How Subaru BRZ sports coupe strikes out with the bases loaded
Subaru is loaded with an all-star lineup of all-wheel-drive multi-purpose vehicles. It’s their niche market and they are setting records every month and beating all other automakers in percentage of growth. They set records in September with best ever sales for the 2016 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek WRX/STI and Impreza models. Subaru of America and all their models are up year to date except for the 2016 BRZ sports coupe which is down 40.5 percent in September and minus 33.8 percent YTD.
Subaru has positioned itself in the market with a good product that fits a niche with a generation of consumers with active lifestyles. Their cars are selling faster than they can build them. So what’s wrong with the Subaru BRZ? It’s a great driver’s car that is high on the fun-to-drive meter, it’s very affordable (under $26,000) and has the driving dynamics of a sports car twice its price.
BRZ sales are down and there is no end in sight for the sports car to slip even further. Subaru needs to inject a BRZ STI into the lineup with a healthy dose of home-run hitting power. There are only so many buyers that will buy the 200hp BRZ/FR-S twins that came from the joint venture between Subaru and Toyota. Subaru needs to take a risk and give the BRZ an increase in power and get it off the bench. Fans want a true BRZ STI performance model.
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), maker of Subaru automobiles, needs to cut Subaru Tecnica International (STI) the performance and motorsport division for Subaru, loose and let them build a WRX STI type vehicle. Either go all out and swing for the fence, or cut the BRZ from the team altogether. It’s never going to be a major seller for the brand anyway, so let STI have some fun and build an all-out high-performance BRZ with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine like the WRX. 250-275hp in the BRZ would get many performance fans excited. Add other STI goodies like a performance suspension, Brembo brakes and performance exhaust and let it run the bases fast.
The 2016 Subaru BRZ is wasting away just sitting on the bench and it’s not being used to its full potential. It won’t make the cut by adding just 10-20hp to the naturally aspirated engine. Give fans what they want Subaru. The post season is here, FHI needs to let STI develop BRZ’s true talent now, or cut it from the team altogether.
Media source: Subaru of America