in the WRX, so it should hold the extra power without an issue. Same for the WRX's OEM clutch. I get that there would be a cost increase to transplant the WRX's engine, but I can't see it being a deal breaker for many potential customers.

Years ago, I remember a few momentum cars that people complained didn't have enough power- the NB Miata and the Solstice/Sky twins. I remember the manufacturers then releasing boosted versions of them- the Mazdaspeed Miata and the Solstice GXP/Sky Redline. From what I can recall, I think the price on the GM twins went up by roughly $2700 vs a similar trimmed "base" Solstice/Sky and the Mazdaspeed had a similar price increase over base. I'm not saying those cars were in any way, shape or form "perfect", but they helped satisfy the itch that the masses complained about without a major price hike.

Really, if Subaru/Toyota followed a similar recipe, they might be able to attract a larger target audience; myself included. I think many on this board would gladly pay an extra $3000-$4000 for a factory boosted BRZ, making somewhere in the area of stock WRX power.

You're right, the aftermarket for these cars is huge, and you're free to boost power to your heart's content. The problem is, the aftermarket generally doesn't deliver the same level of engineering as the manufacturer. As a result, you frequently don't get the same level of reliability, refinement, power delivery and consistency as a factory boosted car. Plus, when you spend $5000+ on a turbo kit, you're throwing away OEM parts that you already paid for vs the cost savings that a factory boosted car provides.

No one is saying that Subaru/Toyota should discontinue the naturally aspirated BRZ/86. They would just like to see a more powerful variant added to the line-up and wouldn't mind paying an extra $3000-$4000 for it. In my mind, that doesn't seem unreasonable. But that's just my $.02

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
2/28/17 2:40 p.m.

In reply to roninsoldier83:

Remember that Mazda couldn't give away the Mazdaspeed Miata's and Pontiac went bust before we know how that would sell. If they are meeting their sales goals with the car as is why bother? I do feel your pain at altitude though. I wonder why it seems to suffer so so much more than some of the other (NA) cars you've compared it too still at altitude, especially the S2K?

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
2/28/17 2:55 p.m.

If I didn't need more space, I would totally consider an '86 as a daily driver. They just look like fun to chuck around. And in a DD, do you REALLY need 450 horses?

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