Thursday, December 6, 2012

UPDATED: The Wait is Over: Subaru BRZ is in the Philippines

Hot on the heels of their 59 percent growth rate year-on-year, Motor Image Pilipinas, the country’s official distributor of Subaru automobiles has finally declared that “the wait is over” as they pulled the wraps off their much awaited, much anticipated Subaru BRZ sports car just last night in an edgy, young launch party for owners and media.

With a cheeky allusion to the frustration faced by those waiting in line for their Toyota 86 (which is incidentally a twin of the Subaru BRZ), Motor Image Pilipinas General Manager Mike Luyun has revealed that 10 BRZs have already been delivered to owners with an additional shipment that just left Japan at the night of the launch. Apparently, because of Subaru’s already hot stable of performance cars such as the WRX STI, they seem more capable in handling and managing market expectations (and waiting cues). There are no special tricks to get a BRZ. You want one? They’ll sell it to you at list price and at a promised date. No more, no less.

And just look at the car you’re getting. Designed and manufactured under collaboration between Subaru and Toyota, the Subaru BRZ is defined by the concept of “pure handling delight”, and this in turn is further defined by five major characteristics: power, lowest possible center of gravity, light-weight and highly rigid body, advanced in-car electronic system, and elegant design with excellent aerodynamics.

At the heart of the Subaru BRZ is Subaru’s newly developed FA20 engine which delivers a nice, even 100 horsepower per liter of displacement (200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 205 Nm from 6,400-6,600 rpm). This new generation of Subaru’s trademark “boxer” engine is highly efficient with superior output and environmental friendliness. This is also Subaru’s first engine to use direct and port injected fuel injection technology (D-4S).

Aside from the engine, the BRZ benefits from world-class handling because of its low center of gravity. Its center of gravity actually rivals that of a modern Ferrari or Porsche because each and every element of the car is designed around this characteristic from the exterior design, seating position, and the placement of the drivetrain components. Plus, the lightweight and highly-rigid chassis makes the BRZ one solid and precise machine.

For those confused on what makes the Subaru BRZ different from its Toyota sibling aside from the name, here’s a guide:
    • Headlight is squarer and less pointy than the 86’s. The LED park lights are square shaped too.
    • The front bumper is much more angular and actually shows a bit of the crash structure near the fog lamp area (bet you didn’t notice).
    • The side vent (where the 86 logo is located in the Toyota) is now covered with a faux cooling vent.
    • The gauges is lit in red (no white on black/black on white stuff here).
    • Of course, the steering wheel has the Star of Pleiades stamped on it.
    • The interior features a satin-like plastic paneling instead of carbon fiber print (although the window switches still contain the aforementioned carbon fiber print).
    • Suspension is tuned more for “grip” handling rather than “drift”.
    • The exhaust note is tuned to bring the unique boxer note more.
    • Sadly, the oddly-sized 1-CD stereo is still present.

      Motor Image Pilipinas is now selling the Subaru BRZ through all their dealerships in two variants: a 6-speed MT and a 6-speed AT. And surprisingly, the price is the same whether you’re opting for the stick shift or the slush box: P 1,928,000. It’s a good P 278,000 more than the similarly equipped Toyota 86 but there’s no better joy in owning the version the engineers actually worked (as opposed to just the coffers).

      UPDATE: Here's the official press release and some launch from the folks at Motor Image Pilipinas.

      Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru in the Philippines, today launched the BRZ, a unique rear-wheel drive sports car featuring the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine.  Designed from the ground-up, the BRZ brings to the world a pure sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure.

      “There has been mounting anticipation for the BRZ since it received outstanding reviews at the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show late last year,” says Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director of Tan Chong International Limited. “With a low centre of gravity, a sleek and sexy look and a newly developed engine, we are thrilled to be able to present the BRZ. I am confident that the BRZ will deliver a driving experience that will surpass all expectations, in line with our pure handling delight philosophy. For those who have long anticipated the arrival of the BRZ to take our shores, the wait is finally over!”, he added.

      The name BRZ stands for Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith, which embodies Subaru’s passion to design and develop an ultimate sports car that features their core technology, the Boxer engine. Developed as a joint-project between Subaru and Toyota Motor Corporation, the BRZ realises both manufacturers’ ambitions to offer a wide range of customers a pure sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure.

      The product concept of the BRZ centres around “pure handling delight”. Specifically designed as a fun sports car that provides the ultimate driving pleasure, the new BRZ is defined by five characteristics:
      • Power, courtesy of the unique Horizontally-Opposed Subaru Boxer engine
      • Lowest possible centre of gravity
      • Lightweight and highly rigid body
      • Advanced in-car electronic system for vehicle stability control
      • Elegant design with excellent aerodynamic performance
      Powering the BRZ is a newly developed FA engine. Making full use of the design concept of Subaru’s new generation Boxer engine, the newly developed FA engine is highly efficient with superior output and environmental friendliness. This is the first engine of its kind to combine Toyota’s direct and port fuel injection technology, with Subaru’s new generation Boxer engine, enhancing the car’s responsiveness and fuel efficiency.

      With an inherently low centre of gravity, the BRZ is capable of delivering a new level of handling precision.  This was achieved by carefully integrating every single element of the car, which includes the streamlined exterior design, roofline, seat positioning and the flat, Horizontally-Opposed engine design.

      The BRZ’s lightweight and highly rigid body is built with high-tensile steel to reduce weight, while making the chassis solid and precise.

      It also features an advanced electronic system ‘Vehicle Stability Control’, which monitors braking, steering and  cornering  to help drivers from losing control as they push the BRZ to its limits.

      The shape of the car has been specifically designed to optimise airflow and aerodynamic performance, yet retaining an elegant and stylish look. Clever interior design paves the way for exceptional views from all angles, giving drivers greater command over their surroundings. Other creature comforts of the BRZ include keyless access with push button start, dual zone automatic air-conditioning and paddle shifters. A pure sports car, the BRZ is bound to turn heads wherever it goes.

      For more information about Subaru and its range of products, please visit


      1. Nice.. Which would you buy, the BRZ or the 86?

        1. Given that I know what I'll pay for my sports car (no hidden fees) and knowing when it arrive, I'd go for the Subaru BRZ. Besides, I'm sure Motor Image is more capable to service this kind of car.