First coupe for Subaru
T HE eagerly awaited Subaru BRZ which will give the company a coupe for the first time will be in the showrooms this summer with prices starting at under £25,000.
Already getting rave reviews from independent testers who have driven both it and the sister car which is being badged as a Toyota, the BRZ has the traditional 2.0 litre 'boxer' engine which has been a Subaru trademark for years.
The engine's lower centre of gravity brings considerable advantages to the handling and to further enhance it the BRZ has rear wheel drive and a torque-sensing (torsen) limited slip differential which diverts power to the rear wheel with the most grip.
The BRZ will be available with either a six speed manual or for an extra £1,500 a semi-automatic gearbox with a paddle-shift system on the steering wheel.
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There are two trim levels, the SE and SE Lux and both have 17-inch alloy wheels, fully automatic air conditioning with dual-zone controls, keyless Smart Entry with push-button engine start, leather-trimmed steering wheel, parking brake and gearshift lever and a high-quality six-speaker audio system with CD, radio and iPod connectivity. In addition to all these features, the SE Lux also has heated leather seats.
There are just two optional extras, Pioneer satellite navigation (£1,000) and special paint finishes (£500). A more basic S model is anticipated for launch in 2013.
Customers will also be entitled to Subaru's unique Everything Taken Care of (ETCo) aftercare package, the most comprehensive in the UK.
At no additional cost, Subaru ETCo covers minor dent and scratch repairs, alloy wheel repairs, a monthly wash and annual valet, lost keys replacement, service collection and delivery, annual wheel alignment check, first MOT cover, and winter wheel and tyre storage, as well as providing an accident management service and a contribution to insurance cover excess. Subaru ETCo is offered in addition to Subaru's three-year / 60,000-mile manufacturer warranty.
Matt Ambrose, general manager at Holdcroft Mitsubishi on Leek Road, Hanley, says there is huge interest in the car. Matt says: "We have already sold our initial allocation and interest is soaring. We are seeing our traditional customers who have had cars such as the Impreza STi or WRX but also getting a lot of calls from drivers new to us who want to get into a coupe.
"There is plenty of Subaru DNA in this car, with its boxer engine, but it is taking us into a new market and the initial signs are very encouraging.''
Kenyon Neads, Subaru UK's marketing director, adds: "There is huge interest in the Subaru BRZ, heightened by very positive press reviews of the car so far. Early demand is strong so we fully expect that some early customers will have to wait some months for delivery, especially during 2012, but we have no doubt they will agree it will be worth the wait."