Subaru unveiled its compact 2+2 sports car the Subaru BRZ at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011. The BRZ has been developed with Toyota , which will be selling it as the Toyota GT 86. Subaru recently unveiled the Subaru BRZ Concept – STI, which took the concept a step closer to production.
The BRZ is a rear-wheel drive sports car featuring the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine, mounted up front. It was developed as a joint-project between Subaru and Toyota Motor Corporation, to build a sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure. The Subaru Boxer engine in the BRZ was positioned even lower than other Subaru models so that the BRZ has one of the lowest possible centers of gravity on the market today. Subaru says this low center of gravity produces astonishing handling character and combined with a light-weight chassis BRZ realizes Subaru’s aim for “Pure Handling Delight” the driving experience taken to a new level.
The BRZ has a low-mounted Boxer engine on a specially designed sub-frame that forms an “ultra-low center of gravity package”. Seats designed with the intent of having lowered seating for the driver and passenger further helps the cause. With this arrangement, BRZ achieved a low driving position typical of a sports car.
Subaru aimed for a sports car design that instinctively conveys the car’s fun-to-drive character. In addition, it was detailed to be instantly recognizable as a Subaru. The “ultra-low center of gravity package” also allowed a low hood design. This low hood and bulging front fenders raise expectations for the BRZ’s drivability says Subaru. In line with Subaru design lanauge, Subaru six-star ornament badge is placed up front, the distinctive headlights and hexagon lower grille follow the Subaru design motif common across new Subaru models.
The flared fenders add to the vehicles sporty looks. Subaru points out that the aesthetic beauty is combined with functional beauty that advances aerodynamics through such areas as the C-pillar shape, rear glass inclination, trunk lid layout. The front and rear overhangs were shortened to make the car look sportier.
The steering wheel was made smaller to achieve sports car maneuverability, as on GT 86. A tachometer with digitally displayed speedometer is placed in the center of the gauges so that the driver can instantly see information without diverting attention from the road.
The 2.0 litre Boxer engine has square bore and stroke of 86 X 86 mm. Toyota’s direct injection and port injection technology “D-4S” was incorporated in the BRZ’s power unit. To achieve the “ultra-low center of gravity package”, the engine as a whole has been made more compact by such means as adopting the shorter intake manifold and the shallower oil pan.
The 6-speed MT employs a short stroke shift lever. Subaru says the lever was optimized in rigidity, shift quality and weight application in its pursuit of a superb shift feel. The 6-speed AT has “S mode” for better shifting response and “M mode” for optional shifting.
Low center of gravity and low driving position were achieved by the perimeter type body frame layout. Subaru says the rigidity of the frame is optimized for high drivability and appropriate durability is maintained for collision safety. High tensile steel used in the upper structure of the BRZ contributes to its low center of gravity.
The front hood employs aluminum for lightness. The structure was fine-tuned for a low styling that also improves pedestrian protection performance. The chassis offers sharp response to steering and enhances driver’s connection to the car.
The front suspension employs struts for light-weight and high rigidity, while a double wishbone layout is adopted at the rear for better shock absorption. To gain a low front hood from the “ultra-low center of gravity package”, the front strut mount was lowered while maintaining the stroke. The tires are 215/45R17 combined with lightweight and highly rigid aluminum wheels. All models are equipped with electronic stability control.