We thought that Americans loved the BRZ when we found out that it was the fastest selling car, but apparently Aussies like it just a little bit more. Subaru allotted just 210 examples of the popular sports car for the Australian market, but it apparently way undershot its popularity “Down Under,” as all 210 models of the Australia-bound BRZs have been ordered and a sales contract completed.
Selling 210 cars is really not a big deal, but selling them in a matter of three hours is, and that is exactly what happened in the outback. Subaru decided to put its $37,150 (AUD) BRZ online for ordering, as opposed to the typical dealership distribution, and just like New Kids on the Block — NKOTB for those cool enough to listen to them in the 1990s — tickets in the 1980s, they were gobbled up in just hours, leaving the cupboards bare.
If you live in Australia and really wanted a BRZ, don’t fret. Subaru realized the popularity could bring in some extra revenue, so it will continue taking orders for more BRZs. These back-ordered BRZs will not be delivered until early in 2013, however.
If the naturally aspirated BRZs are selling so quickly, we can only imagine how fast the turbocharged BRZs will sell, if Subaru ever stops dragging its feet about boosting its popular sports car.
Our friends in Australia are probably stoked about getting dibs on a car that’s exclusive to them; pity for us because the said vehicle happens to be one we’re more than interested in getting our hands on.
Subaru Australia has announced that they will be releasing a special edition Impreza WRX Club Spec. It’s going to be limited to only 300 models, which means that only a select few will get their grubs on one. The Impreza WRX Club Spec carries a few distinct styling cues that will be limited to its kind, particularly the choice of a Tangerine Orange or Midnight Black exterior finish. In addition, the high-powered sedan also gets a Subaru Tecnica International spoiler, black door mirrors, Club-Spec badge, a leather interior trim with either orange or red stitching depending on the color of the vehicle you choose on the seats, back rests, and steering wheels. Rounding out the features for the WRX Club Spec are a new set of 17" alloy wheels.
Even better, Subaru is also giving prospective customers an opportunity to add optional upgrades, particularly an STI body kit that’s comprised of a front lip spoiler, a short shift gear lever kit and a flexible strut tower brace bar.
Performance modifications weren’t made on the sedan, but that shouldn’t turn off customers any bit because the WRX already produces 305 horsepower, thanks to its turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.
If you happen to be Down Under and you’re interested in this special edition Impreza WRX, prepare to shell out AUD $41,490, which is around the same figure when converted to USD.
We firmly believe that the vast majority of cars only look good from certain angles, rather than every angle. In a similar vein, we believe that many cars look far better from the front than they do the rear and vice versa. Two of those cars just happen to be many previous generation Audi A4’s as well as the recently retired BMW 520.
Whether you prefer the front of either to the rear, it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is the question of joining the two best angles of each together to create a superior looking car.
Well, we recently stumbled upon an interesting sale on eBay UK where a used 1993 Subaru Impreza WRX is being sold with an Impreza interior and custom wheels but most importantly, it’s borrowed the rear-end from the BMW 520 and the front fascia from the Audi A4.
Interestingly enough, the end result is nowhere near as horrible as one may assume. The owner has managed to combine the two ends in such a way that this interesting Impreza actually looks quite impressive.
With 110,124 miles on the clock, the car has received four bids thus far with the highest bid currently being £4,000.00 (at the time of writing). Also included in the package is a “performance exhaust” and “Predator brakes” and the unnamed owner has promised that it’s been “maintained to [a] high standard.”
With just over five days left of the sale, any prospecting buyers better get a hurry-on as this truly is a unique one-off piece of machinery.
Filmed by Speedracer38 (respected photographer Jason Thorgalsen), the video claims to have been filmed along Germany’s unrestricted Autobahn, with the YouTuber stating, “After a grueling 1,000 mile break-in period I was looking forward to see what the car was capable of. I shipped the car to the autobahn to do some high speed runs in the car and attempt the top speed” and the following video is a result of that quest.
However, in saying that, we have trouble believing the American went to that much trouble considering there are dozens of empty runways in the U.S. which could have been used instead.
Either way, the result is clear. The BRZ, despite its ‘underpowered’ 200HP four-cylinder boxer engine, has quite an impressive top speed with the speedo clocking 147mph in 6th gear.
Check out the video, and while watching it, try and take note of all those electronic systems beeping in the first 25 seconds.
We counted at least 23 individual beeps in a matter of seconds!
We do our best to keep you in the loop when it comes to new and cool developments in the automotive world. One of the hottest topics going right now in the U.S. is automated driving. Though it is still several decades away from being a national reality, although some states are legalizing autonomous cars, we are still seeing some progress. The leader in this technology to date in the U.S. is the Google Prius, but other automakers - such as Cadillac and Ford - sniffing around the automated car sector.
In Japan, however, they are taking the bull by the horns and setting up an outline for national implementation of an autonomous driving system. According to a report from Tech-On, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) is starting to piece together how to make automated driving a reality in as little as eight years.
Starting immediately, the MLIT will start piecing together the problems related to automated driving and neatly package it in an interim report that is due for release in March of 2013. Some of the issues at hand have to include: driver attentiveness, driver override ability, handling of accidents, and infrastructure development.
The MLIT has already employed the help of Toyota, Nissan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (A.K.A. Subaru), Honda, and Mazda in this project. Heading up the entire team is Yasuo Asakura, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
For now, this is all just talk and we will see if anything ever comes of it. If this is actually a serious deal, it could drastically accelerate the timeframe that we in the industry have set for automated cars. We will keep a close eye on this situation and update you if any new details come up. Until then, enjoy your steering wheel, while you still can.
The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S have been tearing up in sales lately, becoming the No. 1 and No. 2 selling cars, respectively. This comes as quite a surprise, considering they both were met with some minor grumbling over the fact that neither had any plans for a turbocharged model any time soon.
That phrase “any time soon” really only applies to the BRZ, as Subaru and Toyota both have made it clear that customers looking to buy a Scion FR-S will not be likely to ante up the extra dough needed for forced induction, so they effectively eliminated the FR-S from the boost talks. The BRZ, on the other hand, is marketed to the higher-end customer that just might pony up some extra Benjamins for some spoolage. However, that term “any time soon” rears up again, and we are stuck wondering what Subaru’s idea of “soon” really is.
With the recent announcement from Subaru about the addition of a turbocharger onto the FA-20 engine – the engine that the FR-S and BRZ come with – and its use in the upcoming Legacy sedan and wagon, we are starting to think the any time soon period has officially ended. We anticipate seeing a BRZ with a turbocharger hitting showrooms in the 2015 model year, at the latest, but the paltry 296 horsepower that the current boosted FA-20 produces won’t hold a candle to the version that the BRZ will see.
Click past the jump to read our thoughts and ideas on what this 2015 Subaru BRZ will have to offer.
Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a spritely high school graduate heading into my first semester at college as a business administration – I know, my prospective career took a detour. In between Frat parties, sports, and chasing those of the opposite sex, I found myself in classes, some of which were about marketing correctly. The key to marketing is to get your viewers’ attention, flash your product, then leave the viewers with a lasting impression to remember you by.
Well, Hoonigan.com absolutely mastered the art of “gaining your viewers’ attention” with its latest attempt to peddle its online wares. Not only does this video contain some hooning awesomeness, but it is bursting at the seams with it. Pretty much every single awesome car video we have seen in the last five (or so) years has a several-second spot in this ad. Hell, there is even some Power Wheels hoonage at the 45-second mark and some bicycle hoonage going on at the 58-second mark.
All we can do is tip our collective hats to the folks that put together this video and the countless number of hours that must have been put in watching various videos. Just finding the videos alone must have taken hundreds of hours, but then editing them, dubbing Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” over it, and splicing it all together, Phew.
Some highlights are the Subaru WRX vs. Snowboarder downhill race at to 50-second mark, the Honda Civic passenger running for his life at the 38-second mark, and the worlds greatest drift pass at 1:23. If there is a single short car clip to watch so far this year, this is it!
Inventory turns are the bane of a car dealership sales manager’s existence, as the general manager will ride the sales manager like a rented mule if a unit stays on the lot past 30 days. In reality, the average car sits on a dealership’s lot for a little over 50 days – that’s a lot of gripe sessions from the GM. According to a report from Edmunds, via our pals at Auto Blog, the sales managers at Subaru and Scion dealerships can breathe easy every time a shipment of new BRZ or FR-S models comes rolling in on the back of a transporter.
Why would these managers be so happy to see a truckload full of these new sports cars? Well, because the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are No. 1 and 2 on the fastest selling vehicle list, respectively. There is barely enough time for the driver to unload the cars and for the service team to perform a safety check and get it detailed before a deal is being worked and the car is being driven off of the lot. Yup, the BRZ lasts a whopping four days in the dealership before turning into a sale and the FR-S lasts only five days.
This is all well and good, but another issue is starting to rear its head, and that is the fact that there just are not enough BRZ and FR-S models to go around. Toyota will only make about 10,000 FR-S models and Subaru is planning only 6,000 units, which at the current pace will be completely sold out well before the end of the model year.
We are willing to bet that neither Subaru nor Toyota will leave any money on the table, so we anticipate seeing production numbers ramped up in the coming months, if sales keep going the way they are. If Mazda is willing to increase the number of special edition RX-8s it is producing to keep up with demand, Subaru and Toyota likely will too.
Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.
This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.
From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.
Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.
Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.
We all have our own tolerance level for speed and danger, and rally racing is about the limit for most automotive buffs. We see these guys whipping around turns and sliding in loose gravel at speeds best reserved for smooth tarmac and we think “yea, not for me.” All we ever really get to see though is the outside of the car and rarely do we ever get a look at what really goes on inside the car during a live rally.
Subaru rally driver, David Higgins, and his co-driver, Craig Drew, decided it was time to let us in on what it is really like behind the wheel of a 300+ horsepower machine in loose dirt. First and foremost, Craig Drew sounds like he was once an auctioneer, as he quickly blurts out the upcoming turns, and its recommended speed. How exactly he manages to keep an eye on his track notes while flying around turns and bouncing up and down is beyond us.
Secondly, Subaru mounted a forward-pointing camera, so we can see the track live as Drew and Higgins tackle it. Even seeing the video of their running in the Rally America Susquehannock Trail Rally in Wellsboro, PA was enough to make us a little uneasy, so we could only imagine what kind of training both drivers went through to manage to slither down this track that is barely wide enough for a four-wheeler, let alone a rally car, at speeds obviously in excess of 100 mph.
Truly scary stuff. Take a look at the video and see if you could actually handle the craziness that these guys do.