An updated version of Subaru’s two-door sports car, with revised suspension along with other goodies such as smart keys, a frameless rear vision mirror and slim shark fin antenna.
What isn’t it?
A Toyota 86. The Subaru’s more famous twin tends to hog the limelight – it seems that the BRZ can be somewhat forgotten as the Toyota outsells the near-identical BRZ by five to one.
What does it say about me?
That you want a performance car without compromise, as there are plenty of faster hot hatches around for similar money – along with Subaru’s excellent WRX sedan – but none match the pure driving experience offered by the BRZ.
Who else is buying it?
We reckon it might be human bowerbirds with an addiction to shiny blue things. The rally-inspired pearl finish you see here is exclusive to Subaru, unlike the six other tones on the palette which can also be had on Toyota’s twin.
If it was a celebrity, who would it be?
Former Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, a famous twin with plenty of popular appeal.
Why would I buy it?
Because it remains deeply relevant to car enthusiasts, combining brilliant balance with a responsive engine and an affordable price.
The BRZ’s driving position, precise gearshift and perfectly-weighted controls make every drive a delight. It still looks sharp two years after its debut, and we’ll never tire of its balanced rear-wheel-drive dynamics.
The interior is rather drab, and it’s quite noisy on the open road.
Boot storage is not a strong point, and a cover for the spare wheel is an optional extra – be prepared to stash your bread and milk in the hollow of a lightweight alloy rim.
How’s the cabin ambience?
Purposeful or stingy, depending on your perspective. It’s a space devoted to the business of driving, with a naked, well-placed steering wheel unaffected by buttons for Bluetooth this or multi-function that. There are precious few toys to play with here, though a new smart key, frameless mirror and silver instrument highlights help brighten the cockpit.
Does it cost too much?
Not in isolation, as there are few rear-wheel-drive coupes on sale for less than $100,000. The elephant in the room is Toyota’s 86 GT which offers the same thrills – if not the same amount of goodies – for around $3000 less.
Will I get a deal?
That’s not likely, given Subaru’s drive-away-prices and the manufacturer’s online shopping tool that takes negotiation out of the equation.
Will it get me noticed?
Not as much as it used to, thanks to nearly 15,000 examples of the BRZ and 86 on Australian roads that have dulled its impact.
Does it go?
The four-cylinder boxer motor sounds earnest and responds crisply to the gentlest touch of the throttle.
But it makes maximum torque at 6600rpm, just a moment before maximum power arrives at 7000rpm, which means that the engine lacks flexibility and must be worked hard in order to make decent progress.
The result is a 0-100km/h time of 7.6 seconds, which is nothing to crow about in the performance car world but feels brisk thanks to a low seating position and rowdy engine note.
Does it like corners?
It loves them, thanks to a low centre of gravity and impressive balance that encourages you to explore the outer limits of adhesion.
The BRZ is an absolute sweetheart on the right road and there are very few machines under $100,000 that can match it for driver satisfaction.
What about bumps?
Subaru tweaked the car’s shock absorbers for 2015, hoping to produce a more enjoyable driving experience by providing better contact with the road. It’s a small change, and you would need to drive it back-to-back to notice, but the blue coupe’s ride remains settled on all but the roughest roads.
Would you buy one?
Without question. The BRZ and its identical twin are truly special machines that are incredibly rewarding to drive. In an age when turbocharging, front-wheel-drive and automatic transmissions are the norm, the BRZ is a breath of fresh air for car enthusiasts everywhere.
BRZ is a Subaru at its most elemental. A stripped back, authentic sports car driving experience.
With an impractical body and two-wheel-drive, this isn’t the Subaru you know. It’s much more fun.
The car: 2015 Subaru BRZ
Price: $37,150 drive-away
Vitals: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol; 147kW and 205Nm; 6-sp manual; 7.8L/100km; rear-wheel-drive.