Engine: Flat-4 Subaru Boxer engine
Transmission: 6-speed Manual Transmission
Power: 200hp & 151 lb-ft of Torque
A while back I was given the chance to test out the Scion FR-S. It was an extraordinarily fun car with precise handling. Unfortunately, it was marred with an automatic transmission. Don’t get me wrong, automatic transmissions can be great, but a car like this deserves a good ol’ manual gearbox.
To help ease my troubles, one of our latest cars to test was a 2013 Subaru BRZ. It was indeed a manual, and yes, I had a blast with it.
On the outside, the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are pretty identical. The only visible changes, that are noticeable, are found on the front fascia. The FR-S looks a bit more edgy and sharp, and the BRZ a bit more reserved. In the rear, the two are near identical. Inside the Subaru BRZ, you will find a simple driver-minded interior. There are no flashy materials or ground-breaking technologies to be found in the car. Did this bother me? Not a bit considering my focus was on the drive the entire time. Actually, I enjoyed the interior. This is a sports car built for the drive, so a flashy interior would have been a turn-off in my honest opinion.
Now that the aesthetics are out of the way, we can talk about what really counts: the drive. The 2013 Subaru BRZ is powered by the flat-4 found in the FR-S and is placed in the engine bay perfectly, allowing optimal weight distribution. And I know every time the flat-4 engine is mentioned, there is going to be “that guy” that says its too weak. You don’t need an powerhouse engine to have fun in a car. Of course a powerful car is always fun, its no fun when that car can’t take a corner with precision like the BRZ.
On the road, the BRZ is a perfect daily driver. It gets great gas mileage, is easy to drive, and doesn’t beg for more throttle. Not to mention, it looks fantastic. But if you want to get the most out of this car, get the manual version and take it around some corners… sideways. The manual gearbox is a perfect companion for this car, giving you the control you need in order to push this car to its limits. Getting the tail out from behind you seemed like an effortless task with the RWD setup, and the car made sure you never lost complete control – perfect amount of understeer and oversteer. This is where the manual transmission really shines. If you want to get sideways, stay sideways, and fly out of those corners, the quick and smooth manual gearbox is the way to go.
While the core driving characteristics between the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ were fairly the same, the manual gearbox made a huge improvement. If you are looking for a sports car that is quite possibly the best “bang for your buck” deal on the market, there is no better car out there. Its quick, stylish, and is a dream to drive. You are looking at an instant classic right here, a car that will be noted in the books for sure.