Our elite squad of highly-trained spy photographers has nabbed a handful of new photos of the soon-to-be-unveiled Subaru BRZ. The front engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe was spotted out and about on public streets wrapped in suitable camouflage ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week. Subaru says that the BRZ moniker for Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive Zenith, but it sounds more like a phonetic interpretation of a weedeater to us. Nomenclature aside, we're told to expect good things from the coupe. Word on the web is that Subaru may use the vehicle to unveil a new 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine.

Even more interesting is rumors that the coupe will use a similarly new six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Either way, we'll know more when the Japanese automaker pulls back the sheets in Germany next week. Stay tuned.


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  • 54 Comments
      EBmiataSOCAL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where is this land of discarded e30 m3's and subaru test mules... i want to be there.
        Evan Hayden
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EBmiataSOCAL
        Yes, I was looking at those longingly as well. Too much potential fun in one picture!
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EBmiataSOCAL
        I wonder if the E30s are hinting at what they're going for...a lightweight 4 cylinder RWD sports car. Maybe the idea is to make it the modern interpretation of the old M3.
      Smooth
      • 3 Years Ago
      Although this and the FR-S have been spotted testing for a while now, I'm glad they are STILL going through with them and not killing them. That being said, they both seem to be nice cars......although I would like an AWD option for the Subaru version just to stay in line with the rest of the brand and keep those of us in colder climates with snow happy in the winter :)
        Geoffrey Swenson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smooth
        It is highly unlikely that there will ever be and AWD version of this car. Both Subaru and Toyota have already stated that the engine placement has been optimized for a RWD car to provide very sporty handling. If you look at the photos, the engine is exactly where the front differential would be located in a AWD setup. The whole point of this car is to leave out the weight, cost, and fuel economy penalty of AWD and optimize the design for low roll center, excellent weight distribution. All of which will result in a very entertaining RWD car, which is what enthusiasts such as myself want. If you want an AWD car, buy one of the other Subarus. I'm sorry if RWD is an affront to your religion, but some of us actually prefer RWD. After driving FWD cars for several years I would really like to own an affordable RWD car again, and this one looks like it is the right size and the right price for me.
          Ernie Mccracken
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Geoffrey Swenson
          Nobody is saying it should be awd because awd is better, we are saying it should be because otherwise there is no point in both cars existing. They are the exact same car. People don't want badge engineering. Nobody has said anything negative about rwd. "I'm sorry if RWD is an affront to your religion, but some of us actually prefer RWD" who are you talking to? yourself?
          David Tyree
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Geoffrey Swenson
          Wow if I had to choose between an AWD and RWD version of this car it would wholly depend upon the climate where I lived. I own an 05' STi now and a 96 Miata, and I love both cars. Although honestly I do dream about a Miata sized car with the motor from the STi in it. I think it would also depend upon the handling dynamics of the RWD version - if it is twitchy or poorly balanced (which I doubt it would be) then AWD might make sense. Although if they put AWD and STi drive train in it, I am certain they would sell them like crazy.
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      No turbo, no awd, why do we need a Subaru version again?
        Timion Hjellum
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        To attract a new demographic market – For example: all residents of the city of Boulder, Colorado; and all female residents of up-state New York.
        Geoffrey Swenson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Becuz the Toyota version will probably both bland and ugly?
        Phontsolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Man, haven't you ever driven a car without turbo and awd that's still fun to drive? I have.... Do i want all these things in this car? Yes, but it doesn't mean it's going to be **** with out them.
      Sean
      • 3 Years Ago
      RWD > AWD deal with it
        sudo_do
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sean
        Also oranges>apples? I suppose it depends on who you ask.
      gen-_-tso
      • 3 Years Ago
      subie is incapable of making a good looking car
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      Forget the Subaru, I'll take one of those old M3's in the background.
      JK
      • 3 Years Ago
      No one is more dissapointed than Subaru salesmen that this beast is gonna be RWD. Maybe we'll change our tune once we are able to see/drive it, but I doubt it. At this point we are not too pleased.
        SethG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JK
        The only justification for Subaru to pursue this as a RWD car (other than CAFE numbers) would be if the car was truly extraordinary. And that's the problem. It won't be. Right off the bat, Scion will be offering essentially the same thing. Then you look at other competitors and wonder, will the BRZ be better than a Miata? A Mustang? A Genesis coupe? There isn't a lot of competition in this segment but that's because it's a small segment. Since Subaru is such a small manufacturer and all of it's brand awareness in the US is tied to AWD, I can't see the BRZ selling much at all.
        rsholland
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JK
        Agreed. I've spoken to a number of Subie sales people, and they hate it. The dealers are NOT looking forward to selling a non-AWD Subaru of any sort.
      Donald Sung
      • 3 Years Ago
      since they're not basing the sti on the impreza anymore, they need to put awd on this chassis and call it an sti
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Donald Sung
        Wait, what? The Impreza is going to keep using the STI. I don't know where you got it that the Impreza was going to lose the STI badge.
          fivesix7eight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          There's some truth to @Donald Shun's comment, if only just by a fractional margin. The WRX and STI would be separate from the Impreza line and lose the "Impreza WRX" or "Impreza WRX STI" nomenclature. You post so often on AB i'm surprised you missed this article: "Apart from a few nuts and bolts, every part on the WRX will be unique. Even the engine and body." From there, the source stated that while the WRX will use a version of the Impreza's platform, it will be "radically modified and significantly shortened." http://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/15/subaru-to-split-wrx-from-rest-of-impreza-line-make-it-smaller/
          drewpy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          word has is the wrx isn't going to be based on the impreza anymore....it'll be it's own beast.
      tranceporter
      • 3 Years Ago
      How can you tell this is the Subaru BRZ and not the FR-S? Granted they're the same platform but both test mules look identical to the T... http://www.autoblog.com/2011/05/16/spy-shots-scion-fr-s-caught-prepping-for-ring-runs/
        RudyH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tranceporter
        I was going to ask the EXACT same thing...the only thing I can think of is it was being chased by a Subaru WRX vs a Toyota Corolla or Matrix
      ericpittman
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like the Scion not the FT-86.
        flammablewater
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ericpittman
        They're the same. The final sheet metal for the Toyota & Scion versions will be identical. Only the BRZ will look different, and only slightly.
          drewpy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @flammablewater
          that would be lame
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      It looks like it's shaping up to be more cleanly styled than the overwrought Toyota version. I think the lack of AWD is only a marketing problem for now. The development time suggests this is going to be a perfectly balanced RWD coupe, fairly affordable, too. That guarantees it a spot on every enthusiast-on-a-budget's short list. This car won't be attracting the usual Vermonter Subie buyer. Dealers are going to have to be creative and work for these sales. Small, low-slung sport coupes aren't a Subie trait. The SVX wasn't marketed correctly, and the earlier XT was a FWD/AWD coupe, not a credible performance coupe. I'm not saying it's going to be a cake walk to sell these in traditional Subaru dealers, but the magazine press and word-of-mouth should ensure every one that is built will be sold quickly. If the handling/power ratio is off though, all bets are off. This car has to be practically perfect from the get-go.
        Thunderbuck
        • 3 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        You know, the lack of AWD might not hurt this thing too badly. I've been following this project with a lot of enthusiasm, but I'm disappointed that A) Toyota elected to market their version as a Scion and B) that their version is kind of... um, messy. The Sube looks like in terms of styling it might actually be more faithful to the original concept. It certainly looks cleaner.
          Klinkster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Thunderbuck
          I agree. This appears more like the original version we saw 18 months ago (which I prefer!). The Scion version seems more aggressive but less sleek. Which strikes me as odd...since Subie tends to kit up their cars, whereas Toyota tends not. Someone check to see if today is "opposite day". ;)
      NipponEngine
      • 3 Years Ago
      got a baby on the way, in the market for a 4-door, wish they would have spent this $$ on making the Impreza cool again
        JK
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NipponEngine
        The 2012 Impreza looks great and will achieve 36mpg with the CVT transmission. AWD and 36mpg's sounds pretty good to me. http://www.subaru.com/impreza/2012/index.html
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JK
          The 2012 Impreza looks too big and tame, and this is worsened by the CVT. At least the WRX and STI are reportedly based off of their own models and not this false Impreza.
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