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Frankfurt show: Subaru names rear-drive coupe BRZ

Bright and BReeZy: Subaru’s Frankfurt show car is likely to be a development of the transparent concept first unveiled at Geneva in March.

Subaru reveals BRZ name for RWD boxer coupe as Frankfurt concept draws near

23 Aug 2011

SUBARU has revealed that its forthcoming rear-drive coupe developed with Toyota will be called the BRZ and shown as a “technology concept”– titled BRZ Prologue: Boxer sports car architecture II – at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

GoAuto understands the Frankfurt concept will be a development of the transparent-skinned chassis and drivetrain first exhibited at Geneva in March, with the finished product to be unveiled at Tokyo in December before production begins in the northern spring of 2012.

Subaru’s Australian outpost is still deciding whether it will import the BRZ, taking into consideration marketing, pricing and, crucially, whether it conflicts with the brand’s exclusively all-wheel-drive ethos Down Under.

Finally putting an end to years of the sportscar being dubbed ‘Toyobaru’ or ‘Subarota’, Subaru has beaten technology partner Toyota to officially naming its version of the sportscar, which has so far been referred to as FT-86 but is likely to reach showrooms wearing 86 badges.

2 center imageLeft: Screenshot from Subaru's BRZ teaser website. Middle: The new sportscar's logo. Bottom: Transparent concept from Geneva.

Standing for Boxer Rear-wheel drive Zenith, the latter part of the BRZ’s name is likely to be a reference to the celestial-themed Subaru logo, which would be consistent with previous Subaru sportscars that in some markets were named Alcyone after the brightest star in the Pleiades constellation on which the brand’s logo is based.

Subaru says the name “embodies ultimate passion for the new sportscar and confidence in its distinctive trademark and core technology”.

Unlike the BRZ, Toyota’s latter-day Celica – which appeared in concept form at the Melbourne show in July – is confirmed for Australia.

As GoAuto has reported, the BRZ previewed at Geneva was 348mm shorter than the Impreza WRX sedan and 25mm narrower.

Dressed in a clear acrylic skin, the exhibit revealed a low-slung, naturally aspirated 2.0-litre direct-injection version of Subaru’s third-generation flat-four ‘boxer’ engine along with the rear-drive transmission and suspension components.

No power or performance figures were quoted but European reports suggest an output of 149kW, a substantial 39kW up on the current second-generation 2.0-litre engine fitted to the Impreza and 13kW more than the Forester’s new 2.5-litre engine – owing to the addition of Toyota-developed direct fuel injection.

A turbocharged variant delivering a WRX-like 194kW is also rumoured.

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