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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 8:51 a.m.

Haters are gonna hate.

We’ve heard it before: The Subaru BRZ doesn’t make enough horsepower.

Whenever the car and its near-twin from Scion come up, the internet is quick to pine: Why can’t it get a turbocharged engine like the WRX? And while we’re at it, why not make it all-wheel drive?

How’s this for a realistic answer? More power means more complexity, more weight and, of course, more expense, which would render the relatively simple, lightweight, affordable sportster into a different beast altogether.

Sometimes simple is better, even if that means giving up some power. It’s why so many motorsports greats aren’t exactly grandiose; think of the MGB, Honda CRX Si and, of course, the original Miata.

Subaru has upped performance bit for 2017 with their optional Performance Package, but it’s not going to appease those who wish the car made more power.

So who is the target audience for this car? Customers who understand what the BRZ represents and are looking for just a bit more “more.” That extra oomph mainly comes from bigger brakes and increased control.

Read the rest of the story

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
1/18/17 10:23 a.m.

I'm glad to hear it is staying in production.

thebigchill
thebigchill
1/18/17 10:26 a.m.

Just to be clear: If we think it needs more power, we "don't get it" ? I think we get it more than any BRZ apologist does. The car is good, but could be better with a bit more oomph. Most agree with this sentiment, barring jort and funny hat wearing Auto-X purists. The original unmodified Miata is a bore to drive if we can be honest, so that feels like an appropriate comparison, actually.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/18/17 10:27 a.m.

I'm glad to see they finally put a decent set of wheels on the car. The earlier ones are so ugly.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
1/18/17 10:43 a.m.
thebigchill wrote: Just to be clear: If we think it needs more power, we "don't get it" ? I think we get it more than any BRZ apologist does. The car is good, but could be better with a bit more oomph. Most agree with this sentiment, barring jort and funny hat wearing Auto-X purists. The original unmodified Miata is a bore to drive if we can be honest, so that feels like an appropriate comparison, actually.

what you are saying is - the BRZ would have plenty of power if it were only released in 1989 and not in 2012 when sub 250 hp motors are regulated to base model cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 11:01 a.m.

Here's my math in rough numbers.

An original CRX or GTI or Miata or MR2 weighed about 2000 pounds and made about 100 horsepower. The BRZ weighs about 2800 pounds and makes 200 horsepower. Yes, we always want more, but looking at some past favorites, the BRZ compares favorably. There is some throwback math in here. I'm cool with that.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 11:05 a.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote: I'm glad to hear it is staying in production.

You know, that is probably the big win here. Subaru is selling all of the Outbacks they can, and they just celebrated 61 consecutive months of growth. The fact they continue to build this niche vehicle is pretty impressive, especially as they have faster cars in the fleet.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/17 11:11 a.m.

You don't need to point back 25 years to the original Miata. The current one is also light with relatively low power levels. You know, dull and boring. Everyone knows that

cmcgregor
cmcgregor Dork
1/18/17 11:12 a.m.

I'm glad they're still making it. I just hope they continue to until I can afford to buy another one - I loved my FR-S.

Fr3AkAzOiD
Fr3AkAzOiD Reader
1/18/17 11:14 a.m.

Thing is there are always going to be people wanting more HP.

I remember with the S2000 how many times people said 240HP wasnt enough and it should have come with 300-350HP.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
1/18/17 11:16 a.m.

The BRZ competes against the latest Mustangs and Camaros, along with the Challenger, Genesis Coupe and even the 370Z. I've not driven any of these, but on paper, the BRZ trails the pack. Most shoppers aren't test driving all of a target model's competition either, so without time behind the wheel a lot of people may completely miss why this car shines.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 11:19 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: You don't need to point back 25 years to the original Miata. The current one is also light with relatively low power levels. You know, dull and boring. Everyone knows that

Exactly.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
1/18/17 11:24 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: You don't need to point back 25 years to the original Miata. The current one is also light with relatively low power levels. You know, dull and boring. Everyone knows that

Then stop selling Miata power adders

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 11:29 a.m.
nderwater wrote: The BRZ competes against the latest Mustangs and Camaros, along with the Challenger, Genesis Coupe and even the 370Z. I've not driven any of these, but on paper, the BRZ trails the pack. Most shoppers aren't test driving all of a target model's competition either, so without time behind the wheel a lot of people may completely miss why this car shines.

That's a good point, and a shopper should drive them all. They might all be 2+2 coupes, but each one has its own character.

The Challenger feels huge--like, it feels as big as it is. It's not an autocrosser. It's just big everywhere--giant doors, giant tires, giant everything.

The latest Camaros also have a heavy feel to them, but the newest one is headed in the right direction. The Mustangs seem to better carry their weight.

The Z is an interesting one. It's the right size but just doesn't do it for me. The chassis has a nervousness to it.

We never got to drive the 2.0T Genesis Coupe. The first V6 Coupe had a cheap interior. The rest of the car was pretty good, but the interior was the deal-killer for me. It's also a little bit bigger and heavier than the BRZ.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/18/17 11:34 a.m.

By the way, this would have been a good BRZ fighter:

It's the Kia GT4 Stinger Concept. I saw it at the New York Auto Show a few years back. It's the right size and everything. Looks like Kia is going to use the Stinger name for something a bit different, though.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
1/18/17 11:36 a.m.

I like it a lot, but not enough to to buy one. It's fantastic on paper but doesn't quite make an emotional connection and I'm not sure why. I do enjoy driving them, they're great.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/17 11:38 a.m.

I'm glad the BRZ got a tasteful front bumper update rather than the awful krill grille the FRS got.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/17 11:45 a.m.
DaveEstey wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: You don't need to point back 25 years to the original Miata. The current one is also light with relatively low power levels. You know, dull and boring. Everyone knows that
Then stop selling Miata power adders

Ever looked at our lineup of parts for the ND? It's almost all chassis and brakes. We're looking at the engine, but we're really a handling company that happens to sell power adders.

There will always be people looking for more. You can buy power upgrades for your Dodge Hellcat.

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
1/18/17 11:47 a.m.

"I'm sorry the internet doesn't understand you BRZ"

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/18/17 11:48 a.m.

It isn't the power or the speed, it is the delivery. It is such a linear torque band that it doesn't feel fast in a straight line. It is faster than my old Miata, but my old Miata felt "fast" in a straight line because of the power delivery. It wasn't fast at all, but unless there was a car (pick one, anyone, even a minivan) next to me I didn't know that.

I still almost ended up with one, and someday may again in teh future since it is so much more usable than a Miata... But I doubt it.

thebigchill wrote: The original unmodified Miata is a bore to drive if we can be honest, so that feels like an appropriate comparison, actually.

Here is where I disagree. I don't think it was a bore to drive--it was a lot of fun.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
1/18/17 11:54 a.m.

While I wish they made more power, I really just wished I fit in them better. Stupid big shoulders.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse Dork
1/18/17 12:24 p.m.

People wouldn't say anything about the power if it was all peak like the old 4age. I've even been "that guy". Test Drove an ae86 and said "man this thing isn't that bad!" -112hp...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/17 12:34 p.m.
mtn wrote: It isn't the power or the speed, it is the delivery. It is such a linear torque band that it doesn't *feel* fast in a straight line. It is faster than my old Miata, but my old Miata felt "fast" in a straight line because of the power delivery. It wasn't fast at all, but unless there was a car (pick one, anyone, even a minivan) next to me I didn't know that.

That's a big difference between the NA and the NC Miatas as well. The NC engine is smooth with a linear torque band that's fairly boring - but also fairly effective. The NA engine - especially the 1.6 - is built with a cam that wakes up with revs, so it encourages you to wind it out and play with it. It's more about character than speed, which is something I hold fairly dear. The 1.6 in my old Locost only made 148 rwhp but it was the most entertaining engine I've ever driven.

Even in the V8s. The supercharged LSA is effective but boring. The LS376/525 makes less power but is crazy in a box.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/18/17 12:35 p.m.

I am content with 10 lbs to 1hp for a nimble sports car. The ~14:1 is a bit off putting.

That is one of the reasons I like the original S2000. That was the goal 10:1

I know the ND is around 15:1 which is why I think it needs a bit of oomph too.

BTD
BTD New Reader
1/18/17 12:38 p.m.

They don't need more power, they need more torque (more power would just be a plus). I'm not talking about 350/350 here either. If it had a 2.5L and made ~230hp/250tq, it would be the best sports car on the market, period.

I loved everything about my BRZ except the power. Now I drive an S197 mustang which feels just right, and it's a heavier car.

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