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Subaru BRZ Track Tested Against Alpine A110, They’re Pretty Close

Like in any other place in the world, the Alpine A110 is a rarefied breed in Japan. Not only that, but the retail price of 7.9 million yen makes the French berlinette more than double the cost of the Subaru BRZ STI Sport, which starts at 3.6 million yen.
Subaru BRZ STI Sport and Alpine A110 Pure track test 16 photos
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The two lightweight sports cars, however, couldn’t be more different. At 1,103 kilograms (2,432 pounds), the Alpine is considerably lighter than the Japanese yardstick. Under the hood, the front-engined BRZ STI Sport packs a four-cylinder boxer with natural aspiration while the mid-engine A110 has a turbo inline-four engine.

From the ground up, however, both models were developed with one specific target. That is to be as fun to drive as possible, and in that regard, even the entry-level A110 Pure scores pretty high in this episode of Hot Version by Best MOTORing.

As you can tell, one of the test drivers is none other than Keiichi Tsuchiya, also known as the Drift King. Not only did Keiichi serve as inspiration for the Initial D manga and anime franchise, but the Japanese racing driver has also worked as a stuntman and stunt coordinator on The Fast and the Furious franchise’s Tokyo Drift movie.

Both the A110 Pure and BRZ STI Sport were tested at a temperature of 6 degrees Celsius in dry conditions at the Nikko Circuit in Japan, a motorsport facility with a track length of 1,027 meters and a width that ranges from 10 to 15 meters. There’s no denying Nikko is a tad short by European and American standards, but then again, the track’s configuration is perfect for handling-oriented machines like these two here.

First out on the blacktop, the Subaru impresses in pretty much every area except for the engine’s torque. Not only do you have to rev that 2.0-liter boxer like crazy but you’re treated to only 156 pound-feet (212 Nm) of torque. The Alpine has 236 pound-feet (320 Nm) from 2,000 rpm and the dual-clutch transmission is also better for track driving.

Still, the naysayers have been proven wrong by Keiichi, who proves that the BRZ can drift like nobody’s business without touching the handbrake. Because of the front-engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, the BRZ also scores high in terms of car control.

However, you’ll be surprised to see how close the A110 gets by the end of the 17-minute video. Spoiler alert: both test drivers love the French interloper.

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