Subaru has long built high performance into models like the WRX and WRX STI, but it's been over a decade since we've seen an actual sports car from the Japanese automaker, which is better known for all-wheel-drive practicality. So there's a good reason Subaru's all-new 2013 BRZ is generating so much buzz. Created in partnership with Toyota, it is mechanically identical to the Scion FR-S.
The rear-wheel-drive BRZ has only two trim levels: Premium and Limited. Both feature a 2.0-liter boxer-style four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 151 foot-pounds of torque. Premium models include cloth seats, A/C and power windows; leather seats, automatic A/C and fog lamps come with Limited models.
A six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission is standard for both, but a six-speed shiftable automatic is optional. BRZs with manual transmissions hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while automatic BRZs need 7.9 seconds. The choice of transmission has a noticeable impact on fuel economy: While manual BRZs have mpg ratings of 22 city and 30 highway, automatic BRZs deliver 25 city and 34 highway.
It might be the base model, but the name Premium reflects an equipment level that isn't spartan. Standard features include: 17-by-7-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels; HID headlights; a diffusor integrated into the rear bumper; dual stainless-steel exhausts; sport seats upholstered in cloth; a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red contrast stitching; power windows; and an AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, GPS navigation, eight speakers, USB/iPod input and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The Limited adds to the Premium: fog lights, a trunk spoiler, heated side-view mirrors, heated front seats, Alcantara and leather upholstery, keyless starting and dual-zone climate control.
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|Build & Price|
Stylish body, loads of power and lower price, but unimpressive audio system and lower mpg ratings
332-horsepower, V-6 engine, fast and good-looking, but pricey and poor fuel economy
Peppy V-6 engine, quick to 60 mph, V-8 options, but higher trim levels get pricey
Equivalent performance, convertible top and low base price, but lacks horsepower and has only two seats