There is something to be aforesaid for using the proper tool for the job. It is not continually possible, however you know that when you whip out the vise Grips, deep down within, it simply feels wrong. There is satisfaction, joy, even dignity in using the correct instrument to execute a task accurately on the first try.
Our attempt to wield the updated 2017 Subaru BRZ on Fuji Speedway last year were stymied by summer fog that rolled into the base of Mt. Fuji, decreasing visibilty to just a couple of car lengths. However it’s an extremely fast circuit with a virtually mile-long front straight so even on a clear day, it isn’t the perfect venue for the Subaru BRZ. Which is why we accepted Subaru’s request to take another go at it, now at Circuito Guadix, an off-the-beaten-path track close to Granada, Spain.
Subaru BRZ Performance Package
The Performance Package is the highest specification available on the chassis to date in the United States, and that includes its Toyota and scion brethren. The setup is specially to the BRZ line and has no Toyota counterpart. With a value of $1,195 on prime of (and only available on) the $28,465 limited trim level with a manual, it gets you a host of upgrades to its unsprung components, all of which might price many times more if procured piecemeal in the aftermarket.
Sorry, there are no power upgrades, save for the bump of 5 Horsepower and five pound-feet of torsion on manual-transmission 2017 models. The most noticeable of the enhancements are sharp, gunmetal-finish 17-by-7.5-inch wheels, inspired by the famed RS-Watanabe design that adorned Japanese touring racers of the 1970s.
The extra half-inch of width accommodates larger Brembo brakes — four-piston calipers up front biting down on rotors that have mature by 0.95 inches in diameter and thickness to 12.8 by 1.18, and two-pot calipers pinching 12.4-by-0.79-inch rotors, up from 11.4 by 0.71, out back. These are a similar brake dimensions as you will find on the car Subaru still considers the flagbearer of its enthusiast lineup, the rally-ready WRX STI.
Subaru BRZ Performance Description
Performance Pack BRZs are suspended by Sachs ZF dampers and incur a weight penalty of just 20 pounds over the limited. Its six-speed manual is sleek and precise as ever and never leaves you hunting for a gear, while the fast throttle response encourages rev matching. The seats strike the proper balance, keeping torsos centered during aggressive track maneuvers while not being thus overly bolstered to make the car hard to get in and out of.
Best of all, the steering and braking are progressive and predictable, leaving lots of buffer around the several blind curves and steep drop-offs we encountered and inspiring enough confidence for us to have some fun in a remote area of a foreign country with no cellphone service. We know that for the value of a Performance Package BRZ you can get a V6 Camaro or Genesis coupe.
However, you cannot help however feel those are compromises. You know you are using a drill bit one size too big, or fiddling unnecessarily with a one-size-fits-all chassis. That is the beauty of the BRZ – if your job is slicing through a tight track filled with turns or charging up a mountainside on a ribbon of asphalt, there’s no more precise instrument than the BRZ.