Like the rest of the BRZ, the 2.0-liter engine is an amalgamation of Subaru and Toyota technologies. The horizontally-opposed boxer configuration is a Subaru hallmark, but the D-4S direct injection technology is a Toyota trick.
Critics of the BRZ often point to its outputting "only 200 horsepower" as a con, but from behind the wheel that feels like just the right amount of power to allow the chassis to shine. Of course, more power would be nice, but that's a problem fixed easily enough by the aftermarket.
Although I would have like to test the six-speed manual version of the BRZ, I ended up driving a model equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. However, as slushboxes go, this is one of the good ones.
The automatic BRZ features a custom program for Snow, a Sport mode for more aggressive throttle mapping, and a Sport VSC mode that loosens the stability control system's grip on your tail-out hijinx. Of course, the truly brave can turn the stability and traction control systems off.
Instrumentation is simple and easy to read, placing a large tachometer front and center. You'll notice that there are two speedometers: the analog gauge to the left and the digital readout nested in the tachometer.
The BRZ's front seats offer good rear end grip during cornering. I was also able to squeeze into the back seats without much discomfort with the front seats adjusted for my 5'9" frame. Taller drivers would cut considerably into the rear leg room.
With the onboard computer in Sport VSC mode, I was able to easily rotate the BRZ around corners and with just the slightest effort achieve that holy grail of progressive, predictable oversteer that's so rare in vehicles these days.
As fun as the BRZ was, it's not really what I'd consider a track car,. 200 horsepower is just enough power for this coupe to be fun on a desolate mountain road, but not really enough for that hardcore track ready edge. With just a few more ponies and the requisite suspension and tire upgrades, the BRZ will be a force to be reckoned with.
That said, the BRZ is worth every penny of its $25,495 starting price ($27,495 for the Limited trim level and $1,100 more if you want the automatic transmission). Drivers' cars such as this are few and far between.