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Subaru sales are booming, but not for the BRZ sports coupe

Subaru has a new forecast because sales are way up. But why isn’t the 2015 Subaru BRZ selling?


Sales are booming at Subaru of America but the 2015 Subaru BRZ is not selling like the rest of the Japanese automaker's lineup. Subaru had to revise their sales forecast from 460,000 vehicles to 500,000 for 2014 because of strong performance across all product lines except one, the BRZ sports coupe. It seems that BRZ sales are slipping and the two-door coupe is going backwards. Sales for the month of August saw sales of the sporty BRZ drop 17.05 percent from the previous month to date numbers.

What’s going on with BRZ?

Year to date, Subaru BRZ sales are up just 1.72 percent, when the performance WRX/STI sales are up a whopping 36.34 percent. Driving enthusiasts are looking for more performance and the new-generation WRX STI gives them what they are looking for. BRZ came on the scene in 2012 with a sporty attitude with its boxer engine and great driving dynamics. It comes with a 200 horsepower naturally aspirated Subaru boxer engine that sits low in the chassis. It comes with a low center of gravity which makes it perform great in the corners.

What does BRZ need?

The Subaru BRZ has enough power to maneuver in normal highway driving, but driving enthusiasts want more than just average from their sports cars. The BRZ sports coupe is an agile performer and can compete with some of the best vintage sports cars of the past like the Mazda RX-7, Datsun 240Z and Porsche 944. The BRZ also competes with current sports cars like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Mazda MX-5 Miata. So why are sale waining for BRZ?

BRZ needs to be upgraded

Performance fans have been asking for a BRZ turbocharged model since the sports car hit the market back in 2012. BRZ, now in its 4th year of production needs to be upgraded with new engine options like a turbo with more power than the current 200 horsepower models. Performance fans are buying the BRZ and buying engine upgrades, but Subaru could help by letting Subaru Tecnica International (STI) make a true performance model.

The 2015 BRZ’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine features 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. BRZ comes standard with a close ratio six-speed manual transmission. With the manual, BRZ sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while the automatic version is quite a bit slower, clocked at 7.9 seconds over the same distance. For a rear-drive sports car, that’s slow for a vehicle that only weights in at 2,800 pounds.

Sales of the 2015 Subaru BRZ are down and it’s a good indication that Subaru needs to upgrade the current BRZ sports coupe with a new BRZ STI performance model. Buyers would line up to get one.

Other 2015 Subaru BRZ stories of interest.
Why performance fans are disappointed in the 2015 Subaru BRZ


John Goreham    September 21, 2014 - 1:18PM

You nailed it. This is a car with great potential, but its only acceptable power, and more importantly, its low torque, have held it back. There is nothing wrong with the Suby BRZ or Scion FRS that would not be fixed with a turbocharged engine. I am no fan of turbos, but this one seems like a slam dunk.

Lee (not verified)    September 21, 2014 - 8:23PM

Why does that surprise anyone, this isn't meant to be a big production car. If Subaru sells roughly the same amount as last year, then I would consider it a success.

James J Buscemi (not verified)    September 22, 2014 - 12:41PM

I have owned a Subaru BRZ Manual for the last 2 years and agree that a more powerful BRZ would help sales but do not agree that it does not have enough power especially on the highway. I have kept my BRZ naturally aspirated and added cold air induction and a cat back exhaust and modified shift points and my manual BRZ will do 0 to 60 in 5.3. The compression ratio on this BRZ stock is 12:5 to One and don't know how you can say its not fast enough. This car is fast and quick when you need it to be and yes in the quarter mile most muscle cars will beat me but not on the highway where it counts. I can move in and out with confidence where the heavier muscle has to slow down to make it quick lane changes. I think its the perfect affordable muscle that will smoke the heavier American Muscle Cars on the highway. I really don't care about the numbers on the track. I will blow you all away on the highway.

Toyota Mcgee (not verified)    October 16, 2014 - 5:09PM

In reply to by James J Buscemi (not verified)

Come on... I understand you want to defend the toyobaru, but you need to come to the harsh reality that it's slow. Yeah compression ratio probably means it's peppy, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being fast. A better word to describe it would be "nimble." Heavier American muscle cars have to slow down to make lane changes? Your BRZ will smoke American muscle on the highway? You'll blow us all away on the highway? The only thing that proves is that you probably drive like an ###hole on public roads. As a car enthusiast, right now I can have a 2013 BRZ for Mid $20k with 200hp, or I can have a 2013 Ford Mustang for about the same with 400hp... I'd pick the Mustang. The brz/frs absolutely needs a turbo, and I wouldn't even consider it as an option until they installed one.

Mick (not verified)    November 3, 2014 - 4:48PM

In reply to by Toyota Mcgee (not verified)

Mustang 400hp mid $20k- Nice try, but don't think so. But do agree, my BRZ could use some more power, but than so does my 95 Mustang convertible. Plus you can't drive across town without seeing a Mustang or Camaro ever couple blocks, its nice to drive something else no one has and gets looks. Plus its a blast to drive.

Theo Nikitopoulos (not verified)    September 22, 2014 - 5:02PM

BRZ's power is not the best, but there is a reason for this. Do you think Honda could make a better engine for S2000 10 years ago and Toyota and Subaru could not do it in our days? They just wanted to provide a sports car of today and tomorrow. They wanted a car with performance, but also a car with fair consumption and CO2 emissions. Just watch the other car company that produces boxer engines. It is struggling to make a 2-litre engine and still trying. BRZ is already there and it is weird to hope going back. And don't forget that WRX STI has an engine initially designed back in the late 80's! So pity that people don't get it.

Guy Jones (not verified)    October 13, 2014 - 9:34AM

Come on; the BRZ is a niche vehicle. Maybe the sales numbers could be better, but, give it some time. It sounds like more of a labor of love project that Subaru can afford to play around with for a while, even if sales are less than stellar.

Gregg (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 12:26PM

My understanding is that Subaru receives a declining share of the total production each year (and Toyota receives more), meaning they have fewer BRZs available to sell each year. If that is accurate,then sales must drop every year.

shane (not verified)    March 1, 2015 - 12:26AM not add boos subaru make it more powereful with internal modifications and even a beter exhaust manifold(header) to give it at least another 60hp it shouldnt be that hard at all...if the aftermarket companies can pull it off i know a vehicle manufacturer certainly can, let alone subaru