Mazda Subaru

VIDEO: Mazda MX-5 v Subaru BRZ

Mazda MX-5 v Subaru BRZ

US outlet Motor Trend hits the road in two of the car world’s best value buys, the all-new Mazda MX-5 and the Subaru BRZ. At 22 minutes this video has plenty of depth to it as well. There’s measured performance data, a road review as well as a track comparison (including this nifty side-by-side battle for the best lap).

So, which is the best budget rear-wheel drive you can buy, the “toylike” MX-5 or the “just as fast as you need” Toybaru?

A reminder, too, that the fourth generation MX-5 will be in Australian showrooms this month. Like, right now!


Subaru Australia introduces offline BRZ sales option

Subaru BRZ

Subaru Australia has kicked off the new year by allowing consumers to officially buy a BRZ sportscar from their local bricks and mortar dealership.

Until 1 January 2014 BRZ sales had been handled exclusively online, mainly due to limited supply from Japan. Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, explains that’s now a thing of the past, although the option to buy online will remain.

“Production efficiencies at Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, have presented this opportunity to expand BRZ sales into our retail network,” Senior said. “It’s great for our customers, because they have the choice of buying online at a driveaway price, or using the more traditional dealer method.”

A total of 1800 BRZs have already been sold by Subaru Australia.


VIDEO: How to build a Toyota 86

Toyota 86

Toyota has produced this slick video showing its 86 sportscar come to life. It’s been online for a bit over a month and deserves more views than it currently has, so we’re doing our bit to help out the little Toybaru.


Toyota goes cold on 86 Convertible

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

Word is Toyota has shelved plans to put the FT-86 Open Concept into production. Officially, Toyota hasn’t put a comment on record, but reports suggest we won’t be seeing a chopped 86 anytime soon.

Supposedly Toyota’s product plans for 2014 and 2015 have no slot for the topless Toybaru. Although due to the fact engineering work on the production model had progressed since the concept was first shown in March it shouldn’t take too much for Toyota to get things back on track if they decide officially wreck the back to basics sports car.

[Source: What Car]

Subaru Video

VIDEO: Subaru BRZ by Crawford Performance

Subaru BRZ by Crawford Performance

Crawford Performance in the US has worked its magic on the Subaru BRZee. They’re the guys who prepped Ken Block’s Gymkhana I & II WRXs. After they finished laughing at the meagre stock figures produced by the blue Toybaru they put things right to the tune of 430hp/500ft-lb (320kW/680Nm). Nice.

Matt Farah from Drive went along and sampled the car to see what it was like. We’d like to have learnt a lot more about the details of the engine rebuild and perhaps some decent performance stats as well. But overall if you like the BRZ, you’ll enjoy this clip.

News Subaru Toyota

Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 named Wheels COTY

Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 twins have been awarded the Wheels Car of the Year award. It joins a host of other awards collected by the Toybaru, including the Carsguide top honour.

Wheels editor Stephen Corby acknowledged the success of the Subaru–Toyota partnership, “Seldom do joint projects produce something remarkable like this.”

The magazine went on to describe some of the key attributes for the winning pair: “Never before has pure driving pleasure been so accessible. Affordable, remarkably rewarding to drive, efficient and safe, the collaboration between Toyota and Subaru left the competition behind and drove—with just a dab of oppo—onto the Wheels COTY podium.”


No turbo for Subaru BRZ STi?

Subaru BRZ Concept

Word via Auto Epxress suggests you’ll be able to buy a Subaru BRZ STi at some stage in 2013. They elaborate with the details that the BRZ STi’s peak power will be around 230hp (approx 170kW). If correct that’d be an increase of some 16% over the 200hp in the standard BRZ.

What’s most interesting is the claim that the BRZ STi will be normally aspirated. This is despite an earlier rumour from the States suggesting Subaru have been developing a 200kW+ turbo engine for the the BRZ.

According to the Auto Express report the BRZ’s engine bay cannot accommodate the intercooler required for turbocharging. Instead they’ll increase the 2.0 boxer engine’s beyond its current 7500rpm limit to help increase power.

STi enhancements such as suspension, wheels and body kit will apply, as you’d expect. And, of course, the Nürburgring already has and will continue to feature heavily in the car’s development cycle.

[Source: Auto Express]


Subaru Australia increases BRZ supply

Subaru BRZ

Subaru Australia has good news for its customers waiting for a BRZ sports coupé. An extra allocation of 140 cars has been secured which should mean a cut in waiting time for those with expected deliveries from May next year onwards.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “We’re delighted that Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has recognized the enormous demand for BRZ in Australia and allocated additional production.”

If you’re one of the BRZ customers who may be affected by this generally good news expect your local dealer to be in touch soon. And if you’re one of the many people waiting up to 18 months for a Toyota 86, don’t be too despondent. Your time will come. Eventually.


Subaru developing BRZ Turbo

Subaru BRZ

Word on the street says Subaru is developing a high-powered turbo BRZ. Good news for all those Toybaru fans out there wanting moar powaaaah!

According to Automotive News, Subaru’s 2.0 litre boxer engine will be good for 280hp (208kW) after having its twin scroll blow dryer bolted on. Torque should go from a miserly 200Nm to beyond 330Nm. Now we’re talking!

It’s expected Subaru will ditch the DI/port-injection developed by Toyota in favour of their own in-house direct injection.

The report states the BRZ Turbo could arrive as a 2014 model, which given the US market’s propensity to make everything seem a year earlier than reality, could even mean we’ll be seeing the Toybaru that everyone has always wanted as soon as next year.

Bring it on!

[Source: Automotive News]


Subaru BRZ online sales stumble into top gear

Subaru BRZ

Midday today was the deadline for Subaru’s exclusive online sales of the BRZ sports coupé to commence. Only trouble was, like the real world, the extreme demand for the car throttled supply, or in this case the Subaru website.

For our own purposes we wanted to experiment with the online purchasing arrangement but gave up after about 45 minutes of getting error messages of various kinds. I fired off an email to Subaru Australia spokesman David Rowley for comment and then went to look at the BRZ the old fashioned way, at the local dealer (Capital Subaru, Fyshwick).

Happily for Subaru, I was greeted by a friendly sales assistant only too happy to show me the WR Blue BRZ they had on display. When I mentioned the online dramas the sales assistant confirmed with me that two orders just came through for their dealership.

On return to the office David Rowley had replied, saying: “We experienced a massive spike in the volume of traffic—looks to be working fine at our end now.” That was about 1:15pm eastern time.

A bit later Rowley returned with a quick update informing they had sold 50 BRZs in the first 90 minutes of sales going live. “Went ‘live’ at around 12:45 with first customer starting the process at 12:50 and completed transaction at 1:09,” he confirmed.

Those numbers represent about one quarter of Subaru’s initial allocation.

For the record we’re still finding the website buggy on our Firefox/Mac OS combination and unable to process an order, but as we’re not seriously in the market for a BRZ at this point in time we can let it slide. If you want to try your luck CLICK HERE.

It’s clear that anyone seriously in the market for a Toybaru is going to have to be patient and accept that others will get their car before them and that good things come to those who wait.

Despite the troublesome start we do think this online approach has merit for Subaru’s self-confessed limited supply. The 86–BRZ concept is one we applaud and we wish both Subaru and Toyota well in their efforts to satisfy their customers.

UPDATE: Subaru has confirmed their 2012 BRZ allocation sold out before 4pm this afternoon. You can read their full statement after the break.


Subaru BRZ photo gallery

Subaru BRZ

As Australia readies itself for the official launch of the Subaru BRZ we thought we’d raid Subaru’s media portals for pictorial content and see what we could come up with. The result is a gallery of some 70 images, all available as wallpaper-friendly 2000px super images.

There’s details from all angles and also a suite of photos showing all seven colours: WR Blue Mica (exclusive to Subaru), Galaxy Blue Silica, Lightning Red, Crystal Black Silica, Dark Gray Metallic, Sterling Silver Metallic and Satin White Pearl.

If you’re keen on buying yourself a BRZ when tomorrow’s online sales commence, we hope these pictures are of some assistance to you!


Statement from Subaru Australia regarding exclusive online sales of BRZ

Subaru BRZ

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia explains the reasons behind the online only sales approach for the BRZ: “We knew that we wouldn’t have sufficient BRZs to supply our entire network immediately following the launch.

“The online approach allows us to place demonstrator BRZs with selected dealerships, from which customers can arrange test drives via and also select their preferred delivering dealer.

“Where required, there is an online option to arrange a trade-in valuation and there is also a handy finance calculator.”

The online order book opens at 12 noon (AEST) on Monday 16 July.

This is a novel approach from Subaru and there may be some teething problems from a logistics point of view, especially regarding trade-ins. However, there’s probably also good reason to have national headquarters controlling the ordering during what is sure to be unprecedented demand.

You can read the full statement from Subaru Australia after the break.