It’s all about power-to-weight and in a lot of ways the dealership training is true.
When Subaru announced a new, faster BRZ was on the way, I’m sure a lot of Subaru salesman rejoiced. For 10 years, they sold enough BRZs to justify its existence despite engineers deciding this sports car needed just 205 HP. Fresh new selling points!
So, imagine their disappointment when Subaru revealed this new one was getting 23 more HP. From 205 to 228. Whoop-dee-do.
Now, according to a dealership training slide that leaked from Subaru of Irvine, it looks like the strategists-that-be have a solution. Focus on the power-to-weight ratio!
As one commenter on the social media page I borrowed this from put it,
“Tell me you have a slow car without telling me you have a slow car.”
Here’s the slide in question.
As this slide hints at when BRZ shoppers come into a Subaru dealership, invariably horsepower figures come up and comparisons between the BRZ against the similarly priced entry-level Mustang and Camaro are thrown around.
Is the Subaru BRZ really slow-slow? It depends.
Power to weight is just what the ratio says, the ratio of a cars power compared to its weight.
The $28,000 Subaru BRZ with 228 HP and 2815 pounds has a power-to-weight ratio of .080 hp/lb or 12.5 pounds per HP. 0-60 MPH is around 6.1 seconds.
To give you an idea of where that 12.5 pounds per HP lands in the pantheon of modern cars, here’s a handy chart I “borrowed” from Grassroots Motorsports that should give you an idea how relatively fast the BRZ is.
As you can see, slower performance cars have ratios around 15 while serious sports cars are less than 10.
Going back to those two pony cars, the $25,000 Camaro LE with the 2.0T has 275 HP and weighs around 3627 pounds giving this bow-tie entry level ‘maro a power-to-weight ratio of 13.3, worse than the BRZ. 0-60 MPH is around 5.4 seconds.
The $27,000 Ecoboost Mustang has 310 HP and weighs 3532 pounds which means a power-to-weight ratio of 11.4. Extremely good. 0-60 MPH is a blazing 5.1 seconds.
You and I know that, given a technical road course, even though the BRZ only has 228 HP, the BRZs handling dynamics and decent power-to-weight ratio might have this naturally aspirated Subaru besting those turbocharged pony cars.
Then again, for numbers being thrown around at a Subaru dealership parking lot, 310>275>228. To some BRZ buyers in that 20 and under demo, that’s all that matters.