Some of the Subaru faithful are up in arms over the automaker's decision to go with a rear-wheel-drive setup for the upcoming BRZ. Why did the engineers opt to send power out back when they could have utilized the company's signature symmetrical all-wheel-drive system? You would expect the answer to lie firmly on the backs of Toyota, which is the other half of this joint venture. MotorAuthority looked into it, and according to them, that's not exactly the case.

Toyota has been adamant that a rear-wheel drive sports car was to be the ultimate product of this sports coupe joint-venture. More surprisingly, Subaru officials say they were interested in creating just such a vehicle from the very beginning. To hear them tell it, they aren't just all-wheel drive experts. Subaru produces front-wheel drive vehicles for markets outside of the States, and rear-wheel drive allows them to show off just how far Subaru engineers can push handling and traction levels regardless of which wheels drive the car.

Be it the front wheels, rear wheels or all four wheels, Subaru engineers are clearly eager to prove that they're accomplished at making grippy cars. So... do you buy the explanation, or do you think it's just spin? More importantly, do you think a RWD Subaru is a good idea? Have your say in Comments.


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  • 112 Comments
      Smooth
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm just happy they're making a sporty coupe (can never have enough of those) so them choosing RWD for whatever reason they want to is fine with me. It could've been ZWD for all I care. Just keep the price down and the looks/performance up and I'm a happy camper :)
      Ratieya
      • 3 Years Ago
      People that think RWD=unsafe and AWD=safe probably won't be looking for a small coupe aimed at enthusiasts. And Subaru used to sell 2WD cars in the U.S., my uncle has an old FWD Legacy. I think it will work just fine.
      Baur Murza
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really dont see why people are so content with the rwd from subaru. the AWD principle only applies to the US. Here in Europe you see compact subaru cars that are fwd. I own a subaru impreza and I'm very interested in this coupe. With the sports models, subaru has been criticized for its understeer and weight compared to the perspective competition, plus they havent been the most fuel friendly (yes its a sports car i know, but youre not going to drive it hard all the time). so with this RWD theyre cutting down on weight with the front differential which would increase fuel economy because ur not putting power on all for wheels, and plus the essence of a sports car is rwd. theyre not going for the exotic mid engine awd car. a simple couple rwd turbo sounds perfect to me from subaru, maybe this would be as good as the 22B.
      roadrunner
      • 3 Years Ago
      awd, rwd, it doesnt matter just release the damn thing
      SurfWRaX
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's spin, but I don't think the people that will buy this are going to drive it up Titus Canyon so who cares? Those that want to drive in snow and dirt have plenty of options in the 'buru line.
      BC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Apparently Subaru fans can't remember longer than 15 years ago--Subaru was a FWD car builder that decided to add optional AWD, because as with Audi, it was fairly cheap and easy to do with a longitudinal-engine FWD layout. As a fringe brand in the US, they later decided for marketing purposes that it would be distinctive to offer an all-AWD-only lineup, and it eventually helped their sales. But they still sell FWD cars elsewhere. What's interesting about the BRZ isn't that it's not AWD, it's that it is RWD.
        The T
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BC
        Just a clarification, even 15 years ago, Subaru sold primarily AWD vehicles and very few FWD vehicles. Subaru axed FWD so that they could stand for something with their marketing message.
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BC
        15 years is an eternity in the marketplace, and the fact that Subaru has gone that long without breaking their AWD-only policy is amazing.
      Phontsolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't care what it is just as long as it's fun to drive and handles great.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think both the versions are what each car company needs. The WRX is almost in a class by itself with very little competition, and Toyota has nothing sporty to brag about. I mourned the Supra, and cursed it when it became too expensive. I hope there is a rebirth of RWD cars with sporty intentions, there are too few.
      Joe
      • 3 Years Ago
      Guys, don't you think the RWD move was for better mileage? Subie would defenitely be interested in exploring this area more (Iike the splendid boxer diesel) with the restrictions rising. Also, lets not forget that this is a D4-D equipped boxer. Like many told before, the project is to bring an affordable, fun, light, easily modifiable platform and atleast when they sell them, they need to sound efficient to cross the CAFE rules! That said, Toyota owns 8% of Subaru and maybe they had a better hand in the decision making.
      Matt Talbot
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll comment on whether it was a bad idea or not once I drive it. I drive an 05 STi now. If they build a great driver's car then I don't really care if it's RWD or AWD. As someone mentioned, AWD could have helped them differentiate it from the Toyota in the marketplace, but the brand image of Toyota vs Subaru might do that alone.
      jamiescale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cuz they wanted to offer essentially the same car as Toyota/Scion with little differentiation other than looks? I would've thought by them adding AWD they could bring a unique alternative to the Scion variant, but then they'd be overlapping the WRX somewhat so I guess RWD makes semi-sense.....So it'll mostly boil down to styling between the FT and BRZ as to which dealership gets the most sales.
      Drakkon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good news. I think this car was designed to be tunable from the beginning. I think this car will be what Hyundai was hoping the Genesis coupe would be. I think the Gen is a great car, but people don't 'feel' Hyundai. People feel Subaru. It'll be a winner. Too bad the drifting scene is waning in the social psyche. This would have been perfect 4-5 years ago.
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