2017 SUBARU BRZ LIMITED
‘UPDATED PERFORMANCE AND STYLING’

By: Harvey Shwartz
 

Finally, Subaru has introduced the comprehensively revised BRZ sports coupe. The 2017 revision provides the rear-drive car improved handling, increased performance, more aggressive styling and new convenience features giving enthusiasts a pure sports car driving experience.

The 2.0 liter DOHC Boxer 4-cylinder engine now puts out 205hp at 7,000rpm and 156 pounds of torque at 6,400rpm, spooling up quickly to the 7,400rpm redline. The revised engine delivers more low-end and midrange torque and combined with the new 4.30:1 axle ratio in the Torsen limited slip differential gives it quicker acceleration and enhanced response with the 6-speed short-throw shifter.

Engine updates includes reduced friction, new valves, new camshafts with Dual Active Valve Control System giving the engine a broad torque curve for daily driving. The engine also features Direct & Ported fuel injection, VVT on the intake/exhaust camshafts and a revised aluminum cylinder block. An aluminum intake is coated with red heat dissipating paint and the dual exhaust system is a new high-flow design. Faster take-off is immediately felt as your foot presses into the throttle. In first/second gear you are thrown back into the newly designed bucket seat, like shot out of a canon.

The BRZ is already renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precise handling now shows several updates to further increase its performance on the road and track through its front independent MacPherson strut setup, lower L arms with anti-dive geometry, and rear independent double wishbone setup with anti-lift geometry. For improved responsiveness, stability and comfort, BRZ receives updated coil springs and shocks as well as a larger rear stabilizer bar. Additional reinforcements are added to the strut tower braces, transmission cross-member plate and rear wheel housings that increase rigidity.

The stability control system thresholds were raised to further improve handling with the results significant enough for Subaru to change the name of Sport mode to Track. New standard incline Start Assist helps prevent roll back on an incline as you accelerate from a stop. The standard rack & pinion steering with electric power assist is ‘spot on’ turning the front wheels quickly following your inputs with a great feel for the road. Turn-in is prodigious and you can turn off the stability system to let the rear slid out in tight turns then quickly get in line as you exit. Driving the new BRZ is virtually like ‘driving on rails’.

Bringing the new BRZ to a quick and safe stop are strong, power-assist steel disc brakes that feature full ABS, BA and EBD. Up front are 11.6 inch vented discs clamped down with dual-piston calipers and 11.4 inch rear vented discs clamped by a large single-piston caliper. The flared fenders are filled with new 7X17 inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheel design featuring a high-contrast black and machined finish. They are wrapped around by Michelin 215/45R17 inch low-profile performance tires.

As far as the new design goes, Subaru has preserved the classic GT coupe proportions of the BRZ, accentuating its sporty shape with bolder details. The front bumper cover was redesigned for a widened appearance and positioned lower for improved aerodynamics, control and stability. The signature ‘kono-ji style headlights have been upgraded to LED for improved light output and reduced power consumption. This new full-LED design, a first for Subaru, incorporates the turn signals and DRLs. The foglamps are now also LED, allowing a more compact design and enhancing visibility. The rear features a new aluminum spoiler in body color on the sides and black finish on the horizontal surface. The new pedestal design improves downforce, which in turn helps improve stability and control. As with the headlights, the rear combination lights have been updated to full LEDs for better visibility and energy efficiency. A new garnish above the rear license plate finishes the new rear look.

Subaru also applied key updates to the cockpit. New is a 4.2 inch LCD multifunction display positioned to the right of the large centered tachometer. This driver information readout provides access to vehicle performance including Gs, accelerator pedal position, braking force, steering angle, oil/water temperature and battery voltage as well as an integrated stopwatch for recording lap times. The redesigned leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel has a firmer, sportier feel along with new audio controls and multifunction display switches for greater control and convenience while driving. Further updates include a heated front seats/sideview mirrors, piano black veneer audio/faux carbon fiber climate control face, wrapped instrument cluster visor, alloy pedals, dual-zone climate control panel and ‘BRZ’ embroidered in red on the front seatbacks. Seats are upholstered with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters with Alcantara bolsters higher up each seat side.
Subaru Limited also features the SUBARU STARLINK 6.2 inch multimedia system that includes the 6.2 inch high-resolution multi-function touch screen display, AM/FM/Sirius/Aha stereo/HD radio, single-disc in-dash CD player with 8-speakers, Smartphone integration, Bluetooth and rear vision camera. More standard equipment in the Limited BRZ include cruise control, remote trunk release, power express windows, map light, dual-lighted vanity mirrors, variable-speed wipers/washers, BRZ floor mats, Keyless Go with push button start/stop, interior lights, and a full security system.

The Subaru ring-shaped reinforcement frame design forms the foundation for crash and occupant safety. The compact Boxer engine enhances safety by allowing more crush room in front and on the sides. High-strength front seat frames provide increased protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision.

 

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The Subaru Advanced Frontal airbag system utilizes dual-stage deployment, front seat side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags along with 4-five-point safety belts with front pretensioners and front/rear crush zones.

The newly revised 2017 Subaru BRZ maintains its mission of offering enthusiasts a pure sports car driving experience for under $30,000.00, with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions and today that is hard to find under $30,000.00. My test Limited model starts at just $27,645.00. Oh, what fun and excitement there is behind the wheel.

COPYRIGHT: 2017: HARVEY SCHWARTZ