Car Magazine interviewed Toshio Masuda, Subaru’s product planning senior general manager and the director of the BRZ project, to discuss the status of the new entry level FR concept coupe that Toyota has been showing off since 2009. This concept was seen at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, as well as at the auto shows in Geneva, New York, and Frankfurt.
In fact, it has already earned the title of “perpetual concept car.” This is very different from how Subaru‘s sister BRZ concept was handled as its designs have been kept a secret.
What makes this weirder is that Masashi Uemura, Subaru’s deputy general manager of corporate communications, has said that Subaru is handling the platform and drivetrain development, production engineering and final assembly for the compact rear wheel drive coupe at Subaru facilities, according to AutoGuide.
Masuda said that the BRZ will only be available in a rear wheel drive trim. Masuda said that the team considers the BRZ as a test bed, concentrating on rear wheel drive handling features that may be applied on all wheel drive Subarus.
In addition, the BRZ’s 2.0-liter flat-four engine will be naturally aspirated rather than be turbocharged. The “Boxer Sports Car Architecture” platform used for the FT-86 and BRZ are bespoke.
Since this isn’t a chassis that will be shared with any other models, four door variants are not expected. But then, future generations of Subaru vehicles would surely adopt innovations from the chassis. This chassis retains its very low 450mm center of gravity.
The Subaru BRZ Concept combines sleek, tightly-coiled, and low bodywork with STI performance elements for a sporting look. The lower front grille has a hexagon shape, fin-shaped fog lamps, and hawk eye headlights -- all making this model recognizable as a Subaru at first sight. Meanwhile, the exterior WR Blue Pearl II color is the latest in the WR blue paint line that has been seen in production and racing STI's.
The body has an aero-tuned lower front spoiler, a rear wing and a one-of-a-kind rear fascia for more down-force. You also have a carbon-fiber roof to help lower the center of gravity, helping the concept car have one of the lowest COGs. The rear design has daring rear fender flares and huge rear-diffuser that give way to polished quad-tailpipes. Meanwhile the rear bumper corners give the rear better aerodynamics.
The concept car uses the new Subaru "FA" BOXER engine that was exclusively created for the RWD BRZ sports car. To give it the best properties, the structure of this 2.0 L four-cylinder engine makes use of a square bore and an 86 X 86 mm stroke. The Subaru BOXER engine was also matched with a direct injection fuel system that offers more combustion efficiency, high environmental standards, and running smoothness even at high RPMs.
The lightened Subaru BRZ STI Concept features Brembo brakes, 18-inch wheels and STI-tuned suspension. The chassis was designed and built by Subaru and has a rigid frame that allows for front engine/rear-wheel drive and a two-plus-two interior layout. The engine is mounted low and towards the rear, giving the vehicle great balance.
The Subaru BRZ STI Concept is lightweight, with razor-sharp reflexes and a low polar moment, giving it a great handling profile. The low engine placement also makes way for an extremely low hood design that gives it a blade-like look. The short overhangs for the front and rear also cut down the yaw moment of inertia.