Subaru has moved the seats a few millimeters closer to each other and lower to the floor. The hip point is actually lower than the center of gravity, which makes you feel like part of the vehicle’s chassis when strapped in. It has 50% more torsional rigidity and 60% more lateral rigidity, making for an aggressive handling/ride balance and quick changes of direction. So quick, in fact, your pilot got a little woozy on the muggy New England day.
The base tires are Michelin Primacy measuring 215/45 R17. The upgraded Limited trim comes with lower profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber measuring 215/40 R18. We’ll note that on the way out to the track, another driver bent two of those bigger wheels on one side after diving through a pothole. However, we’d still have no problem daily driving this, even on rough midwestern roads.
The suspension setup is the same as last year, with independent MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar in front, along with double wishbones and another stabilizer bar in the rear. Weight balance is 53/47 front to rear.
In our first autocross event, the BRZ would slide to our heart’s content, but we’ll note that even in track mode with the traction control off, if you push the angle too far, the nannies still step in to save you. The best portion of the track featured an uphill hairpin turn, which allowed for super slow speed, super smoky drifts. As much as we like sticky tires, this car is decidedly more fun with the Primacy rubber.
On the full Lime Rock course, we did use BRZ with the stickier tires, and on some of those 75-mph, flat-out corners we appreciated the extra rubber. There wasn’t a ton of road feel in the steering wheel, but because we felt so connected to the chassis we could tell when the car was about to slip.