Subaru has shown its new European-spec Impreza ahead of the car’s public debut at the Frankfurt motor show this September. The latest iteration of the brand's Ford Focus rival retains its predecessor’s unique set-up of a flat-four boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, but underneath it sits on the all-new Subaru Global Platform. This brings the Impreza's body 5mm closer to the ground than before, with Subaru claiming that this improves handling and agility. Subaru also says the new car will have improved steering responses. Subaru is yet to announce the exact specifications of the new Impreza's engine, but it's predicted to be a developed version of the old car's 1.6-litre motor at launch. The new model will also likely gain more engine options in a bid to broaden its appeal. The Impreza's exterior design is now sharper and more in line with the brand’s performance models, the BRZ and WRX STI. Although it's yet to … [Read more...] about New Subaru Impreza revealed ahead of Frankfurt motor show
BRZ: Now in its third year, the BRZ gets updates similar to its sister car, the Scion FR-S, plus new dampers at all four corners. Those in search of something a bit different will want to check out the BRZ Series.Blue special edition. Limited to a run of 1000 units finished in either WR Blue Pearl or Crystal White Pearl, the package also includes aero enhancements, black STI 17-inch wheels, red calipers, and special interior trim. See full pricing, specs, and reviews ›› Legacy (shown above): Introduced this summer as a 2015 model, Subaru’s all-new sedan emerged from finishing school having checked all the boxes: fresh sheetmetal, a quieter and more spacious interior, improved fuel efficiency, and standard brake-based torque vectoring. The 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 2.5i Limited trims get the standby 175-hp, 2.5-liter flat-four with a CVT; the 3.6R Limited gets the 256-hp flat-six mated to a beefier “high-torque” CVT. No manual is offered. See Legacy 2.5i … [Read more...] about New Cars for 2015: Subaru
Smart Fortwo (shown above, right): The new Fortwo is the only honest-to-foie-gras French car sold on U.S. soil (it’s made in France and is closely related to the Renault Twingo). A turbo helps its 0.9-liter inline-three make 19 more horsepower and 32 pound-feet more torque than the old triple, for 89 and 100, respectively. The agonizingly slow single-clutch automatic is replaced by a quicker dual-clutch, and, for the first time in the U.S., it’s joined by a surprisingly pleasant five-speed manual. At 106.1 inches long, the Smart is still nearly four feet shorter than a Mini Cooper Hardtop, and barely four inches longer than a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. But it’s also four inches wider than the outgoing car, finally allowing two adult humans to sit inside without touching in a Duggarly fashion. Expect fuel economy approaching 40 mpg on the highway and a base price around $15,000. See first drive ›› Subaru Minor trim changes: Legacy, Outback(shown … [Read more...] about New Cars for 2016: Smart and Subaru
BRZ: Subaru’s rear-drive sports coupe (and Toyota 86 doppelgänger) gets a nip and tuck for 2017. Changes include LED headlights and taillights, fresh 10-spoke wheels, and a new aluminum rear wing. But it’s not just window dressing; Subaru has treated the BRZ’s 2.0-liter flat-four to new heads, valves, and cams, along with redesigned intake and exhaust manifolds. All this work, however, results in a meager output boost from last year. The engine squeezes out 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Well, it does when it’s bolted to the six-speed manual transmission. Opt for the six-speed auto and you get the same output as in years past: 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Manual cars also get a slightly shorter final-drive ratio (from 4.10:1 to 4.30:1) for peppier acceleration. Subaru has also stiffened the coupe’s structure, and added revised springs, dampers, and a fatter rear anti-roll bar. Further, the company has added a new … [Read more...] about New Cars for 2017: Subaru
Driving enthusiasts have a lot of options these days, from the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata all the way up to track-focused versions of our favorites, such as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins still exist in the lower end of the spectrum price-wise. Both earned 10Best nods upon their debut for 2013, but the pair’s sales quickly fell off once the initial rush of enthusiasts got their keys. Here we take a look at the 2016 FR-S and the incremental improvements Toyota has made in an attempt to keep it relevant with sporting buyers. Keeping Up Although Scion and Subaru have separately tweaked their models over the years, most of what we gleaned from our 40,000-mile test of a 2013 Subaru BRZ still holds true for both cars. They continue to share the same 200-hp 2.0-liter flat-four engine and lightweight, rear-wheel-drive chassis, as well as their sleek bodywork and driver-focused interiors. These are still very fun and affordable sports cars, albeit ones with … [Read more...] about 2016 Scion FR-S Manual
From the July 2014 Issue of Car and Driver First, the bad news: The average new-car transaction price in the U.S. has crept above $30,000, which is about two grand more than it was five years ago, and enough to make inflation look like it’s not even trying. But these escalating MSRPs aren’t solely due to carmaker greed; they are the cost of meeting increasingly tough safety, performance, and fuel-economy targets. Now the good news: If the average is $30,000, that means a whole lot of new cars cost less than that. And most benefit from those same safety, performance, and economy advances. More and more, it seems like under $30K is the place to be. Here are 30 vehicles that prove it. Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Price: $24,515Popularity doesn’t always equal greatness—we’re looking at you, Toyota Camry—but the Miata is practically the Beatles of mainstream automotive excellence. While other droptops occasionally outsold it, few have been as … [Read more...] about The Best 30 Under $30K: Comparisons, Tests, and More!
Subaru has big changes in store for its STI (Subaru Tecnica International) performance division in the U.S. To make sure its plans don’t go unnoticed, the maker cooked up the BRZ-based Subaru STI Performance concept for the 2015 New York auto show. Subaru says the STI Performance concept is a “showcase for the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI” and that it features a racing engine that STI developed for the BRZ Super GT race car, along with unnamed upgrades to the aerodynamics, suspension, and chassis. There’s also the issue of the salad-bar-sized rear wing that looks both mean and comical in equal measure. Subaru has already begun conditioning U.S. enthusiasts to the new, more encompassing meaning of the “STI” moniker by dropping the former Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts for STI-engineered parts. The next step is the announcement that additional STI-tuned models will be available in the U.S. Again, … [Read more...] about Subaru STI Performance Concept
AutoGuide says the 86 style Cb — or Cool beauty — is meant to inject fashion sense into the low-cost sports car, featuring a face that wouldn’t look too out of place next to its older siblings like the 2000GT. Other features include two-tone paint, leather steering wheel and woodgrain instrument cluster. The overall 86 range gains revised power steering, improved ride comfort, and a more rigid frame, all features it will share with its Subaru BRZ twin. The BRZ, however, will have more unique interior features, such as satin silver bezels for the steering wheel and shift panel. Powertrain upgrades were not mentioned at this time. … [Read more...] about Revised Toyota 86 Gains Some Style In New Edition
According to Car & Driver, the folks in Toyota City are smitten with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. So much so they're considering using the platform for the next Toyota GT86, sold as the Scion FR-S in North America. The rumor states what goes for Toyota goes for Subaru's sports car - the BRZ - as well. I'm not so sure about that. "If Toyota were to employ the MX-5's chassis, it would be on the next-generation FT86," Car & Driver was told by a source. The source says nothing specifically about the BRZ, though the magazine infers the Miata platform will also be used on the next sporty Subaru. However, Subaru may be smart to forego a second generation BRZ altogether. Currently, the Toyobaru triplets are produced by Subaru in Ōta, Japan. The company is currently capacity constrained. Subaru will stop producing Camrys for Toyota at their Indiana facility in 2016 in order to claw back some of its own capacity to build the Legacy and Outback, the most popular model at Subaru. This shift to the … [Read more...] about Don’t Expect Subaru To Follow Toyota To Mazda For BRZ RWD Platform
Regulation. It dictates the majority of modern car design. Whether it be for pedestrian safety, crash worthiness, economies of scale, or fuel efficiency, the basic building blocks of modern cars are decided well before pencil is met with freshly-bleached paper (or, these days, before stylus meets tablet). That last item – fuel efficiency – is as much a matter of aerodynamics as it is what’s under the hood, and aerodynamic efficiency isn’t just about fenders and trunk lids. Which brings me to wheels – specifically, OEM wheels – and how absolutely ugly they’ve gotten the last few years. Back in 2000, the Accord Coupe rocked some simple, stylish, but decidedly less flat-faced wheels. Assuming you can find a set that hasn’t been oxidized to the point of resembling Brittany Spears’ pre-Proactiv face, be prepared to pay dearly as they still command over $100 a corner on eBay. Even the latest Accord Coupe, official subject of many a … [Read more...] about QOTD: What OEM Wheel Designs Make Their Respective Cars Look Cheap?
Hey Bark, Twenty-three-year-old car buying millennial here. I recently got my first big boy job that pays big boy money. But because I’m definitely not a big boy yet and have nearly no responsibilities other than making rent, I’m going to spend it on silly things like cars and candy. (Effing bravo! –Bark). I bought my first car three years ago, and I’m possibly the only person to win German luxobarge reliability roulette with an ’03 Audi allroad 2.7TT. (Brown: Check. Wagon: Check. Sorry B&B, not a manual diesel.) It has yet to lunch a turbo, and I’ve learned a lot by fixing the little things that have come up. I love this machine and will be keeping it as my dedicated AWD winter wagon/shit hauler/adventuremobile in addition to whatever I get next. However, the winter-limo is neither the most fun nor most practical thing to scoot around my central Idaho ski town during the non-winter months. So, I’m looking for something much more fun and … [Read more...] about Ask Bark: Hi, I’m A Millennial Who Likes Cars!
A host of small changes were just announced for the rear-drive coupe’s 2017 model year, which sees its sister car (the Scion FR-S Toyota 86) switch identities. Every change aims to nudge the BRZ closer to what the public feels it should be — a performance car worthy of special status. Well, looks are the first thing buyers will notice. For 2017, the BRZ’s face grows meaner, with a redesigned front fascia, wider grille and LED headlights. Exterior trim sees some minor changes, and an aluminum spoiler now comes standard on all models. Underneath, Subaru added chassis reinforcements to boost the BRZ’s rigidity. Suspension upgrades, including a larger rear stabilizer bar, have improved handling in mind. If you’re the type who likes to show off, the BRZ’s stability control system becomes less intrusive, with a higher threshold to cross before the electronic nannies pounce. Because of this, “sport” mode now becomes “track” mode. A … [Read more...] about Subaru Hopes BRZ Design Tweaks, Power Bump Get Buyers Hot and Bothered
Subaru has another special-edition model for the BRZ . Raise your hand if you think it’s becoming a tad too much. I don’t mind that the company wants the sports coupe to improve its on-road presence, but there’s been a lot of these lately and none of them come with the upgrade we all really want. You know, that part about improving the car’s performance capabilities. Granted, this BRZ Special Edition does have a few nice additions, especially those GT stripes that add an aggressive touch to the sports car . It’s also a different touch from what we’re used to. Heck, some people might think the stripes themselves are worth the "Special Edition" label attached to the model. Add all the new exterior and interior upgrades, and they all combine to make a pretty appealing package that a lot of customers will definitely be interested in. But even with all those additions, there’s still that one little piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and … [Read more...] about 2014 Subaru BRZ Special Edition
Here in the U.S., the Subaru STI is the most extreme version of the WRX all-wheel-drive performance compact, but in Japan, there are STI versions of numerous Subaru products. That could soon be the case in North America as well, as the unveiling of the Subaru STI Performance Concept at the New York Auto Show indicates the brand’s intent to expand STI’s offering’s on this side of the ocean. The BRZ-based STI Performance Concept heralds Subaru’s announcement that its race-engineering arm will expand its lineup of dealer-installed high-performance parts. This also means more STI models. In Japan, both the BRZ and Forester have high-performance versions modified by STI. There’s a good chance that a car similar to the hot BRZ on Subaru’s stage will make it to the streets. Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru STI Performance Concept. Exterior What’s so special about it? The modified bodywork is the most obvious … [Read more...] about 2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept
The Subaru BRZ has been around since the 2013 model year and to this day, there’s still little evidence that Suby is prepared to make a more powerful version of the sports car . It’s latest special edition model, the BRZ Series.Blue, follows in what has become an increasingly frustrating trend for Subaru (Toyota and Scion , too, for that matter) enthusiasts. The aerodynamic upgrades are there, and the interior even looks real nice. But for all the upgrades the BRZ Series.Blue received, it still carries that same medicore 2.0-liter boxer that produces 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Care to bump that up a little, Subaru? The likely answer we’ll get is "not as long as people keep buying it," but we’re still holding out hope that Subaru has some serious plans for the BRZ down the road. The rumored BRZ STi is one that we’re clearly holding on to, and we’re not letting that go until Subaru takes the idea to pasture, kills it and … [Read more...] about 2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue
There’s a storm brewing over at Cosworth , the kind that can redefine the way we look at the Subaru BRZ , Scion FR-S , and Toyota GT86 . The aftermarket company known for its engine forays in the world of Formula One prepared a new power package treatment for the FA-20 engine that powers all three. After some teasing in early 2014, Cosworth has finally bared the details on this new power package and it has come at a perfect time for the trio of sports cars . It’s a performance upgrade that has turned the normally tame 200-horsepower sports cars into a fire-breathing bullets that are poised to dominate the automotive scene. Finally, we can alleviate some of our issues with the BRZ/FR-S/GT86 trio with a healthy injection of power, courtesy of Cosworth. Now, if only we can get the automakers to finally add some of this power straight from the factory, instead of slapping on silly body kits and flashy wheels. Cosworth’s program comes in three stages, with the … [Read more...] about 2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 By Cosworth
Ah, special-edition cars. Some are wonderful and add tons of goodies, while others disappoint sorely with little more than a name and a limited quantity. Subaru has decided to toss the BRZ into this ring with the Series.Hyperblue model, which is more of the former than the latter, thankfully. The BRZ is a polarizing model: some folks find it to be the best inexpensive sports car ever made, while others think it is just expensive smoke and mirrors. I feel the engineered torque curve and skinny tires make the BRZ feel much more fun than it really is. Plus, I think Subaru and Toyota are sandbagging it a bit to help build interest in the much-anticipated and oft-denied turbocharged models. Regardless of my personal opinion, I am set to give the limited-run BRZ Series.Hyperblue a fair shakedown to see if it is worth the wait and the added expense. Updated 09/03/2015: Subaru announced prices for the special edition Series.Hyperblue BRZ, which will arrive in retail locations this … [Read more...] about 2016 Subaru Series.Hyperblue BRZ
Launched in 2012, the BRZ is a sports car that resulted from a collaboration between Japanese manufacturers Subaru and Toyota. Launched alongside its identical siblings, the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S — the latter discontinued in 2016 — the BRZ is sold globally with the Subaru-developed, 2.0-liter boxer engine and either a manual or automatic transmission. The coupe was updated for the 2017 model year, receiving revised exterior elements, various interior upgrades, chassis tweaks, and a mild power bump for models equipped with the manual gearbox. While the BRZ, much like the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S, has been deprived of significant upgrades in its four years on the market, the three companies have rolled out countless special editions as of 2016. The most recent one is the Series.Yellow Special Edition, which Subaru will put on sale for the 2017 model year. If the "Series" nomenclature sounds familiar, it’s because Scion has also launched a couple of versions using a … [Read more...] about 2017 Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow Special Edition
The Subaru BRZ and its corporate cousins, the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S, have been around since 2013. Relatively little changes have taken place since then, excluding 2016 being Scion’s last year in existence. However, Subaru has spiced things up with the Series.HyperBlue edition. It’s a play off the Series.Blue edition Subaru offered for 2015, but adds this can’t-miss-it HyperBlue color, black wheels, black badging, and black mirror caps. Beyond the color, a handful of blue accents in the cabin, and its super limited 500-unit production run, this BRZ retains all parts found in the standard car. Nevertheless, the BRZ Series.HyperBlue is worth looking at. I had the chance to do that a while back when Subaru delivered one to my driveway for a week. It came packing the excellent six-speed manual transmission mated to the standard 2.0-liter flat-four cylinder and rear-wheel drive. It didn’t take long to find a couple updates Subaru gave the entire BRZ line for 2016, … [Read more...] about 2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue – Driven
I don’t think I’m the only one who has been disappointed with the underwhelming aftermarket programs given to the Subaru BRZ . I’m not expecting anywhere close to the level of a Nissan GT-R , but somewhere with equally impressive performance gains relative to its power wouldn’t hurt. The same disappointing trend continues with the BRZ "Albino Rhino" by RallySport Direct. To be fair, the BRZ Albino Rhino does have impressive aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades. I have no issues on how the BRZ looks because it looks incredible. The blue alloy wheels, in particular, are a perfect combination of saucy and sexy. The issue here is the engine upgrade, which isn’t really much, if I’m being honest. RallySport Direct added a Vortech supercharger, which sounds really nice, but at the end of the day, even the supercharger upgrade wasn’t enough to give the BRZ "Albino Rhino" the kind of power its animal namesake is famous for. Click past the jump to read … [Read more...] about 2013 Subaru BRZ “Albino Rhino”