My first time behind the wheel of a Subaru BRZ was a transformative experience. It was one of the few times that a car had lived up to the hype that surrounded it. But, the hype faded, just as it always does, and in the years since it debuted the BRZ has gone from indie darling, to just plain indie. The Subaru of today isn’t into indie, they’re into multi platinum hits, like the Outback and Forester. So, for 2017 they’ve bolted a big ‘ol turbo to the BRZ’s flat four, given it a full 3” exhaust, and equal length headers to boot.
Oh, wait, no, sorry, that’s incorrect.
The 2017 BRZ has a new steering wheel with bigger infotainment buttons, bigger paddle shifters on the autotragic models, and, oh boy, new A/C knobs! The body has been given the Beverly Hills housewife treatment, front bumper re-profiled, updated rear, little bit more bling added to up the WOW factor. You’ll even find a digital screen where once primitive analog fuel, and temperature gauges were found. The new BRZ hath indeed arrived packing a whole lot of pizazz.
The one thing these leaked photos don’t tell us is the thing that probably matters most to would be BRZ buyers, will it get more power? For all the praise heaped upon it, there always seemed to be an equal amount of naysaying as well, “Doesn’t have enough power”, “Overpriced for what you get”, “My N/A Miata will beat it at the track”. While the people saying these things between bites of their Double Double, and sips of their XL Neapolitan shake do have some semblance of a point, they’re missing out on the having the satisfaction of driving a slow car fast.
Could it use some more oomph to dial up the grin factor? Sure, lots of vehicles could, but if you know what you’re doing behind the wheel, the BRZ is plenty of fun as is. The 2017 Toyota 86, as it shall henceforth be known in the U.S., is getting a power bump from 200 hp, all the way up to 205 hp. It’s safe to say that the BRZ will get the same bump, because, well they’re twins. If the refreshed BRZ does indeed get this most modest of power increases, that’ll shut up right around 1.5% of the BRZ fanboys, which is a start I suppose.
Quite frankly I’m just happy that the BRZ is even getting some fresh air pumped into it. I had my concerns that the lackluster sales, and decrease in industry favor would put the car in an early grave here in the states. Instead, it appears that both Subaru, and Toyota are committed to selling the plucky little bugger, and that’s something all of us can agree is a good thing. The more throwback style sports cars we can get new with a warranty, the better.
Photo Credit: Autofilou