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Subaru BRZ review – New updates for 2017 refine the fun coupe, but only slightly - Performance and 0-60mph time

Blessed with an excellent, involving chassis, but feeble engine and poor tyres prevent the BRZ from achieving greatness

Evo rating
Price
from £26,050
  • Excellent driving position, wonderfully immersive chassis
  • Naff exterior details, low-rent interior, low grip tyres

Performance and 0-60mph time

Nail the perfect launch and the BRZ will spring itself to 62mph in 7.6 seconds, topping out at 140mph. The automatic model will follow six tenths of a second behind to 62mph, and stops accelerating 10mph earlier.

To get the most out of the BRZ, and for it to feel anywhere near as quick as those numbers suggest, you really need to rev its engine. Maximum torque, 151lb ft, is delivered from 6400 to 6600rpm while peak power, 197bhp, isn’t reached until 7000rpm. In a world of turbo engines that reach maximum torque at little more than tick over, having to work for the BRZ’s performance is a rare treat.

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If you’re caught off-guard, or want to overtake without sufficient preparation, then the BRZ’s peaky delivery can be frustrating. But the responsive and linear nature of the engine at the top of the rev range makes it very satisfying to drive the BRZ quickly.

There is a distinct flat spot around the mid-range that initially deters you from exploring the upper reaches of the revs, but once you push beyond it the relatively close ratio gearbox makes it easy to keep the needle in the top third of the rev counter and above the flat spot.

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The biggest issue with the engine is the noise it makes. It’s quite industrial to begin with and very rattly at idle. As the revs rise there’s a faint, throaty grunt that hints at an old-school Subaru flat-four, but without unequal-length headers and a huge turbo that distinct burble is only very faint. The 2017 updates have improved the engine noise within the cabin, but it’s still not the most evocative sound.

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