Subaru's Best Boxers: The Lightweight BRZ Sports Coupe

Sports Car

Subaru's first proper rear-wheel drive sports car ends up being rather impressive.

Remember when we said 2016 seems to be the year of big anniversaries in the motoring industry? We weren't joking, as every other week there seems to be another manufacturer saying it's got a new milestone to celebrate! One that probably got overlooked by many amongst all the hubbub was the 50th anniversary announcement of Subaru's long-runnin 'Boxer' series of engines. So, to mark the occasion, we're celebrating Subie's best cars to be powered by a flat-engine, and the BRZ 2+2 sports car is the next car to feature following the BRAT.

Contrary to belief, this is not the first front-engine/rear-wheel-drive Subaru (that accolade belongs to the Subaru 1500). The BRZ was the FR car made by Fuji Heavy Industries' automotive subsidiary to be powered by the brand-synonymous four-cylinder 'Boxer' engine. Considering Subaru's been building flat engines for half a century now, it's not surprising to hear the 2.0-liter unit in the BRZ is really sweet. Sure, it doesn't have the turbo Impreza's instant oomph, but there's enough poke on offer here for most buyers, and there's a pleasant surge of power in store for you if you let the four-cylinder build up the revs. Plus, the throttle response is pin sharp and the noise it makes as it closes in on the rev limiter is pretty tasty too.

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Complementing the precision of the engine is an equally honed chassis balance that, in spite of the BRZs relative age in comparison with newer rivals (Subaru's been selling the BRZ in the States since mid-2012), is still one of the finest you'll find in this class. Granted, co-developer Toyota needs some credit here as well, but a chassis is often only as good as the engine it's paired to, and Subaru deserves all the praise it can get for the proverbial cake-topping cherry it's rustled up in the form of that corker of a Boxer engine. For sure, a more powerful (and preferably turbocharged) version would be preferable, but when the stock engine is this good, we can't complain too much about the otherwise stellar Subaru BRZ sports coupe.

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