Sunday, June 17, 2012

Future Classic

The BRZ (and its twin sister, the Scion FR-S) fits in a price/power/handling slot that few other cars occupy -- at least cars that are sold today.  The MINI Cooper S specs out similarly, but is taller and more luxury-oriented.  The Mazda Miata is closer in spirit, but is a roadster only.  The BRZ harkens back to a time when small and light sports coupes were popular -- think 240SX, Honda Prelude, Toyota Celica, and early Mazda RX-7.  But the BRZ would drive circles around most of those.  This car is destined to be a classic.

" keys!"
We picked up our Mach V BRZ from Dulles Motorcars in Leesburg, Virginia.  The buying experience was pleasant -- thanks, Gary! -- and we didn't feel beat up on the price.  (We hear some dealerships are charging a "market adjustment" because of the high demand for this car.)  We wanted a Limited model, which comes with leather/alcantara seating and a rear wing, and we wanted a white car.  We like white cars because they are easy to keep clean, they photograph well, and the color goes nicely with any wheels, decals, or other cosmetic mods we want to do.  By now it's become a tradition at Mach V -- nearly all our shop cars have been white.

We were expecting to wait several months for our car, but we got a call a couple of weeks ago that a customer had backed out on a pre-order car, and it matched our specs.  It was getting several port-installed options that we didn't really want -- we sell wheel locks here at the shop, so it doesn't make sense for us to buy them with our new car -- but we could have the car much sooner, so we took it.

Over the next few days I drove the car a couple hundred miles, including freeway driving, stop-and-go commuting, and a pleasant country drive out to Summit Point Raceway.  It was enough time to fall in love.  This is a GREAT car.  The handling is like nothing I've driven recently.  I'm taken back to the first time I drove a Miata.  I also think of the second-generation Honda CRX.  Those cars were just so perfect as a package -- light, nimble, confidence-inspiring.  This car has that quality.  You feel like you could place it perfectly at any apex.  The willingness to change direction is a breath of fresh air.  It's really hard to overstate how good it feels.  I've driven lots of modern sporty cars, and most all of them feel dull and numb compared to this.  After finishing one section of twisty road, I wanted to go back and drive it again.

A lot of our customers have expressed dismay about how little power the car has.  It's true, 200 hp (and even more so, 150 lb-ft of torque) is pretty low these days.  This car is no stoplight warrior.  But it feels like plenty of motivation when the roads get twisty, and the back end WILL step out, especially in low-speed corners.

We were a little surprised to see the OEM tire choice was a Michelin Primacy HP.  Haven't we seen that tire somewhere before?  Oh yes, it was on our friend's Toyota Prius.  So, yeah, not the grippiest tire in the world.  That's okay, though.  We took them off the car with less than 30 miles on them.  More on the wheel/tire swap in our next blog post.

There's a saying on some of the car forums, that "Miata" is the answer to any question relating to "What car should I get?" With the debut of the BRZ, I think that is going to change.  This car is absolutely made for road race and autocross use.  (Heck, you can fit a full set of race tires in the back, as some of the press guys have pointed out.)  And after a few years go by and the cars get cheap, I will guarantee they will be a preferred platform for drifters.

Some day in the future, I'll be telling my grandkids about the time I got to own and drive the legendary BRZ -- a classic for all time.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see Mach V still in action! I loved your online store back when I had an 05' STi. Sadly my love for Subaru's kind of died when the 08's showed up and I discovered VW/Porsche! I was also quite let down with the interior design of this car when I sat in it at the Auto Show but I have yet to drive it. Regardless, this is a very well written post and I'm looking forward to staying up to date on the progress of this car. It's definitely a dream for most tuners. :)