The Subaru BRZ marked a return to the fundamentals of sports car design, emphasizing low vehicle weight, an ultra-low center of gravity and precision steering. Powered by Subaru’s FA-Series naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower BOXER engine, the BRZ is a sports car that does not sacrifice everyday comfort and practicality, including up to EPA-estimated 34-mpg highway fuel economy (with available 6-speed automatic transmission).
The 2016 Series.HyperBlue BRZ, a follow up to the 2015 Series.Blue BRZ, grabs the eye with exclusive Hyper Blue with matching interior trim. Production is limited to 500 cars for the United States.
For 2016, the BRZ receives the SUBARU STARLINK™ 6.2” Multimedia System with a 6.2-in. single-touch gesture display, AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control, iTunes® Tagging, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Smartphone integration features Aha™ and Pandora®, along with STARLINK cloud applications iHeart® Radio, Stitcher™, Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather. Music plays through a standard 196-watt, 8-speaker audio system. New for 2016, the BRZ features a standard rear vision camera.
The Series.HyperBlue BRZ cabin features an exclusive design scheme. The leather and Alcantara® upholstery includes Hyper Blue leather seat bolsters and head restraints. Blue stitching accents the seats and the blue and black leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as the shift lever boot and leather-wrapped parking brake handle. The blue motif carries to the center console knee pads and door trim, accented by an embroidered silver BRZ logo on the front seatbacks. Carpeted floor mats also pick up the BRZ logo and blue stitching.
The exterior continues the Series.HyperBlue theme with 17-inch black alloy wheels, black glossy badging and painted black finish exterior mirrors. A frameless day/night rear-view mirror and simulated carbon fiber center dash panel add a high-tech look, and the finishing touch is an illuminated engine start/stop button.
Sports Car Basics: Low Weight and Ultra-Low Center of Gravity
Subaru developed the rear-wheel drive BRZ with the fundamentals of sports car design in mind: low vehicle weight, an ultra-low center of gravity and precision steering. As a result, the low-slung BRZ delivers pinpoint handling precision and an unmatched driving experience for sports car enthusiasts of all skill levels. Using a large proportion of high-tensile steel, with aluminum for the hood, the Subaru BRZ weighs 2,764 lbs. Critical to its agile handling, the Subaru BRZ has its center of gravity at just 18.1 inches – among the lowest of any production car in the world.
The Subaru BOXER engine, with its inherently low height and its mass concentrated low in the package, contributes to a low center of gravity in all Subaru models. For the BRZ, Subaru took maximum advantage of this characteristic. A rear-wheel drive configuration allows placement of the engine lower and farther back in the BRZ than in any other Subaru model in order to attain the best possible center of gravity and polar moment of inertia. Moving the engine closer to the center of the chassis also helped make the BRZ itself quite compact, at just 166.7 inches long on a 101.2-inch wheelbase.
200-Horsepower BOXER Engine
Fundamental to true sports car character, the 2.0-liter BOXER engine combines low weight with high compression and high-revving responsiveness. The cylinder block and heads are aluminum. Dual overhead camshafts per cylinder bank are chain-driven. The 4-2-1 exhaust system features dual stainless-steel tailpipe outlets and was tuned for a throaty sound.
The Subaru BRZ FA-Series engine uses a “square” architecture, meaning that its bore and stroke dimensions are identical, in this case 3.38 inches (86mm). That geometry gives the BRZ engine a quick-revving nature, with a 7,400-rpm redline. The engine delivers 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 lb-ft of peak torque at 6,400 rpm, with a high specific output of 100 hp/liter. The Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) is instrumental in helping the engine produce a broad torque curve to help make the BRZ feel responsive in daily driving.
The fuel injection system uniquely combines direct injection and port injection technology. A direct-type fuel-injection system provides a cooling effect in the cylinders, which enables use of a very high 12.5:1 compression ratio to extract maximum energy from the fuel. In light- and medium-load conditions, the port fuel injectors help produce precise combustion, increasing performance and efficiency.
Choice of 6-Speed Transmissions
The BRZ offers the choice between a 6-speed manual and optional 6-speed automatic transmission — both engineered to maximize performance and sporty driving feel. The 6-speed manual features a short-throw shift lever. Clutch effort and pedal rake, as well, have been tuned to make this an ideal sports car manual shift. Triple-cone synchronizers on first through third gears help ensure durability. Of special note for driving enthusiasts, the 6-speed manual employs close gear ratios, with a direct drive fifth gear and sixth gear the only overdrive ratio.
The optional paddle-shift 6-speed automatic transmission offers no-compromise performance in the Subaru BRZ. The driver can select Sport mode from a switch on the center console for quicker, firmer automatic shifts. Or, move the console mounted shifter from “D” to “M” and then shift manually using the shifter handle or the steering wheel paddle shifters. Downshift blipping control enhances the sports car experience.
Platform Engineered for Pure Performance
The BRZ is built on an exclusive platform and shares just a few parts with other Subaru models, including rear suspension architecture from the WRX STI. Chassis tuning takes maximum advantage of the BRZ’s ultra-low center of gravity and high-strength body structure, allowing Subaru to tune the suspension for both agility and compliant ride quality.
The front suspension uses struts and coil springs, and the front struts were mounted low and optimized for a low hood line while retaining a long stroke for ideal handling and comfortable ride quality. A standard front strut brace enhances rigidity. The quick steering (2.48 turns lock to lock) and 14.4-inch diameter 3-spoke steering wheel endow the Subaru BRZ with very quick steering response. The double-wishbone rear suspension system provides outstanding bump absorption to enhance tire grip over varied surfaces. Electric power-assist steering, which reduces weight and load on the engine compared to hydraulic power steering, is tuned for excellent feedback.
A standard Torsen® limited-slip differential helps the inside wheel maintain traction during cornering. For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) stability and traction control system (TCS) offers five driver-selectable settings, including a Sport mode and a TCS Off switch for track driving activities.
Design: Modern Sports Car Meets Classic GT
A low height of just 50.6 inches, combined with a swept-back roofline, bulging front fenders, short overhangs and pronounced rear haunches give the BRZ the lean, athletic stance of a classic GT coupe. The car’s hawk eye high intensity discharge (HID) headlights, hexagonal lower grille and six-star ornament instantly convey Subaru identity. The BRZ Limited adds a body-color trunk spoiler and standard fog lights.
The simple, elegant approach to interior design puts the focus on driver involvement. The bolstered front sport seats were designed specifically for the BRZ. The driver faces an easy-to-see instrument panel featuring a large, center-mounted tachometer with an analog speedometer to its left. The tachometer integrates a digital speedometer, and the fuel and temperature gauges are positioned to the right of the tachometer.
The rear seatback lowers to expand the space offered in the 6.9 cubic-foot trunk. With the seatback down, the cargo area can hold two standard golf bags. Drivers who enjoy slalom or track events can also fold the rear seatback and have room for four wheels, a helmet and basic supplies and still have room for the front passenger. The rear seats can accommodate front-facing child seats.
Two Trim Levels: Premium and Limited
Subaru offers the 2016 BRZ in Premium and Limited trims. The Subaru tradition of outstanding value is evident in the BRZ Premium model’s long list of standard amenities, including the STARLINK 6.2” Multimedia system, auto on/off high-intensity discharge headlights, 3-spoke leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows with driver’s and passenger’s auto up/down and much more. Like all Subaru models, the BRZ comes equipped with the kind of thoughtful standard features that make everyday driving more convenient, such as two 12v power points, carpeted floor mats and a multi function display with current and average fuel economy.
The Subaru BRZ Limited offers additional comfort and amenities while still keeping vehicle weight low. Inside, the seats are upholstered with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters. The BRZ Limited substitutes a dual-zone automatic climate control for the Premium model’s manual HVAC system, and its standard All-Weather Package includes dual-mode heated front seats and heated side mirrors.
Keyless Access with Push-Button Start enhances both convenience and the sporty attitude. A full security system augments the engine immobilizer that’s standard in the Premium model. In the Limited, the dual visor vanity mirrors are illuminated, and front door courtesy lights illuminate when the doors are opened. The only factory option for the BRZ Limited is the 6-speed automatic transmission.
IIHS Top Safety Pick
Subaru’s Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure, proven in all Subaru models introduced since model year 2000, forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the BRZ, which earns the Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System employs dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger air bags. Deployment strength depends on how close the driver is to the steering wheel, and whether there is a child or adult sitting in the passenger seat. Front seat side pelvis/torso air bags and side curtain air bags offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. High-strength front seat frames provide enhanced protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. The LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) enables specially equipped child seats to be secured in the rear seat.
Recommended retail price (MSRP) for 2016 Subaru BRZ Premium starts from $25,395 and 2016 BRZ Limited starts from $27,395.