SWP BRZ mountain road

The BRZ and FR-S don’t need more power

A recently published report says that sales of the GT86 have been disappointing in Europe. According to Toyota’s European Vice President of Research and Development, Gerald Killman, this is what’s holding back the evolution of the GT86 and FR-S in the States. Jalopnik editor, Doug Demuro, thinks the only way for the car to sell better is to give it more power. I disagree.

The BRZ and FR-S were never designed to be barn burners when it came to power. 200 horsepower these days isn’t much. A Honda Accord V6 comes with 278 hp and a Camry V6 comes with 268 hp. These family sedans can whip the BRZ and FR-S off the line. But that’s missing the point entirely.

BRZ Redwood Road

Handling and lightness are why you buy the BRZ and FR-S. Yes, you can get more power buying a Mustang or even a Hyundai Genesis Coupe but they won’t handle anywhere as well as the BRZ or FR-S. Those unimpressed with “The Twins” probably haven’t driven the car on a winding road.

200 horsepower may not be a lot, but it’s just enough to keep me out of trouble. Limited horsepower means I have to drive quickly and efficiently. The BRZ and FR-S are what I call “momentum cars.” Brake late, turn in, and get on the throttle early to maintain speed out of a corner. More powerful cars are more forgiving of mistakes because you can make up time on the straights.

Subaru BRZ Thunderhill track day header


Let’s be honest, we’re not all track junkies. More horsepower would be nice, but for the road, the BRZ and FR-S are powerful enough. You can drive flat out and still stay under the speed limit. This is what I love about the car. It’s eager and responsive.

I don’t care that the guy in the Mustang next to me wants to race. He’s going to win. He knows it. I know it. But I don’t care. I’m all smiles.


2 thoughts on “The BRZ and FR-S don’t need more power”

  1. Totally agree with this article and your opinion, as an owner of a Mazda MX5, anything light, 50-50, low CG just equates to amazing grip in all conditions! Hell, my friend who’s more of a Holden (chevy), Ford sorta person was so amazed with the grip even he was impressed.

    I literally have a blast chucking my cars around the bends, even when the rear end kicks loose, it’s so controllable it’s not even funny.

    A 2.0l is more than enough. Provides the kick and thrills I’m looking for and not to mention the fuel consumption is amazing.

    I really couldn’t ask for more.

    Great site btw, love the audio/car related articles, exact same passion.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Rodger! I love that I have to wring out the power from the 2.0L boxer. Makes driving the BRZ engaging. Having just the right amount of power is teaching me a lot about momentum driving (late braking, subtle movements) to keep my speed up.

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