Toyota 86-clone Subaru BRZ performance tested
So far, all sorts of magical performance figures were being thrown around for the upcoming Toyota 86 and its clone, the Subaru BRZ. Most other publications had only driven the car briefly. Now a U.S. automotive website has put the Subaru BRZ to the test, properly.
Ridiculous 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) figures were being thrown around by sensationalist magazines and blind fanboys alike. The car was originally supposed to weigh 1180 kg and do the 0-100 kph run in 6 seconds flat. Only, it’s an impossible feat with a 2.0-litre non-turbo engine making only 200 hp at 7000 rpm and, as it turns out, only 205 Nm of torque at a high 6400 rpm. Honda did it with the S2000 back in 1999, but that was more of a premium sports car with a custom-built engine rather than a cheap entry-level runner.
Edmunds.com says the production car actually weighs 1256 kg. And they got a 0-60 mph time of 7.3 seconds with the 6-speed manual version, which would translate to around 7.7 seconds for a 0-100 kph run, or possibly even longer in our conditions. Apparently it is hindered by having to do a 2-3 shift just before hitting 96 kph. A 6-speed automatic is optional. Incidentally, Motor Trend got a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds, but they’re known to get unattainably unrealistic results.
So does that make it a bad car? Hardly. Only armchair-racing idiots will whine about that and keep comparing it to a Chevy Camaro SS or whatever. The review goes on to say that it is one of the most involving cars they’ve ever driven, offering more skidpad grip than most other sports cars, and better feel from the controls than anything else ever. Performance-wise, we’d say it falls below the decade-old 240 hp Honda S2000, but is better than the long-running 167 hp Mazda MX-5 Miata. It is what it is, and sometimes, even slow cars can be more fun-to-drive than a 542 hp Nissan GT-R, as we found out with the gutless 200 hp Honda Civic Type-R. But frankly, we prefer our sports cars to be quicker. Rumours of a supercharged version later may yet prove to be true.
The Toyota FT-86, whatever it ends up being called here, is a basic car that goes back to the pure thrill of driving, whether you know how to drift or not. Pricing will play a big part when it finally debuts in the UAE and other GCC countries, but we estimate it should cost no more than Dhs 120,000. That puts it head-to-head with the Subaru Impreza WRX, the VW Golf GTI, the Honda Accord V6 Coupe and the Ford Mustang V6 in a segment whose success is seemingly defined more by style and the availability of an automatic gearbox.