2022 Subaru BRZ: how fast is fast enough?

The new and improved BRZ posted some impressive figures during PCOTY testing but some still argue that it's not a sports car. We look at the evidence

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Park a factory-fresh turbocharged Nissan S15 Silvia/200SX and a post-1997 Honda NSX with the larger 3.2-litre C32B V6 next to a 2022 Subaru BRZ, and we’re guessing you’d have some preconceived ideas as to which one is ‘the slow one’.

It’s the Subaru, right? Of course it is. It’s a low-powered naturally-aspirated boxer-four packed with modern technology, and the other two are stripped-back bona-fide sports car icons – according to the digital zeitgeist. Reality, however, isn’t so cut and dry.

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You know by now that the improved 2022 Subaru BRZ, MOTOR’s recently-crowned sub-$100k Sports Car of the Year, draws a further 22kW and 38Nm from its enlarged 2.4-litre FA24 engine.

A grand total of 174kW/250Nm may not threaten to spin the bearings off a chassis dynamometer but the little blue bolt produced some very respectable results throughout the week of PCOTY testing.

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Its 0-100km/h time of 6.21-seconds eclipsed the more powerful 180kW Mk8 Golf GTI, BMW 128ti as well as the 206kW Focus ST.

Keep on running, and the BRZ will reach the 400m marker in 14.24-seconds, a tenth of a second ahead of the trio of turbocharged front-driving hot hatches.

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That’s good goings when compared with its turbocharged contemporaries, but things look even more remarkable when measured against those sporting heroes of yore.

Its 0-100km/h sprint of 6.2-seconds bests the 6.9-seconds MOTOR extracted from the SR20DET-powered 200SX that won the PCOTY title in 2001. And its 400m dash measures identical to the post-facelift Honda NSX we tested back in 2002.

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Of course, progress is a given with 20 years passing in the interim, but there’s a lingering sentiment amongst some vocal enthusiasts that the Subaru BRZ, despite its dynamic delicacies, isn’t quick enough to garner the sports car tag.

It’s quicker than an S15 from 0-100km/h, as fast as an NSX over the quarter-mile and its 1286kg kerb weight renders it lighter than both.

Not fast enough to be a sports car? Tell us why in the comments below.

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