The Subaru BRZ tS Isn't Quite the BRZ We Want

The Subaru BRZ tS Isn't Quite the BRZ We Want

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this is the Subaru BRZ TS and it's the BRZ we've always wanted to make it Subaru took the regular BRZ sports car and improved it with bigger wheels grippier tires stiffer suspension for better handling and bigger brakes it is essentially the perfect BRZ except [Music] except they didn't increase the power ever since the BRZ came out for the 2013 model year car enthusiasts have been
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insisting that it needs more grunt than you can get from its 2-liter four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and just over 150 pound feet of torque every article about this car addresses it all car journalists talk about it all enthusiasts know about it and then Subaru is making some updates to the BRZ and they're like hmm I wonder what we should do and that's where we get this car which I've borrowed from a viewer here in the San Diego area it's tuned for a sporty or driving experience than the regular BRZ it's limited to just 500
01:01
units in production and it has a wing on the back the size of patio furniture but it isn't the ultimate piste BRZ because up front you still have the same 205 horsepower 2-liter 4-cylinder you get in the regular BRZ this is like a BRZ with every single desirable factory performance modification except the one that really matters or does it really matter today I'm going to review the BRZ TS and I'm gonna find out first I'm going to poke around this thing and I'm gonna show you all the interesting
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quirks and cool features of the ultimate BRZ which by the way starts around 34,000 dollars with shipping then I'm gonna get it out on the road and drive it and then I'm going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the BRZ TS click the link below to visit autotrader.com slash oversteer where i'm also compiled a list of five other cars that I think desperately need more power now I'm gonna start on the outside of the BRZ TS will you'll notice a couple of interesting things starting up front where you have a different grill than the regular BRZ this one has a little
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red lip around it so it looks like this is wearing special TS lipstick and it says TS on the grill so you know this isn't a regular BRZ one other interesting item I like up front is the turn signals turn them on and it's these five blinking LED dots that makes it look like a more expensive car than it is I really actually like the look of those turn signals when it's on it next we move on to the front lip which is the first STI part in this car STI of course is Subarus in-house high performance tuning arm they make the WRX STI and in
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fact ts is supposed to stand for tuned by STI unfortunately we don't get any engine tuning we only get stuff like this front lip which has the STI logo on it to remind you that STI exists but you don't really get any power benefit out of it it's the same story up here with the brakes and the wheels this car has bigger brakes and wheels their regular BRZ it has these big Brembo brakes and it has 18-inch wheels which are pretty big for a car like this even the wheels have STI in the middle again reminding
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you of what you don't really get it's the same story with these sign skirts the TS has these special side skirts that the regular BRZ doesn't get they're black and at the very back they have the STI logo again reminding you you have some STI things on your car but not what you really want and it's the same story in back with the wing the wing as you can see is absolutely huge it is unique to the TS the regular BRZ obviously fortunately doesn't get a wing this big this thing could double as a bus bench or provide shelter for hurricane
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refugees anyway the wing says STI on either end and it would be the kind of thing that you'd imagine would go on a car with like 300 horsepower but I'm thinking it might be a little overkill on a car with 200 horsepower and like 150 pound feet of torque but maybe that's just me anyway continuing around back there a couple of other interesting things back here one is the fact that you get blacked-out badges only the TS models get that the regular BRZ has chrome looking badges this of course is far cooler you also get this little red lip
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along the bottom of the bumper and above the little diffuser and back another little piece of lipstick to distinguish your BRZ TS from a regular one a couple of other interesting lighting related items back here one is the turn signals in back they have the same sort of circle led shape as the ones in front and they look just as cool I personally think that's a really cool look for a car like this I also find this area to be kind of interesting this whole area below the bumper now there are two white lights on either side those are your reversing lights but maybe more interesting is the red light in the middle I believe that's the rear fog
04:45
light for the European market we don't really use rear fog lights in America so this car doesn't have one either way it's kind of a cool assembly back there I think some people turn that into kind of an aftermarket third or about a fourth brake light but it's kind of cool to look back there and see there's that little triangle at the bottom it almost makes it look like a race car next time moving on to the trunk now there are three ways to get in the trunk and a BRZ one is you can push a little button on the key fob the trunk pops open and you can open in another you push a little button in the drivers area the trunk pops open and you can open it the third is you just walk back around here and push a little release above the license plate and the trunk pops open
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now the interesting thing is if you give this card to a valet you'd want them to have access to the trunk you can stop that from happening there's a little button inside hidden in the trunk and the trunk liner if you push that button it completely disables the trunk from being opened by any of the methods that I already mentioned and that way if the valet has your car here she can't get into the trunk which is actually a pretty good idea the only problem is then undoing it since the button is in the trunk and now the trunk is locked the only way to open it again is to take the metal key out of the key fob and
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stick it in a little hidden key slot above the license plate that way you can pop the trunk open and put the button back into the normal position so you can open the trunk regularly next we move on to the interior of the BRZ STI where you're greeted by two more STI badges one is on the door sill it says STI and the logo but this isn't an STI then you turn on the car and it actually says STI in the gauge cluster in this little screen a little graphic comes across that says STI to me this is the death knell because this
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suggests there really never gonna make an STI version if they're putting it in the gauge cluster graphic this is as close as you're ever gonna get to a BRZ STI sorry folks the more power version one isn't coming next I'm moving on to the little coolant light that appears when you start the car when it's cold now this is a light that comes on in the gauge cluster and it first makes you think that something is wrong with the car it looks like a temperature light the car is overheating actually all Subarus have this it's just a cool light to let you know that the engine is still cold so don't go crazy and over rev it I haven't seen this in any other automaker
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but I think almost all Subarus have it when you first see it it's a little scary but it isn't supposed to be makes me move on to the interesting buttons and switches in this car I'm gonna start with the heated seat buttons which are among the most simple and practical I've ever seen they come with two lines one on top and one on the bottom if you want more heated seat you move the switch to the line on top which is fatter than the line on the bottom if you want less heated seat you move to the line on the bottom which is thinner it's supposed to be more and less and of course if you want no heated seat you just put it in
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the middle again simple and practical now next we move on to the buttons next to the heated seat switches and those turn off traction control on the left you have traction control off and on the right you have traction control off and track mode track mode is cool it's really more of a drift mode as it allows the rear wheels to break free and let you go sliding in case you want to drift around in your BRZ now the interesting thing is the button in the middle is blank it's just a blank switch but they have put four little dots in the corners of this blank switch to emphasize that it isn't just any blank switch in fact
07:50
it's a cool dotted blank switch our next interesting item in this car is the start/stop button I find it rather interesting it's placed in the center control stack and it's in this giant housing you have the button and then it's surrounded by this kind of chrome trim and then there's this big plastic housing around to really emphasize that start/stop enos now in the TS the start/stop button is red and the regular BRZ it's black so that's how you know you better now next up moving on to the door panel you can see in the door panel there isn't a pocket for storage it's not a large one anyway there is one
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that's perfectly sized for a water bottle and in fact there's one of those on the driver and on the passenger side so there are two cupholders in the door panels now interestingly there's also two cupholders in the center console so this rather tiny little sports car has four total cupholders which seems to me like overkill but maybe you want to have a lot of cups when you're driving one of these now next I want to talk about the seats and the interior in this car the seats are very nicely bolstered tight sport seats Alcantara centers they have red on the sides red stitching they look like good car sport seats not the kind
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of thing you'd expected a little four-cylinder kind of entry-level sports car same story with the door panels that Alcantara nice stitching they look really nice a lot of this car is sort of cheap simple durable plastic but some of the stuff that they change to make the TS actually it looks really good and I think in the end the interior of this car is a really respectable and nice place to be for a sports car especially at this price point now next up we move on to the gauge cluster and it is relatively straightforward but like I mentioned before there is a little screen in there and there are a couple of interesting things in that screen one of which is easy scroll through you will
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find a power and torque curve of horsepower and torque and it even shows per rpm where the power and torque is the weird thing is there's no legend it doesn't tell you how much power or torque you're making it just sort of shows these line graphs so for all you know could be a thousand horsepower in your BRZ or 65 other interesting items inside this gauge cluster screen there is a lap timer in there so if you want to take this thing on the track and I suspect a lot of people actually will you can time your laps yourself at the tap of a button on this steering wheel there's also a G meter so you can
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measure just how many G's you're pullin when you're driving around your subdivision or admittedly on the racetrack and also another interesting ID in the display that shows sort of car information like your trip odometer your fuel calm units or thing can also be set to show engine hours so if you want to see how many hours your BRZ has been running you can take a look at that incase you come to buy this car and you have more of a background in buying construction equipment than in cars next up we move on to the infotainment system there are a couple of interesting items here one is the rear camera time out function you can set it so with a
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reversing camera stays on even after you get out of reverse when you get back into gear the camera stays on and you can even set exactly how many seconds you want the camera to stay on for which seems odd to me you think there's anybody's like no I want it I don't want four seconds I want the camera stand for three seconds that's the sweet spot seems a little too configurable but you have that option in this car another interesting item if you go into sound settings you go into entertainment volume you can use this little slider to turn up the radio volume even though you can also just use the little dial to
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turn up the radio volume like in every other car I've never seen an option to turn up the entertainment volume inside like buried in a menu in the sound setting as before aside from those two quirks the infotainment system is honestly mostly pretty simple it's very small screen it's not a big screen like a modern luxury cars and that sort of thing and it doesn't really have all that much functionality it has a navigation system you can put apps on it Bluetooth but it doesn't have a lot of wowing incredible features basically it's simple to use it's easy but it isn't excessive it sort of like this car frankly but I wish I could say the same
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thing about the owner's manual the owner's manual hides in the glove box and it is insane it is absolutely massive the regular owner's manual is 568 pages in length 568 pages then the owner's manual for the infotainment system is another 216 pages the owner's manual for just the audio system which I would think would be covered in the infotainment manual it isn't this owners manual is
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another 93 pages by itself and then there's all sorts of other little leaflets and pamphlets and other manuals for other items warranty that you get with this car this is more owner's literature than the Maybach I reviewed and I am not exaggerating it's almost like Toyota and Subaru they got together make this car and they all wanted to put everything that they had ever learned into their owner's manual and supers like now we need this and Tory was like no we need this and the result is five 168 pages of owner's manual amazingly and perhaps hilariously the car also
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comes with a quick guide which is only 26 pages long so you have like 800 pages of literature but it kind of figure they can convince at all into a 26-page quick guide and a little pro tip for you if you get one of these this is really all you need one interesting item I will note in all of this literature is the TS models get their own little TS leaflet which kind of describes why they're special and it goes into all the cool features like the 18-inch wheels the retuned suspension the blacked-out badging limited to 500 units
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interestingly just like on the STI type RA it says here rear wing and STI aero package are shipped separately and intended for dealer installation prior to sales so theoretically this car arrives without the wing and without the Aero stuff on the side and the dealers put that on meaning you could theoretically have a BRZ TS without the crazy wing but it's so distinctive would you want that yeah if you're a reasonable person and finally unbelievably annoyingly actually this car has back seats despite its incredibly small size I forgot about this until I got in this thing
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today and I started going through the quirks and I realized I was gonna have to climb into the back seats as I always do for your amusement and so here goes I've moved the foot seat all the way forward already which makes it easy oh and now I'm back here and this really is one of the single tightest back seats in the entire car industry if you put the front seats back back I have no room and this is what the front seat all the way forward there's absolutely no way that you would ever want to spend any time in this back seat now you might be wondering what exactly is in the back
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seat in the answer of course is nothing because no one will ever be back here there aren't even air vents in the back seat super isn't even pretending people are gonna use this back seat it's just here for storage and maybe a small child and I say that because there are latch child seat anchors back here they're covered up by this little leather flap you lift it up and you can install a child seat back here although I imagine that would probably be the most cumbersome and difficult child seat installation process I could imagine and I hope no one ever has to go through that in their BRZ or FRS and so those
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the quirks and features of the BRZ TS ounce time to get it out on the road and see how it drives all right time to drive the BRZ it's been a while so I've been in one of these which is a shame because they're amazing it's just so good at corners but even like normal acceleration on a regular street it's just slow you know I just put up the NA in the ahta video you probably thought weeks ago but I just put it up and I was
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thinking about that car in this car and that cars slow but it's fine cuz it's eight grand in its 25 years old this car I'm flooring it the sprayer behind me is like just keeping up it's fun to use all the car and I enjoy cars where you use all the car I really do Boxster I really I really like I don't need a big powerful car I don't even 600 horsepower that stuff stupid overkill usually and I enjoy that I enjoy flooring it right there through a kind of a sweeper and and and you get a feel you know more
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car and that's cool but handling is so good it steers amazingly the car is dead flat and in this case I think the tires have helped considerably it's now got these Michelin's on here that are a lot more aggressive of a tire than a cup of the tires that are on the original BRZ they really help the car grip but it just isn't fast enough to really thrill me it's fun in it's fun around corners
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but here I am on sort of a long straightaway and I floored and I can feel that it's accelerating and it's not it's not like you know Hyundai Accent slow but it's not sports car fast and to me that's a that's a mistake well that said the car feels very planted very stable I mean the the body roll is almost non-existent the car is wide and low and so body roll is very controlled it has every sensation that you would want it to have when you're going around
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a corner it feels like a pure sports car the kind that isn't really made anymore in today's world in a pursuit of power above all things and I can see it I don't want this car to be overpowered because I think that would kill sort of the the thing that makes this car special is is that it's like a purist sports car however it is currently under power and I kind of think that Subaru and Toyota in making this car sort of hide behind oh well it's a purist sports car it's not supposed to be powerful well fine but can you at least make it like except ibly fast I mean this isn't
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this isn't enough one question I'll expect to get is can you daily drive this car the TS specifically and I think the answer is yes frankly to me it doesn't actually feel a lot harsher than a regular BRZ or FRS I do you think it feels a little bit grippier and a little bit more kind of stable and planted than the regular I feel like I have a little bit more confidence in this car and I'm sure that's all due to the wing and it really the car is very rewarding the seats feel
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very comfortable they grip you well but not so tight that they feel like they're pinching you like the seats in a gt3 they just feel good comfortable to sit on they have enough support it feels nice the clutch doesn't feel as smooth as I would want I've always kind of felt that way about the BRZ and the FRS it's just it's got it's got some little bit of a kink to it and also it's a little heavier than you want from a car with this power and the sized engine I mean this is the this is it this would be a great car to take out on corners I'm disappointed that there's not a
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convertible version I think like a BRZ roadster would be just a blast around corners it's just so flat and so perfect and so good but then you come out of the corner and you floor it to kind of get out and there's just nothing it would be like an s2000 if VTEC never kicked in and then the s2000 you know that's kind of a meme but VTEC does kick it in the s2000 and it feels fast when you get up at 7000 rpm this thing unfortunately never really has that feeling it's like they'll just left something on a table it's it's just not there and so that's
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the BRZ TS this is a great car the best BRZ a fantastic sports car if all you're doing is going through turns it's like how people used to make fun of American muscle cars that there were a lot of fun in a straight line until you had to turn well this thing is a lot of fun in turns until you hit a straight line and then you'll be accelerating and just wishing it had more power I love this car I love the chassis I love the driving dynamics but Subaru has let down enthusiasts by not making an STI version of this car
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with a power boost and so this is the ultimate BRZ almost and now it's time to give it a dug score starting with the weekend categories and styling the BRZ is fine nothing more it gets a 6 out of 10 acceleration is of course weak it does 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds which makes it one of the slowest sports cars on the market and it gets a 3 out of 10 handling is very sure very sharp but it gets an 8 out of 10 which ties cars like the new Acura NSX in the Mercedes AMG GT the beer Z's chassis is just wonderfully balanced the
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steering feel is excellent and it deserves it fun factor however is dulled by the low power and it gets a 6 out of 10 cool factor is only average as these have gotten very common and only BRZ geeks will get excited about the TS model it gets a 5 out of 10 for a total weekend score of 28 out of 50 next up with the daily categories starting with features the BRZ TS is fine but nothing special and it gets a 5 out of 10 comfort is also fine the ride is a bit harsh and nothing is pledged but it's very livable and it gets a 5 out of 10 quality is good reliability is strong
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and while the interior isn't gorgeous the TS makes some nice upgrades over the base model it gets a 7 out of 10 practicality is not so great cargo space is low even for a car like this and while 4 seats are helpful they're so small they don't do much and it gets a 3 out of 10 finally there's value this is a fun car on a great sports car but it's also 34 grand for about a hundred and fifty pound feet of torque and I can't give that anything better than a 6 out of 10 for a total daily score of 26 out of 50 add it up and the dug score is 54
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out of 100 which places it here against rivals it's more fun and more practical than the 124 Abarth suggesting it might beat out the Indy Miata but I'd still rather have a WRX STI a Focus RS or a Golf R all of which are faster more practical nicer inside barely worth to drive and not that much more expensive the BRZ TS is a good car but it's held back from being a great one [Music] one other interesting item I like up front is the turn signals turn them on
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and it's these five blinking LED dots five blinking LED dots five blinking five five five

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