12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Subaru BRZ - Track Tires

By Phil Floraday - July 25, 2013
2013 Subaru Brz With Tires
Long-Term 2013 Subaru BRZ Update - SUMMER 2013 (3 OF 3)
Before the 2013 Subaru BRZ even went on sale, Internet commenters insisted that it should have a turbocharger and sportier tires. However, a turbo or a set of ultrasticky summer tires could easily upset the delicate balance between grip and power that makes the BRZ so much fun on regular roads. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible (although not necessarily easy) to load a second set of wheels and tires into the BRZ for track days. Jackpot.
We called Tire Rack, Automobile Magazine’s official wheel and tire supplier, to order a set of track rubber for our Four Seasons BRZ. After consulting with product information specialist Woody Rogers, we decided on a set of 225/45R-17 BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires and 17-x-7.5-inch Sparco Assetto Gara wheels; total cost $1768. They weigh 39.8 pounds per corner, a 1.8-pound savings over the stock 17-x-7.0-inch wheels and 215/45R-17 Michelin Primacy HP tires.
Next, we booked track time at GingerMan Raceway and loaded up the Vbox. Our test driver, Marc Noordeloos, recorded a 1:45.39 lap on the 1.88-mile track with the stock tires. He was surprised: “As long as you respect the Michelin tires and don’t overdrive the car, it’s amazing how well they perform.” Rear wheel-drive novices would be well served to stick with the stock rubber until their driving skills improve.
Then we bolted on the BFGoodrich tires and went out for another set of laps. Even before learning his lap times, Noordeloos proclaimed that the track tires transform the car. His 1:38.95 lap clearly illustrates that point. The only issue was that, although the Subaru’s chassis didn’t mind the extra grip, the brakes were quickly outmatched. After only a few laps with R-compound tires, the stock brakes were smoking.
Anyone looking for big bang-for-your-buck improvements for their Subaru BRZ should upgrade the brakes before considering a set of wheels and tires for track days. The BRZ doesn’t need more power.
Body style 2-door coupe
Accommodation 4 passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.) $26,265
Price As tested $26,265
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-Lock 35.4 ft
Turning circle 35.4 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Control arm, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented disc
Wheels 17-in aluminum
Tires Michelin Primacy HP
Tire size 215/45WR-17
Engine 16-valve DOHC flat-four
Displacement 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
Power 200 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque 151 lb-ft @ 6400 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Rear-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 22/30/25 (city/hwy/combined)
Headroom F/R 40.3/39.7 in
Legroom F/R 41.9/29.9 in
Shoulder room F/R 53.1/45.3 in
Wheelbase 101.2 in
Track F/R 59.8/60.6 in
L x W x H 166.7 x 69.9 x 50.6 in
Passenger capacity 76.5 cu ft
Cargo capacity 6.9 cu ft
Weight 2762 lb
Weight dist. F/R xx/xx%
Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
Est. fuel range 330 miles
Fuel grade 93 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Bluetooth Air conditioning Variable intermittent windshield wipers Cruise control Tilt-and-telescopic steering column Power windows, locks, and exterior mirrors Sport front seats Height-adjustable driver's seat SiriusXM satellite radio w/trial subscription HID headlights USB port Navigation Sport-tuned suspension Limited-slip differential Stability control
None

Long-Term 2013 Subaru BRZ Reviews to Date:

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