Our new BRZ, the Albino Rhino is officially broken in!!!! Now this is where the fun begins. I did a fresh oil change before I was able to take it out for a true test drive, and once that was done, I was able to finally get a true feeling for what this car can do. I decided to get away from work and from the city and found a winding road that whips it way up one of our many local mountains. Taking it easy at first I was able to feel the suspension on the rough roads, even though it does feel stiff, you get the impression that the tires never want to leave contact with the road, it just feels so incredible planted and stable. I found a few fast corners that looked like they would just be a ton of fun, so I went past those corners, checked for any traffic, and once I knew I was in the clear I headed heavy footed for the corner, a bit nervous but excited to see how this car did in the fast sweepers. All of my nervousness was instantly replaced with a giant smile, which quickly turned into some type of giddy laughter as I realized I could have easily done another 20-25 MPH through the corner.
The grip you get out of this car is unbelievable, and to think it is riding on Prius tires makes you scratch you head in confusion, as the grip feels like something you would get out of a much more aggressive tire. Also the corner was not particularly smooth, and I was amazed with how well the suspension soaked up the rough bumps and kept the tire gripping to the road like they were made out of glue. Next I wanted to have a bit more fun with the car, which means getting that rear end to step out. I continued down the canyon, perhaps a bit quicker than I should have, but it is so hard to resist the speed when the car just encourages you to go faster, I almost feel like if you did not drive it hard, it would make fun of you on facebook or something, calling you slow and dimwitted. As I value my facebook image I made sure I would show this car I was not your average sissy driver and found a few series of tight corners that I could really test the car on. Approaching these corners, again very nervous as you just never know how a new car is going to react, I was a bit cautious, but as soon as I turned in and mashed the gas in 2nd gear, the rear end comes out in a very controlled and very predictable manner, and as soon as I let off the gas, the rear end snapped back into place. To get the rear end to really come out on you, and stay out, you are going to have to put in some effort, the natural tendency is for the rear to snap back into place, which I think is just fantastic having driven too many RWD cars that always want to snap oversteer on you, leading you going backwards into the nearest ditch or tree. I do need some more practice with this, but after a few quick tail slides, this car just inspires confidence and makes you feel like a drift king. Now I am not talking about getting the car sideways at 90 degrees, as I just don’t have the huevos for that(don’t tell the BRZ that, I can hear it firing up the computer already), but just those fun little power slides that you can easily do powering out of a sharp corner, and this car is the king of that for sure. With everything being so tight and together on the car, you can feel what the front end is doing and exactly what the rear end is doing as well, so it is hard to not have confidence and know the car will easily pull you out of the slide without having to call the insurance company. One thing I did not really touch on in this review was the power. With the engine finally broken in I was able to take it to redline, and luckily I did not have any unrealistic expectations that the engine would turn into this high revving beast, as it just is not. Now I am not saying the power is bad in anyway, as you can easily get this car up and moving quicker than you would ever need, so we’re just going to call the power levels adequate and leave it at that.
All around this car appeals to me more and more every time I drive it. I often can find questionable situations to put this car in which would embarrass other cars, and this one just seems to excel all while leaving you with white knuckles and a huge ear to ear grin. You can create whole new levels of fun by just dodging around man hole covers, paint stripes etc.. It reminds me of the first sport bike I ever road, it just feels so nimble that you can’t help but to test it out by purposefully avoiding every little thing on the road…”I am sorry officer, it is brand new, so I just needed to make sure those..umm.. pebbles on the road would not hurt my tires”. Just remember to be safe and have fun!