We always find it odd driving and writing about a car that is already sold out. In this case
just 150 examples of the Subaru BRZ 10th Anniversary Edition were offered and Subaru
has confirmed all 150 of them were snapped up in just over a week.
That’s right, it has been a whole decade since the launch of the ground-breaking coupe.
Of course, you can still buy a standard BRZ, but it won’t come with the special blue paint
job, nor will it have the special trim and decals that mark the 10th anniversary of the car’s
arrival here in 2012.
Toyota did something similar with its equivalent of the BRZ, the GR86, but in its case, just
86 cars were offered and they too have gone.
BRZ 10th Anniversary Edition is priced from $43,090 for the manual, or $46,890 for the
automatic version of the car.
The look is at once familiar but somehow different, instantly recognisable for what it is. It’s
finished in WR Blue, with black 18-inch alloys and crystal black door mirrors.
There’s a black BRZ badge, but no 10th anniversary badging on the boot lid. You get a
cheap sticker fixed to the rear window instead.
Inside, there’s a numbered badge and commemorative 10th Anniversary logo embroidered
on the inside of the doors.
Our test vehicle was #10 of 150 and will presumably be offered for sale as a demonstrator
at some stage.
Blue stripes mark the artificial suede and leather trimmed seats, with contrast stitching for
the seats, armrests, steering wheel, shifter and handbrake.
The aircon controls and centre console buttons are also finished in black.
Yes. The price has crept up over the years, but the BRZ still represents excellent value for
money for those who take their driving seriously.
Based on the S version standard equipment includes smart key access with push button
start, LED headlights with automatic height adjustment, vehicle dynamics control, 18-inch
alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control air conditioning, active sound control to
enhance engine sound inside the cabin for a more engaging driving experience.
Driver and front passenger seats are also heated.
BRZ is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 12-month roadside
assistance, with service capped for 5 years/75,000km.
A new 7.0-inch, customisable digital instrument cluster sees the all-important tacho take
centre stage, along with a digital speedo, reminder of the gear you’re in and the current
It’s all you need really, with smaller info screens either side — but for some reason the right
screen had a brownish tinge.
A larger 8.0-inch central touchscreen boasts Bluetooth, voice control, satellite navigation,
AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio, six-speaker audio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
connectivity — and two USB sockets.
Inputting a destination is more difficult than it should be because of the screen size,
the size of the letters and sensitivity of the screen.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
No changes have been made under the bonnet for the anniversary edition and there’s still
no turbo to hurry things along.
A larger 2.4-litre flat four produces 174kW of power and 250Nm of torque, with a choice of
six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Safety remains something of an issue. The car hasn’t been tested by ANCAP yet and
would probably not achieve five stars, at least the manual version that we’re driving
wouldn’t — not this time around.
While it has seven airbags, a reverse camera, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot
monitor, automatic emergency braking is absent and so is lane keep assist — all of which
you get with the auto.
The 10th Anniversary Edition looks the business, finished in striking world rally blue with
black mirrors and wheels, along with an integrated rear spoiler and dual pipes emerging
from under the rear.
The manual gets 22kW more power and 38Nm more torque, while the auto fares a little
better, with another 27kW and 45Nm.
The extra power makes little difference, but the additional torque is welcome,
especially as peak torque kicks in 2700 revs lower in the range.
Both transmissions get power to the ground through a Torsen limited-slip rear diff.
The dash from 0-100km/h in the manual takes less than 7.0 seconds.
With a 50-litre tank, fuel consumption is a claimed 9.5L/100km (manual) and 8.8L/100km
(auto). We were getting 8.8L — oh, and it takes 98 unleaded.
Automatic variants see the addition of Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist
package for the first time.
The body has 60 per cent more front lateral bending rigidity and 50 per cent more torsional
stiffness than its predecessor.
Aluminium materials have been used extensively for the bonnet, front guards and the roof,
helping to keep weight down despite additional equipment.
The impressive ride and handling are underpinned by power-assisted rack and pinion
steering, independent MacPherson front struts and double rear wishbone suspension, with
18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber.
The brakes are unchanged but have been recalibrated.
Personally, we’ve always preferred the Subaru version of the sports coupe. They churn out
one BRZ to four 86s, or at least they used to, and as such the BRZ is likely to be the more
collectable of the two.
And, trust us, it will become collectable, just like British sports cars of old like the MG
Stepping into this car straight out of a high-performance Audi, the differences are
immediately noticeable — less power of course (a lot less) and more cabin noise (a lot
We didn’t miss the power which goes hand in hand with the size and weight of the car, or
power to weight ratio as it is known, but the din inside the cabin was another thing
It is unfortunately a reflection of the pure driving experience (and the Michelins), which
puts the driver close to the road and close to the magic that makes it all happen– you’re at
one with the car if you like.
Our test vehicle was the six-speed manual version. Once you master the clutch and get a
feel for the gear change, BRZ is a snack to drive — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’d never buy a Golf GTI with DSG. Sure, it may be quicker, but the drive experience is
nowhere near as engaging.
Being a manual, however, you miss out on the EyeSight safety items and that means no
adaptive cruise control, no auto braking and no lane-keep assist or lane departure
Ah, well . . . One day, when everything is fully automated, take comfort in the fact that
manual versions like the one your grand dad used to drive will be highly-prized.
BRZ is not the easiest car to get in and out of either, but it doesn’t require the gymnastics
that a Toyota Supra does.
The seats are a bit narrow too and better suited to fit young people rather than fat-
The indicators are annoying as well because it is too easy to fully activate them rather than
get three quick flashes.
It wasn’t too long ago that it didn’t have one-touch blinkers.
Whipping the BRZ into a right hander, we felt the rear start to step out before it was caught
by the electronics, and right then we knew we were in for some fun.
The larger engine and small increases in power and torque that it brings have made a
remarkable difference to the way the car performs, even though it was okay to start with.
The extra torque has plugged that hole you sometimes fell into without enough speed and
revs on the dial.
With no turbo to boost bottom end response, BRZ loves and needs to rev and does so all
the way up to 8000 rpm.
Having said that, we were surprised how tractable the car remains in top gear as we
slogged up a steepish hill.
Sitting low to the ground you feel like you’re going fast even when you’re not, and with a
short wheelbase, low centre of gravity and some sticky rubber, it’s capable of taking
corners at speed.
The chassis is communicative, leaving the driver in no doubt as to where the car is and
what it is doing on the road.
Steering likewise is sharp and direct and it sometimes feels as though the car starts to turn
into corners before the driver has initiated the process.
Good stoppers are an essential when it comes to hard, corner to corner driving, allowing
braking deep into bends.
Get everything right and it feels great.
BRZ remains fun and affordable.
In years to come this car will be sought out by collectors.
In the meantime, you have the opportunity to enjoy old school driving wrapped in a
modern envelope, with electronics to back you up just in case.
AT A GLANCE
BRZ Coupe: $40,290 (manual), $44,090 (automatic)
BRZ S Coupe: $41,590 (manual), $45,390 (automatic)
BRZ Coupe 10th Anniversary Edition: $43,090 (manual), $46,890 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Subaru dealer for drive-away prices.
Subaru BRZ 10th Anniversary Edition, 2.4-litre two-door 2+2 sports coupe
Capacity: 2.387 litres
Configuration: Horizontally-opposed Boxer 4-cylinder, petrol engine
Maximum Power: 174 kW @ 7000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 3700 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium 98 RON unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.5 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 217 g/km
Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4265 mm
Width: 1775 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1249 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Front: Ventilated disc brake
Rear: Ventilated disc brake
Five years / unlimited kilometres