The BRZ06 from Weapons Grade Performance combines two things every car lover loves – light cars and huge power. With a 400 horsepower 6.0-liter Chevy LS2 V8 engine swapped into the lightweight BRZ, the car is exactly the car Chevy should have built. With 400+ horsepower and only 60-lbs more weight than the stock 2.0-liter BRZ, it’s not a hard argument to make that this is the car Subaru should have made too.
We first showed you the BRZ06 last year and at the time it was running well, but the power steering and tachometer weren’t working. I just heard from Doug at Weapons Grade Performance that they have those last two items fully functional in the BRZ06 now.
At $13,000 installed ($8k for the full swap kit and $5k for installation), you can have a light weight V8 monster for about the same price as a well equipped Mustang or Camaro, with the added bonus of having a unique sports car that will turn heads and attract crowds everywhere you go.
One very lucky Subaru BRZ driver had a close call with a deer at night on Skyline Drive in Virginia. While tooling around Skyline Drive at night (he was trying to avoid sightseers that would slow him down and keep him from enjoying the windy road) a deer hopped out of the woods with almost perfect timing to be turned into ground venison by the speeding BRZ. Thankfully, the driver was on his toes and managed to slow down enough that Bambi didn’t get busted. While we’re being thankful, the BRZ driver’s dash cam means that even though you know exactly what happens in this video, you’ll still find yourself an inch taller thanks to involuntarily butt cheek clenching at the almost accident.
Yamano Tetsuya showed up to round 6 of the All Japan Gymkhana on crutches and left on the podium. OK he didn’t actually leave on the podium, that would be absurd, it would take a massive truck to carry the actual intact podium away and he would risk getting injured again, but the race driver did leave with a first place finish despite injuring himself in training for round four of the tournament and needing surgery that caused him to miss round 5.
Tetsuya races the 2014 Subaru BRZ in the PN3 class and despite his injury (torn ligaments in his clutch foot) leaving him unsure of his motor racing future, won the round at the Twin Ring Motegi Northern Short Course.
On top of the recent injury and surgery, the course was hit with rain and typhoons during the round, making Tetsuya’s job even harder.
The 2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue will give BRZ enthusiasts an appetizer to hold us over for the STI entree we’ve been waiting for.
The 2015 BRZ Series.Blue will be available in either World Rally Blue or Crystal White Paint with a full lip kit that Subaru says will reduce the coefficient of drag from 0.28 to 0.27. Unfortunately the aerodynamic upgrades are the only extras that can count as performance upgrades on the Series.Blue, so it isn’t as enticing a package as the Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0. The BRZ Series.Blue will be limited to just 1,000 units, compared to the FR-S Release 1.0’s 1,500, so if you’re looking for a collectible the BRZ will be a bit rarer.
The BRZ Series.Blue will start life as a BRZ Limited model and will add to that a black and blue leather and faux suede interior with blue contrasting stitching (mmm contrasting stitching), a blue accented steering wheel, special floormats with blue stitching, a frameless rearview mirror, fake carbon fiber dash trim, and an illuminated engine start button with STI logo. Unique STI rims are the other major addition to the Series.Blue. Like the rest of the 2015 BRZs, the Series.Blue will get the new Sharkfin antenna.
The Series.Blue will start at $30.285 with a stick shift, just $1,895 more than the BRZ Limited and not as much as a good set of wheels, so Subaru dealers should have no problem selling 1,000 of them.
The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S second generations have been officially confirmed. Subaru boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Automotive News that contrary to speculation, “it’s not going to be just one generation.” The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ won’t break away from each other and will be built on the same platform for the second generation.
Subaru has a reason to be bullish on the FR-S BRZ’s continued production, while Toyota has some reason to be hesitant. Subaru BRZ sales rose six percent through June, while FR-S sales fell 24 percent. Even with that fall the FR-S almost doubled the BRZ’s sales this year with 7,662 Scions sold to 4,295 Subarus.
No specifications have been announced for the second generation FR-S and BRZ, but expect minor engine performance upgrades to add a bit of horsepower in the base car. The drivetrain will also probably be stronger to accommodate a stronger engine option like the 2.5-liter engine or a turbocharger. Lastly we will probably see some changes to the FR-S and BRZ platform that would allow more flexibility in body styles, opening the path for an FR-S convertible, an FR-S sedan or a BRZ Crossover.
Subaru has announced some changes to the 2015 BRZ. Most obvious will be the addition of a painted shark fin antenna replacing the black nub.
Mechanically, the BRZ will get tweaks to the front suspension, new rear shock absorbers, and steering adjustments to improve handling and driveability (no performance upgrades yet, I guess it will be 2016 when the BRZ Turbo finally makes it to production). Carbon fiber dashboard accents and a new key fob round out the 2015 BRZ’s upgrades. The changes, which have been confirmed for the Japanese spec 2015 BRZ, should find their way onto U.S. cars either this year or next.
Since their chums (get it?) at Toyota are adding a shark fin antenna to the Scion FR-S and Toyota FT86, Subaru is following suit. Unlike luxury cars where the antenna pods just look tacked on, the shark fin antenna actually looks good on a sports car, kind of like the roof accoutrements the WRX STI and Mitsubishi Evo have that supposedly do something magical to the air flowing over the car and add a million horsepower.
In a will-they-won’t-they more dramatic than Ted and Robin or Ross and Rachel or Tyrion and Cersei (there’s tension there, don’t act like you haven’t wondered) Toyota might decide to go on without Subaru and build a Scion FR-S convertible on its own. Subaru has said that there was no chance for a convertible built on the Subaru BRZ/ Scion FR-S chassis because of safety and performance concerns and since the engineering and construction of the cars is Subaru’s responsibility, the drop top looked dead . Now a Toyota exec is saying the Scion FR-S convertible might get a chance at life, engineered and manufactured by Toyota alone.
Doug Murtha, Scion vice president for North America, said that Toyota is considering moving forward with the Scion FR-S convertible without Subaru and has asked each region to estimate sales of the potential FR-S drop top.
Subaru had said in no uncertain terms that the Scion FR-S convertible prototypes shown to the public and to dealers were just design exercises that had no chance of production. The engineering that would go into maintaining the Subaru BRZ’s performance and safety with the removal of the roof would make the project too expensive for Subaru to undertake.
Murtha understands why Subaru wouldn’t want to purse a BRZ convertible:
“When you look at their global volume relative to our global volume, convert that to (their potential share of the convertible segment), and it’s probably more in Toyota’s interest to pursue a vehicle like that,” he told Ward’s Auto.
One of the major selling points of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ has been the pure sports car driving experience that isn’t complicated by unnecessary technology. That’s why it’s strange to hear that a turbocharged hybrid all-wheel drive version of the FR-S and BRZ might be on the way. The FR-S and BRZ Sedan project, which was hinted at in the past but believed dead, would use all-wheel drive, a hybrid system and, most excitingly of all, a turbocharger.
Motor Trend claims that a version of the GT86 sedan has already been built and is 187 inches long, 70 inches wide, 55.1 inches high and has a 108.2-inch wheelbase. That would put it close to the Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry in terms of size. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Sedan’s super secret internal development code is 734A, so if you’re a hacker pouring through Toyota’s internal documents and run into that code, feel free to send us any information you get with it (note: do not hack into Toyota in order to attempt to glean some hints on the GT86 Sedan, it’s not worth the prison sentence).
Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company) president Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said that a convertible version of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S is not a possibility.
“We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” Yoshinaga told Automotive News.”Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.”
Toyota has been bullish on the FR-S convertible. In addition to teasing an FR-S to U.S. Dealers, Toyota showed off a new version of the FR-S convertible at the Tokyo Motor Show with an electric powered automatic top.
“I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car,” Yoshinaga said. “But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties.”
Subaru has revealed it’s latest wild custom concept based on the BRZ. The Subaru BRZ Cross Sport shooting brake is a hatchback version of the BRZ coupe. Along with the hatchback that adds more room to the BRZ’s small interior, the Cross Sport has a higher ride height(either from a suspension lift or larger tires, Subaru hasn’t said) and beefy fender flares that look ready to absorb any debris that might result from a spirited drive off the beaten path.
The Subaru BRZ Cross Sport’s might be the perfect BRZ rally car. The BRX hatch’s higher ride height would provide more ground clearance for rough roads. That higher ride height would also give the BRZ hatchback more room for essential rally gear like skid plates and chassis reinforcements. The one thing the BRZ has always lacked that set it apart from the rest of the Subaru family is all-wheel drive. The BRZ cross sport hatchback could have enough room for Subaru to finally build an AWD BRZ.
It’s not just the extra ride height and the possibility of all-wheel drive that makes the Cross Sport a perfect BRZ rally car. Some rally drivers prefer the hatchback models of the WRX over the sedan ones because the extra weight of the hatchback bodystyle is all over the rear wheels, giving the cars better balance. The Subaru BRZ hatchback could have an even better weight distribution than the 54/46 the BRZ coupe has.