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.