Feb 02

The Subaru BRZ and Scion FRS, bringing back the cheap sports car

With details of the Subaru BRZ/Toyta FRS now known and pricing to come very soon we are told it’s time to look how we got here. Now I don’t want to hype the BRZ more then what it really is, but I feel like it has a real good shot at being the Infinite-Garage.com car of the year this year. So how did we go from one small, cheap, RWD sports car, the Miata, to a whole host in just a few years? Well that’s easy. It turns out car companies realized enthusiasts buy cars too. Of course cars like the Mustang have always been around, and in a way it atleast used to fit this criteria, but now it’s a bit heavy and big.

So where did this new trend start? I’d like to say the 350z, but it’s kind of heavy too, although certainly a good example of a sports coupe. The RX8 is another good contender and surely the success of both helped get us here. A bit later to the game was the Hyundai Genesis, which was the first hard top to slot in under 25k. These three cars and of course the Miata over the years netted enough sales to make even the soulless Toyota take notice.

So sometime in the mid 2000s Toyota and Subaru got together to work on the GT86/FRS/BRZ concept which would debute at the Tokyo Autoshow in 2009.

The all new Subaru BRZ

It wasn’t until 2011 when we’d finally see a production version of the car. Details emerged on the 2.0L boxer engine and six speed manual or auto transmissions.

Cars today are over priced and it’s quite saddening. To get a great performer you have to pay many times more then you would have twenty years ago. The BRZ/FRS look to change that. Let’s compare the BRZ to a few notable
current sports cars, the BRZ weighs about 160 pounds less than the Porsche Cayman, about
300 pounds less than the Lotus Evora and is more than 500 pounds lighter than a Hyundai
Genesis coupe.

Just to hammer home what you are getting with the BRZ/FRS let’s check out some stats.
Vehicle 2+2 sports car
Engine 4-cyl. horizontally opposed (Boxer), alloy cylinder block and cylinder heads
Displacement 2.0-liter
Bore x stroke 3.38 in. x 3.38 in (86mm x 86mm)
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Horsepower 200 HP
Torque 150 lb.-ft.
Fuel system Toyota D-4S direct fuel injection and port injection system
Valvetrain Double overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC), 4 valves per cylinder,
dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) controls valve timing on intake
and exhaust camshafts
Transmission Standard: 6-speed manual with short-throw shifter
Optional: 6-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters and
downshift blipping control
Limited-slip rear differential is standard for all.
Stability/traction control Vehicle Stability Control with traction control and five settings
Suspension 4-wheel independent
Front: MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Rear: Double wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Wheels 17 x 7 aluminum alloy
Tires 215/45R17
Brakes 4-wheel ventilated disc
Exterior Dimensions (in.)
Wheelbase 101.2
Length 166.7
Width 69.9
Height 50.6
Curb weight (lbs.) Estimated for U.S. model: 6-speed manual: 2,762

All of this for less then 25k. You may remember our exclusive first drive of the FT-86. Our tester loved the way it felt and had some great things to say about it’s nimbleness. Oh yeah cheap fun is back. Look for pricing of the American version of the BRZ/FRS to come late this month and the release of the car later this year as a 2013 model. We can’t wait.