After Top Gear’s numerous tests of the Toyota Hilux and how they could never really and truly kill the car, people finally realized just how well built modern day cars are, specifically Japanese ones despite their generally low prices.
But the car in the following story has to take the crown for the toughest car on the planet. A 1986 Subaru Legacy was recently pulled out of a Finnish lake after sitting at the bottom of this bitterly-cold body of water for three months and, wait for it, managed to start first try.
You can smash a car into as many trees as you want in order to destroy it, but there’s no bigger test than submerging a car for an extended period of time in order to truly test out a car’s build quality.
This particular Subaru was sitting under 12 feet of water and as a result, would have constantly been under significant pressure yet all of the windows remained in tack. Of course, that’s nothing when compared to the car actually starting.
In order to get it started, the Finnish owner extracted the lake water from the gas tank and oil reservoirs, and then doused the ECU with some brake parts cleaner. Before he knew it, the car started right up as did the vast majority of the car’s electronic systems.
It’s safe to say that this Subaru may have created its own Legacy.
Our friends over at Autocar are reporting a nice tidbit of tech news on the new Toyota GT 86. According to GT 86 project engineer, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota is working on a black-box system for the GT 86 that will monitor all of the car’s main functions (i.e. braking, accelerating, stability, acceleration, speed, etc.).
In short, the black-box system is nothing new, but what Toyota plans to do with it is. Engineers are working on installing software on the black box that is compatible with the PlayStation 3. At the same time, Toyota is hard at work mapping out all of the major tracks and raceways around the world and uploading them into the black box. All the driver has to do is take the GT 86 to a mapped track on the black box and drive the hell out of his car.
Once the driver has finished his track day, just hook up the black box to a PlayStation 3 and upload the data. After all of the data is uploaded, the driver can compare his data from the track with other GT 86 drivers that have run on the same track, making for some friendly racing, without the risks of swapping paint. This system will also provide pointers for performing better at the track and maximizing the GT 86’s potential.
Seems like a pretty cool idea on paper, but the issue becomes the fact that some street racers may find a way to upload public streets, then you have GT 86 drivers driving like maniacs on busy roads trying to beat their buddy’s time around the block. We hope that the engineers find a way to block this possibility prior to releasing it, if it ever becomes a reality.
For those that snag up GT 86s before this system debuts can easily retro-fit it onto older GT 86 models.
There is no word on whether this system will be offered for the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ.
The Subaru BRZ may only be a few months old and despite the fact that deliveries to owners have yet to commence, this brand new rear-wheel drive out of Japan has already proven itself to be quite the performance car, even if it did get beaten around a Japanese racetrack by its twin-brother, the Toyota GT 86 recently.
In Road & Track’s latest road test, they took the aforementioned Subaru BRZ out onto public roads to see how it would perform when pitted against its main rival, the Mazda MX-5 Miata as well as the Hyundai Genesis 2.0 Coupe.
We won’t ruin the result for you, but keep in mind the following performance specifications when watching the video.
The BRZ features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer style engine which was developed in conjunction with Toyota to produce 200HP and 151lb-ft of torque, while the base Mazda MX-5 Miata produces significantly less at just 167HP but does turn out an impressive 158 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Hyundai Genesis actually produces the most of the bunch with 217HP and 217lb-ft of torque; however, it does weigh significantly more than the other two due to its larger proportions.
When Subaru unveiled the Advanced Tourer Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show, not many people paid much attention to it. After all, it was sitting next to the brand new Subaru BRZ, which pretty much stole the show in the Subaru booth. Now, in a twisted turn of events, MotorTrend is reporting that the Advanced Tourer was a preview version of the next generation Subaru WRX set to be unveiled sometime in 2013.
According to the magazine, a Subaru insider revealed that the next WRX will get the headlights, air dam, grille, and front brake ducts from the Tourer Concept. The overall side profile will also resemble the Tourer, but the front design will be even more aggressive and so will the rear wheel arches and fenders.
The future WRX will be built on a modified version of the current Impreza platform and as previously reported, will drop the Impreza from its nomenclature. While the engine to be placed under the hood is still a subject for speculation, Motor Trend suggests that Subaru is currently testing a new FA series of 1.6- and 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged boxer fours and a hybrid version of the 1.6-liter turbo. One of these three versions will definitely find its way under the hood of the next WRX, maybe even the 2.0 version.
A few weeks ago, we let you in on the conversation that Car and Driver had with executives from Subaru and Toyota about the possibility of a turbocharger on the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S. It was a flat out “No” on the FR-S and an “Eh, maybe, but not now” on the BRZ and GT 86. Well, first off we think that’s a load of corporate horse manure, as Subaru and Toyota would be out of their engine control modules not to force at least 8 psi into that new jointly built 2.0-liter engine.
Apparently, Subaru is taking a nibble of the bait that us turbo junkies are tossing in the water, as it has just completed development on a turbocharged version of the FA20 engine used in the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S family. This engine is not an identical twin to the FA20, so don’t go getting your hopes up yet, but it is its fraternal twin at least. The only real difference is that Subaru scrapped the Toyota fuel injection system in favor of its own direct-injection system.
So what kind of power are we talking about? We are hearing that it cranks out a whopping 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque! Now for the bad news… As of now, this engine is only slated to be dropped into the JDM-spec Legacy. To make things worse, Subaru is linking this awesome engine to a CVT. What a gigantic waste.
Don’t go getting all sad on us now, this is a good start that Subaru is willing to slap some boost on this puppy and get nearly 300 ponies and 300 twisting power. Now just imagine that in a BRZ…
So we will reiterate what we said before. Regardless of what smoke and mirrors Subaru and Toyota throw up there, we will see boost in at least the BRZ and GT 86, and we would be willing to bet a penny that we see the FR-S whistling down the road one day too.
Looks like Ken Block isn’t the only one that can drop Gymkhana at the drop of a hat.
German shoemaker Puma is entering the world of RallyCross as an official sponsor to the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team and to commemorate this occasion, they’ve decided that a suitable introductory video on its new team would suffice.
So they went and produced a video featuring their drivers, Dave Mirra, Bucky Lasek, and Sverre Isachsen all getting down and smoky with their respective RallyCross vehicles. In the ensuing video, you’re going to see plenty of burning tires, extraordinary drifting, and sliding action, all in the ode of Block’s Gymkhana routine.
Check out the video and watch how PUMA is introducing itself to the world of RallyCross.
And while you’re at it, be sure to bump up the volume and put it on HD. High definition drifting never looked as good and as spectacular as the video you’re about to see.
About the future Subaru WRX we have heard all kinds of rumors, including the fact that it will drop the "Impreza" from its name and it will be simply called WRX. After that we heard that Subaru will place under the hood of the new car the same turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine found in the BRZ. And now the speculation continues: new rumors suggest that the car will in fact feature an electrically-operated turbo engine.
According to Drive.com.au, Subaru is working to trap heat energy from exhaust gases, generating electricity to power the turbo. This new system will create power more efficiently with less turbo lag. But no matter what engine we will see under the hood, the next WRX will keep the same continuously variable transmission used in the standard Impreza.
The same source is also reporting that the next WRX "will be completely distinctive from the current Impreza, it will look considerably different." The model will also be featuring very significant technical changes and innovations.
Expect to see the new Subaru WRX launched sometime next year. A STI version will also follow.
Ever since the Toyota-Subaru joint venture that netted three different models – Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT 86, and Scion FR-S – there have been speculations, rumors, and whispers of potential forced induction for these triplets. Recently an unnamed “source” informed our colleagues over at Car and Driver that “for the time being” the BRZ and FR-S will remain naturally aspirated and pumping out 200 horsepower.
The report went on to say that a turbocharged BRZ is a possibility in the future, but there is no way the FR-S will ever receive forced induction. The source also mentioned that the GT 86 could potentially get some added PSI into the intake. The reason being, according to this “source,” is because the Scion is considered an entry-level sports car and a turbocharger would push its $24,930 base price to near $30,000. At that price, most Scion buyers may start dreaming of a BMW 1-series or something a little more upscale. The Subaru and Toyota, on the other hand, cater to higher-end customers.
Being the car buffs that we are and lovers of a little forced air, this is a depressing thing to hear. It also slightly confuses us a little, as we don’t quite see how adding a turbocharger can pump the base price up $6,000. Even if it did approach those higher cars, like the 1-Series, a boosted FR-S would certainly pump out more power than the base 1-Series and is definitely a more fun car to drive.
So here’s to hoping that the three automakers come together and find a way to make a turbocharged version of all three models. A boosted model would likely have a massive impact on Scion’s popularity too. Heck, it may even get that nasty taste out of people’s mouths that the xB and xD models left behind.
Subaru has unveiled a very cool two-part documentary presenting the development process of their 2013 BRZ sports car. This video talks about the car’s low center of gravity, the new platform, suspension, the steering and driving position and stability control.
And, as a reminder, the 2013 Subaru BRZ is powered by a 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed boxer engine that delivers a total of 200 HP. Subaru has announced a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 7.3 seconds. On the US market prices for the BRZ start from $25,495.
"This movie explains how Subaru BRZ had been developed and engineered by Subaru with the details of the ultimate low center of gravity, the new plat form, the high engine power unit, the suspension, the steering and driving position, and the vehicle stability control. All were engineered just to realize "Pure Handling Delight". Full story
Back when the Impreza WRX made its debut, we began salivating, as it marked the comeback of the turbocharged car. Then once the STi came around bearing its 300-horsepower, 2.5-liter H-4 engine, we were officially in love. That love has somewhat dissipated, as the turbocharged market has become a little flooded lately. The STi still has its own little spot in our hearts though.
One of the many things that made the STi so unique was its combination of extreme power from a four-cylinder engine with Subaru’s legendary AWD system. This made, and still makes, the WRX STi one of the most fun cars in the world to tinker around in the snow and ice.
The above video comes straight from Russia showing a rather good driver maneuvering his STi through the icy and snowy streets with a lead car filming him. Not only is the action pretty darn good, but the editing isn’t half-bad either.
Regardless of how cool this video is, we do have to ask you to please not go buy an STi and start sliding around your city’s streets during the next snowstorm. Yeah, it looks cool and you might get yourself a spot on the internet, but its rather dopey, to say the least.
Now that we have given you our parent-like lecture for the day, sit back and enjoy a WRX STi frolicking in it favorite habitat, snow and ice. If you keep a close eye at the 1:19 mark, you can see their fun is almost over, as plow tractors are coming through to clean up the slippery stuff.