We should all be thankful for accessible performance cars, like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86. That duo, alongside the Miata, are the poster children for attainable, sub-$30K thrills. If you happen to live in Japan, however, you have even more reason to be thankful. Toyota and Subaru run a one-make racing series in their domestic market called the GR86/BRZ Cup, and both companies offer stripped-down, race-ready versions of their rear-wheel drive coupes direct from the factory. Subaru’s just released details on its version — the BRZ Cup Car Basic — and frankly now I’m just jealous, offended and a little hurt.
Look, I have a strong belief that all cheap performance cars look better on steelies. And I know that’s not hard to rectify, as I have with the winter set of tires I use for my Fiesta ST. But there is something remarkably honest and wholesome about the idea that you can buy a GR86 or BRZ in Japan that rolls off the line looking like this:
Especially when it has an interior that looks like this:
Yes, the BRZ Cup Car Basic comes with a roll cage pre-installed from the factory, along with eye bolts for six-point belts and an oil cooler. As it’s focused on motorsport, lots of interior material that’s irrelevant to racing has been removed, though it’s hard to tell because the steering wheel blocks a significant part of the dash in the lone image provided.
The side and seat airbags have supposedly been deleted, as has the sound deadening. Subaru warns (via Google Translate, as will become immediately clear) that the “Cup Car Basic is mounted on the premise of a competition race, so please be aware that there may be inconveniences compared to standard cars such as ride quality, maneuverability, comfort, getting on and off and quietness.”
All true, though it’s funny that the disclaimer entirely glosses over the fact that you ain’t so much as schlepping groceries in this thing without a helmet, unless you want to live life on the edge with the cranial equivalent of a Tullock Spike. Then again, Subaru says the Cup Car still manages to seat four despite the cage’s presence, so maybe that’s exactly what the company expects. The family that tracks together stays together.
The Cup Car Basic costs 3,338,500 yen including a 10 percent consumption tax. That translates to $28,890. The GR86 starts at $28,705 including destination, while the cheapest BRZ you can buy here in the States is $28,990. (Brief aside: Our northern neighbors have the privilege of saving $4,500 on the BRZ for reasons I’ll never understand. Next time I visit Canada I expect everyone to be driving a BRZ. If they’re not, something’s gravely wrong.)
Anyway, the upshot of this is that Japanese buyers can pick up a race-ready BRZ for essentially the same price as a normal one, with a roll cage already in its proper place and a league to race it in. And that’s really cool! The BRZ Cup Car Basic joins Jalopnik’s favorite, elite class of vehicles: base-ass base versions.