Special Coverage

2011 Tokyo
Motor Show

TOKYO – Subaru finally takes the wraps off the production version of its highly anticipated new ’13 BRZ rear-wheel-drive coupe, the BRZ, before auto show opens here.

The car, developed jointly by Subaru and Toyota, which is showing its own “FT-86” version, is touted as lightweight at 2,690 lbs.(1,220 kg), with a low center of gravity and specially designed sub-frame due to the engine placement.

The Japanese auto makers’ aim is "to bring to the world a sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure that everyone can experience," Subaru says in a statement.

The BRZ's 197-hp, 2.0L horizontally opposed Boxer 4-cyl., producing 151 lb.-ft. (205 Nm) of torque, boasts a lower orientation than other Subaru engines. It is located closer to the center of the chassis and uses a shorter intake manifold and shallower oil pan.

"With this arrangement, (the) BRZ achieves a low driving position typical of a sports car," Subaru says.

Despite its 51-in. (130-cm) height and 70-in. (177-cm) width, Subaru says the car can seat two passengers in front and two in back comfortably, with sufficient trunk space as well.

Two transmissions are available on the BRZ: a 6-speed manual, which Subaru says has short strokes from its rigid lever; and a 6-speed automatic with sport and manual modes, plus paddle shifters and downshift blipping control.

Inside, the steering wheel is small for sports-car maneuverability. A digital speed display is placed in the center of the gauge cluster for easy viewing by the driver, and specially designed seats grip the driver and passengers, Subaru says.

Subaru earlier said the BRZ would go on sale in the U.S. next spring and that pricing would be relatively affordable for younger consumers. Toyota is taking a similar direction in the U.S., where its FT-86 will be branded as the Scion FR-S.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com