What If Subaru Built a Dirt-Slinging BRZ Wilderness?
Automakers use concept cars to drive conversations forward, float new ideas, and gauge consumer expectations. We use renders, like these, to similarly explore ideas that might not make sense in the real world. Sometimes our creations are a little tongue-in-cheek, but in this case, we’re earnest about wanting Subaru to build this beast: a BRZ Wilderness, jacked up and ready to get crossed up in the dirt. You can argue there isn’t a good business case to build such a model, but it’s hard to argue a BRZ Wilderness wouldn’t be fun.
And why would the company avoid the inevitable? After all, Subaru built its reputation for ruggedness in the dirt, with decades of rally experience honing its performance all-wheel-drive system to a sharp point. The Subaru BRZ is a purely rear-drive affair, with a premium placed on precision handling rather than absolute grip, but that hasn’t stopped it from dipping its tires in rally competition. Toyota Motorsport GmbH even got FIA approval to run the Europan GT86 CS-R3 race car in the previously front-wheel-drive-only R3 class not too long age. Not to mention all the lower-level rally and rallycross events in which a BRZ or GR 86 would be a ton of fun to compete in. We know already from driving its mechanical twin—the 2022 Toyota GR 86—the new BRZ is sure to be much better than its predecessor, too.
Factor in Subaru’s (arguably late) entry into the even more rugged variant game. The Subaru Outback Wilderness shows the company’s finally taken notice of how much attention its wagon-like crossover gets from the aftermarket, so it built a factory-back Outback to appeal to this set of consumers. The extra street cred the Outback Wilderness gets due to its unique styling and increased capability are just cherries on top. A Forester Wilderness is on its way for 2022, too (it’s probably one of the most poorly kept secrets in recent automotive history).
Subaru isn’t likely to develop a BRZ Wilderness. That said, it certainly could. The chassis can take the punishment, the rally bona fides are there (as are the parts to lift and protect), and it would be fun—really fun—to slide around on a dirt road or snowy expanse. Jacking it up and putting big knobby tires on it would certainly alter its handling characteristics, but if you’re concerned about that, just get the regular BRZ that’s due at dealers seemingly any day now. After all, there are plenty of street-driven WRXs running Forester take-off or aftermarket suspensions that do just that. And guess what? They’re a hoot to hoon.
Consider this an ask of Subaru. We’re in a golden age of sporty cars right now, with the revised BRZ and GR 86 right up there with the always excellent Mazda MX-5 Miata and the new 2023 Nissan Z. There’s room to have some fun with the genre. Build one, even if it’s just a drivable concept. And if you do, throw us the keys. We’d be happy to see how our fantasy stacks up in the real world.
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