Keeping an eye out for you on the road
It is easy to go nuts in a sportscar. From its aesthetics to the compact confines of the cabin, the quick throttle/steering response, and the driver-centric cockpit, these are all designed to heighten your senses and pump you with adrenalin so your body is ready for what is coming.
Take the Subaru BRZ, for example. The second-generation model of this sportscar arrived with a sleeker body, a meaner stance (thanks to a widened rear track), and a few pounds heavier from all the ‘Car of the Year’ trophies it picked up over the last 24 months.
Falling in love with the BRZ is easy. Beneath the sexy surface are lean muscles highlighted by aerodynamic features – bumper ducts, slits, fins, a ducktail spoiler, and other underbody elements – that help it cut through air like a hot knife on butter. Its body now uses an aluminum roof, hood, and front fenders, so she is top-lighter, which offsets the weight gain from the new engine and safety features. Lastly, the twin exhaust tailpipes not only compliment her looks but make her sound good as well.
But a wise driver never judges a sportscar simply by its looks. Like (almost) everything else, all that matters is what is underneath the hood, and for the BRZ, it is never just about going fast.
Sure, it packs a 2.4-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that uses Subaru’s famed boxer design. The 237 PS and 250 Nm of torque go to the rear wheels via an improved six-speed automatic transmission that sends the vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. You might even be able to do it five-tenths of a second faster in the six-speed manual transmission option.
But a powertrain with an excellent power-to-weight ratio is no good without a solid base. You will be glad its platform is 50% more rigid than its predecessor to enhance drivability and performance. Get behind the wheel and experience straight-line stability, sharper handling, less body roll, shorter braking distance, low noise/vibration/harshness, and higher comfort.
The interior oozes sportiness, from the bucket-type Ultrasuede sports seats to the eye-catching red accents in the all-black cabin. Whether you are getting the mandatory ‘me’ time or driving with your lady, set the right mood through the eight-inch infotainment screen using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Not to worry if you are still on a Blackberry; its Bluetooth connection will do. Now, if it is performance you are after, know every detail of the BRZ’s performance, stuff like G-force, power/torque curves, and fuel consumption, through the seven-inch TFT instrument cluster.
Going fast is always fun, but safety is Subaru’s top priority. Each BRZ has seven airbags, a reinforcement frame, steering responsive headlights, a rear vehicle detection scheme (blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert), and reverse automatic braking as standard. Not only are you protected, but you will be able to see around a curvy road better and easily handle vehicles approaching from behind.
Sportscars provide feedback to the driver more than a typical sedan or SUV will, and it can get overwhelming sometimes. Fortunately, you have something constantly looking out for your safety, literally. Subaru calls it EyeSight Driver Assist Technology 3.0. This newly added BRZ feature can slow the vehicle down or stop it before a crash (Pre-Collision Braking and Pre-Collision Throttle Management), to autonomously adjust speed during cruise control (Adaptive Cruise Control, to keep the vehicle in its lane (Lane Departure Warning and Lane Sway Warning), and to alert you in case traffic starts moving (Lead Vehicle Start Alert).
BRZ with EyeSight is a winning combo for Subaru. It has a new platform, terrific engine layout, dynamic powertrain, and an advanced driver assist system that can make smart cars blush. If you want a sportier - but safer ride - well, you know where to find it.