The Touge-Otaku

Driven by the Love of the Drive

2500 Miles with the BRZ


My it’s been awhile huh? Well, 2500 miles with the BRZ and here’s the short story: it’s a wonderful, fantastic, brilliant car. Want the longer version? Hit the jump.

I find it amazing that almost three months later, I still love my BRZ as much as the first day I got my hands on it. If anything, I love it even more. You’ve already heard me wax lyrical about how awesome a chassis this is right out of the box. And with little incremental improvements, it get’s even better. I think it’s really telling that the engineers put together such an awesome package, and yet still left room for improvement. For my mindset, there’s nothing wrong with the car, just things you can do to make it better.


As you can see in the top picture, one improvement I made (albeit strictly for track purposes in this case) is the tires. To me this is the cars weakest link (YES, over “only” 200 HP, but more on that later). The stock tires are simply underwhelming compared to the rest of the chassis. It’s just a testament to what a great chassis setup this is in the first place that these “Prius” tires can feel good. But add some stickier rubber and boy does the car awaken. That magical turn-in is improved even more, and the car just digs in and turns likes it’s on rails. Yes, even with stickier rubber the car will still push, but even with the stickier rubber you can correct that with a hoof-full of throttle. One thing that I find amusing about this RWD platform is how easy it is to throttle-steer through corners, something I was afraid I would lose with stickier tires. But nope, add some gas pedal and the rear will still come round just fine. This is a car that loves to move around. It shimmys, twitches slightly, feels eager to move around. And it’s a big reason I love this car so much.

“Yeah, but it still has only 200HP!!” “It needs a turbo, it needs at least 250HP!” “How can a car be so fun with as much power as a lawn-mower under the hood!?”

I really lament what the auto industry and we as car enthusiasts have come to. The Germans started it, and now all manufactures are locked in a horsepower war their respective rivals. The M3/RS4/C63. The Mustang/Camaro. The Mazdaspeed 3/WRX/Focus ST. All these brands are trying to one-up the other on whose car can produce the most horsepower. And in turn car’s keep getting bigger and heavier. I thought I read it all the time on the online message boards and comment systems; “Cars are too big!” “Cars are too heavy!” “What happened to the lightweight fun cars!?” And yet when someone has the balls to go back to an old school way of building a fun car, all internet can say is: “Yeah but a Hyundai Genesis Coupe has 70 more horsepower!” Sure it does, but have you driven a Gen Coupe? I have, and while it’s good value for money, it’s not even in the same league as far as feel and driver involvement. And hey, maybe that’s fine for some people. I’m not going to tell people that their view on cars is wrong. I just wish people would do the same to me.

I have only in one instance felt the need for more power…


(I realize this car is a different color, because that’s not my car. That’s my dad’s BRZ on the Big Island)

…And that was at an altitude of 7000 ft going up a steep hill. YES, more power would have been nice there. So if you live in Colorado or Western Bolivia, you may want to reconsider the BRZ. For the rest of us, SHUT UP and slow down, or buy a different car. 200HP is more than enough  to get you around town and have fun at an occasional autocross or track-day. Okay maybe I’m a coward because I can’t handle more power, maybe that’s all my views amount to. Well I say people rely on excess too much, instead of learning to have fun with less.

Anyway I fear I’ve gone slightly off-topic, and I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed the power issue before. And I also realize it’s not going away anytime soon. So I’ll try my best to ignore everyone that tells me my car is anemic, and go on enjoying life behind the wheel of my BRZ.



One response to “2500 Miles with the BRZ

  1. Rick Nakama / @RickNakama August 22, 2012 at 6:21 am

    After driving an FR-S around for a few hours, I totally agree with you. I come from driving around a high boost / 370+ HP daily driven S13 driver’s perspective. The way the totally stock FR-S managed to keep me entertained on the public roadways was impressive. There’s no doubt that power is lacking if you have a long open stretch, but that isn’t what this car is about anyway. See you at autocross again!

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