Subaru enthusiasts around the world are going bonkers over Subaru’s BRZ, a rear wheel drive sports coupe developed with Toyota. Toyota has presented concepts of its version as the FT-86 whereas Subaru has till date shown to the public only the skeleton, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This car has grabbed everybody’s attention to the extent that stories have been posted on a number of auto websites about just the logo – BRZ. The car has also birthed a new word – Toyabaru, for all things that include this Toyota Subaru collaboration.
Subaru, for the first time gave us a glimpse of what the production BRZ would look like with this Subaru BRZ Concept – STI unveiled at the LA Auto Show. STI is Subaru’s performance brand.
Sleek, low and tightly-coiled bodywork blends with STI performance touches for a sporting profile. A hexagonal lower front grille, hawk eye headlights and fin-shaped fog lamps are instantly recognizable as Subaru. The exterior color “WR Blue Pearl II” is a new generation of the iconic WR blue paint scheme that has adorned both racing and production STI’s.
Other design features of note include the aero-tuned lower front spoiler, unique rear fascia and a rear wing for added down-force. A carbon-fiber roof has been added to lower the center of gravity (CoG), which Subaru says will be one of the lowest of any car made.
The rear design features bold rear fender flares and large rear diffuser giving way to polished stainless-steel quad-tailpipes. Vented rear bumper corners contribute to improved aerodynamics performance.
Subaru also mentions the concept car will be powered by the new Subaru “FA” BOXER™ engine exclusively designed for the RWD BRZ sports car. This is in contradiction with information we’ve seen elsewhere that the Toyota FT-86 will be powered by the same engine that powers the BRZ. We’ll just have to wait for more information. The overall structure of this 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine has been designed with a square bore and stroke of 86 X 86 mm. The inherent qualities of the Subaru BOXER engine were mated to a direct injection fuel system, which further improves combustion efficiency, running smoothness up to high rpm and high environmental standards, says Subaru.
The lightened BRZ Concept – STI – features an STI-tuned suspension, Brembo™ brakes and unique 18-inch wheels and tires. The Subaru-engineered and built chassis boasts a rigid frame housing a two-plus-two interior and front engine/rear-wheel drive layout. With the engine mounted low and rearward in the engine compartment near-perfect balance is achieved which Subaru says will lead to razor sharp handling. The low engine placement also accommodates the low blade like hood design. Short front and rear overhangs reduce the yaw moment of inertia, which is the tendency of the car to rotate about the vertical axis through the center of gravity.
Compared with other Subaru models, which already feature a low center of gravity and optimal weight distribution, the engine in the Subaru BRZ – STI – sits even lower. It is 4.7 inches lower and is positioned 9.4 inches closer to the center of the chassis compared to a Subaru Impreza.
The first RWD Subaru, the production Subaru BRZ will begin production in spring 2012 as the only mass-produced front-engine, BOXER engine rear-wheel drive sports car in the world.