HOUSE OF BLUES
2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Nov 30, 2014
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
It was a sensation when it first showed on the world racing scene. A Subaru Impreza WRX grew from a funky-looking four-door small sedan with a seemingly misplaced big wing in the back. This ordinary looking car hid one of the best racing machines ever developed. The four-cylinder turbocharged boxer engine, the all wheel drive, and a phenomenal chassis allowed even an average driver to slide through the corners sideways. And in the hands of road masters like Petter Solberg, and late Richard Burns, the Subaru became a missile, tearing through the World Rally Championship stages—from parting the darkness through the snow covered Col de Turini above Monte Carlo, to jumping 150 feet at Ouninpohja in the Finnish countryside. The blue Subarus won the championship, becoming a legend in the process. – Zoran Segina
By Harvey Schwartz
Introducing a special edition vehicle into a car company with such a racing pedigree comes with hefty expectations. For model year 2015 Subaru is offering a BRZ Series.Blue special edition of just 1,000 units—half in Crystal White Pearl, and another half in WR Blue Pearl. The new BRZ combines STI functional aerodynamic body design, black-painted 17- inch wheels and unique interior trim to somehow create a bolder look. The looks, alas, do not translate into speed. Still, it creates a bolder look for the BRZ Series Blue from any angle.
A two-liter, all-aluminum Boxer engine with a dual overhead cam, active valve control and direct and sequential port injection develops 100 horsepower per liter of displacement. Subarus were always known for high revving engines and the one in the Blue BRZ is no exception. At 7,000rpm the four-banger under the hood will develop a total of 200 horsepower, and along the way reach its maximum torque peak of 151 pound-feet at 6,400 rpm. The BRZ line was originally introduced in 2013 with an idea to develop a sport car with an emphasis on the basics—keeping the vehicle on a diet (2,762 pounds) and keeping it simple (ours came with a six speed manual transmission, stick the center of gravity as close to the asphalt as possible (a smidgen over foot and a half - one of the world’s lowest), and equip it with a precise electric power steering with a 13.1:1 ratio. Racers do not have to do a lot of sawing on the track.
The 2015 BRZ Blue cuts through the air with more ease. This thing has more spoilers than an-end-of-season TV magazine. Look in the front, on the side, as well as toward the rear—all of these spoilers give the BRZ Blue additional downforce. In the corners and straight line (at speed), the car should be more stable. Additional underbody panels reduce drag coefficient from 0.28 to 0.27, in essence sucking the BRZ Blue closer to the ground. Large stainless steel dual exhaust tips and a shark antenna complete cosmetic enhancements on the 2015 model.
So as to provide immediate recognition of the Blue BRZ as an species with a sports pedigree, red-finish brake calipers poke behind the spokes of the black painted STI wheels. The BRZ Series.Blue is a natural styling extension of the BRZ Limited with exclusive trim and special details inside and out. The leather and Alcantara upholstery includes deep blue leather padding and head restraints that keep me from bouncing and sliding when conquering hard corners. A constant reminder of Blue is everywhere. Blue stitching accents the seats, and tilt and telescopic steering wheel, the shift lever boot and leather-wrapped parking brake handle are accented in - you guessed it right - blue. That motif carries to the center console kneepads and door trim, with an embroidered silver BRZ logo on the front seatbacks for a good measure. Should one look down, carpeted floor mats also show the BRZ logo and blue stitching. A rearview mirror is frameless, a center dash panel is simulated carbon fiber, and a red illuminated engine start/stop button with an STI logo provides the finishing touch.
Despite the fact that this model keep no additional ponies under the hood, sporty Subarus have always been competition-driven built machines and the new Blue (just like the old Blue - the WRX) it is a blast to drive around town or on the open road. The short-throw six-speed shifter is smooth, precise and easy to use. It is placed on the center console as though the engineers measured where my hand will fall on the leather-wrapped ball. The aluminum foot pedals allow me to press them with more aggression. One could always drive these cars sideways and toss them around the corners.
On the tested BRZ Blue, a Torsen limited-slip differential has a Las Vegas function—what happens on the pavement stays on the pavement. The unique fully independent, sport-tuned suspension is stable at speed but shut off the Sport VSC control and Traction button, and in steep curves the rear will slide out in a very predictable manner. It is like riding on rails that diverge for a moment, but one knows that the entire composition will meet again after the switch. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with lower L-arms, coil springs, anti-dive geometry and an 18mm stabilizer bar. The double-wishbone rear setup features coil springs, gas-charged shocks, anti-lift geometry and a 14mm stabilizer bar. Two strut braces in the engine bay tighten the steering to give the BRZ Blue a race-car handling. A slight tug of the wheel quickly points the whole package in a desired direction.
A sports car that cannot be quickly brought down from speed loses its competitive edge in the first corner. Together with its front fascia, quarter panel, and assorted front-end parts should happenstances turn hapless. The deceleration duties in the new BRZ Blue are entrusted to the red-painted front/rear calipers that grab 11.6 inch vented discs with dual pistons, and 11.4 inch vented discs with large single piston calipers in back. Standard ABS, BA and EBD exert control during hard braking. The 17X7 aluminum alloy black-painted wheel and the surface of the Earth are separated by Michelin 215/45R17 Primacy HP low-profile high-performance tires which offer excellent traction when that surface happens to be paved.
Thrown as a standard equipment into the 2015 model, beside the goodies mentioned above, are HID headlights, LED daytime running lamps, front fog lamps and rear decklid spoiler, automatic light control, Subaru Audio/Navigation System with AM-FM-CD-XM radio with USB port with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, eight-speakers, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise-control, power express windows, power door locks, aluminum scuff plates (should the road get rougher, lonelier and tougher) dual power/heated sideview mirrors, height-adjustable driver’s-side bucket seat, heated front seats, remote fuel filler door/trunk releases, single map light, dual lighted vanity mirrors, storage slots in each door, variable-speed wipers/washers, passive entry, digital clock and toggle switches on the center stack instead of buttons. I need to pause now to catch my breath.
With Advanced Frontal Airbag system including front seat/side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, 4-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, tire pressure monitor, ring-shaped reinforcement frame, and steel beams in each door, the BRZ Blue is a good place to spend time in once the laws of nature decide to override the user’s – until that point exceptional – driving skills. On that subject – in a car designed to go forward fast a rear camera to improve safety when backing up would be a welcome addition.
The new 2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue is a thrill machine with an attire, both inside and out, that makes it even more unique in the compact sport 2+2 segment. It’s priced at just $29,490.00 plus $795.00 delivery.
Zoran Segina contributed to this article.
© Pictures by Harvey Schwartz
For more information about Subaru products, go to subaru.com
Name of vehicle:
2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue
$29,490.00, plus $795.00 delivery.
FA20 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer, DOHC 16 valve, dual variable valve timing, D4-S Direct and Sequential Port Injection
EPA mileage estimates (miles per gallon):
22 city/30 highway
200 at 7000 rpm
151 pound-feet at 6400 rpm
Drive configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive Transmission: RA62 6-Speed manual with Torsen Limited Slip Differential Steering: Electronic Power Steering Suspension Front MacPherson Strut with 18mm stabilizer bar Rear double wishbone with 14mm stabilizer bar Brakes Front 11.6” ventilated disc Rear 11.4” ventilated disc Anti-lock brake system Dimensions Length: 166.7 inches Width: 69.9 inches Height: 50.6 inches Curb weight (lbs.):