Can our car of the year...
Hmm, didn’t you drive another tuned Toyota GT 86 recently?
No, that was a Subaru BRZ. Totally different. It was supercharged for one thing and this one’s turbocharged.
This isn't quite a competitor to the Mercedes CLS. Just as well really, given how late it is to that particular party. Instead it's bigger and more expensive - into Panamera territory. This makes it subtly grander than the Benz. (Well it would be subtle if this particular one wasn't trimmed in the optional dazzling white and queasy brown. Other decors are available.)
First of all, let’s solve the mystery of the name. BRZ stands for Boxer, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith. That’s pretty clear isn’t it? Well, the first two parts are, and as for Zenith, that’s just Subaru’s way of saying this is the best it can do. Personally I think Subaru Zenith has more of a ring to it than Subaru BRZ which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly a dynamic name.
For a supercar, being fast and grippy isn't enough, is it? A simple ability to cover the ground rapidly is no longer a USP. You can get that in a saloon. We don't hear anyone accusing four_doors like the M5 or E63 AMG of being ‘a bit slow from A to B'.
It would be easy to dismiss the single-seat BAC Mono as another garage-build special, another ‘racecar for the road' from a British start-up company, with a supercar-crushing power-to-weight ratio and a chassis constructed from bits of old washing machine and blind hope.
On the face of it, the RS 3 is impervious to criticism. It's got 335bhp backed up by an immense torque spread, spectacular grip and traction, Audi's epic interior quality, a practical five-door hatchback body, decent economy if you don't thrash it, and even a comparatively generous equipment list. What could possibly go wrong?