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.
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