2011 Tokyo Motor Show: Subaru BRZ is a blue mirage

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 1, 2011

After releasing teasers for the past two years, Subaru has finally presented an undisguised, fully finished production version BRZ sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show. A "concept" BRZ was seen at the Los Angeles Auto Show a few weeks ago. What makes the BRZ very special is its low center of gravity. In fact, its entire design is meant to lower the mass. With an output of 200hp, it could be described as strong but it’s not in the category of a supercar.

It also isn’t considered a muscle car. It is a lightweight sports car at 2,700 pounds. Subaru claims that the low center of gravity benefits its flat-four boxer engine.

In addition, the BRZ is offered with a boxer: an all-new "FA" 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four. On the BRZ, this engine is positioned lower and farther back than in any other Subaru.

When compared to the Impreza, its engine is put farther back by nine inches. Its center of gravity is only 18.1 inches in front and is slightly higher than that in the rear.

After Subaru was able to lower the engine, it could also do the same to other parts like the roofline, the hood, and the seating position for the driver and passengers.

The new BRZ offered by Subaru comes with a Boxer engine that has been mounted low on a sub-frame specifically designed for it. This is a crucial element in the ultra-low center of gravity package.

Due to this configuration, the BRZ is able to get that low driving position one would look for in a standard sports car. In fact, the engine in the BRZ has been placed lower compared to other models from Subaru, making it one of the vehicles in the market that may have the lowest center of gravity possible.

Having a low center of gravity means that handling quality is excellent. Combining this with the lightweight chassis gives it that Pure Handling Delight, which represents new heights in driving. As a sports car that has a rear-wheel drive and fitted with the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine, the BRZ is a result of the collaboration between Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru.

The goal of this partnership is to come out with a sports car that would exhibit top-quality steering response and at the same time deliver driving pleasure that can be experienced by anyone. This Pure Handling Delight is a product concept utilized for that brand and is owed to putting the engine not just lower but also as close to the chassis’ center as possible.

As such, it maximizes the qualities of the engine which is the low center of gravity, compactness, and being lightweight. All of these mean that with the BRZ having what may be the lowest possible center of gravity for a sports car, it is one that any driver can enjoy while being guaranteed with peace of mind. In terms of dimensions, the BRZ has a body similar to a coupe with width at 1,775 mm and height at 1,300 mm.

Even with these proportions, there is enough space for 2+2 seating and there is sufficient room for the trunk. Simply put, the BRZ is not merely a sports car but given its surprising utility, it’s an excellent partner especially for long travels.

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