22.2 C
New York
Friday, June 9, 2023

Subaru BRZ tS: First Drive

Must read

In one of my all-time favorite films, the 1990 Dudley Moore (mostly-forgotten) classic “Crazy People,” Moore plays an ad copywriter who has a nervous break down after becoming fed up with lying to folks and lying to himself.

Subaru BRZ tS

He writes a bunch of “honest advertisements,” which lead his employers to commit him to a mental institution, during which time, a mistake in the office leads to the “honest ads” being published, and becoming a huge success. Moore, still inside the asylum, is re-hired along with his “crazy people” friends to write honest advertisements for everything from New York Tourism (“Come to New York, There were Fewer Murders Last Year!”) to the all-new Jaguar XJS convertible: “For men who want hand jobs from women they hardly know.”

Hilarity ensues.

After 100 miles on the road and 20 minutes on the track in the new, limited-to-500 Subaru BRZ tS, which stands for “Tuned by STI,” here’s what my honest advertisement might sound like:

Well, when you say it like that, it sounds kinda mean. But if this is me being honest, you should hear me out. From the very beginning, we liked the 86 twins (Sold through Subaru, and Scion, now Toyota), and its emphasis on lightweight construction, low center of gravity, and lower-speed driftability on the eco-focused and rock-hard Michelin Primacy tires. They were good-looking, reasonably practical, decently efficient and engaging sports cars, if not fast. The speed, Subaru and Toyota said, would come from the aftermarket, if the customer so desired.

I began my drive at the base of California Highway 74, potentially the perfect hillclimb road, south of Palm Desert, CA and winding its way up and over red, rocky cliffs. The last time I drove this road was for the /TUNED Tuner Shootout, in a 600+ Horsepower Porsche GT2 with a sequential gearbox that made shotgun sounds on every upshift, and the road was closed. Just for context.

Want to know why there’s a lack of slidey photos in this review? The drivers spun out immediately after I snapped the frame, because they could not hold the angle. Honestly it was frustrating, and on the circuit, less fun than the standard, base car I tested back in 2013.

Ironically, the track-prepped, STI-tuned version of the car was more fun on the street. For track work, I’d much rather have the low-grip, base version, especially if we’re talking about real money here. If you can’t go fast, you may as well be going sideways, and the BRZ tS isn’t good at going sideways.

Latest article