Motorcross master, rally champion, and stuntman extraordinaire turned NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana drops in on dose for his first interview since becoming a dad. During a friendly game of mini golf with Timbo Travis talks about the excitement of fatherhood, the new challenges of NASCAR, and the upcoming Nitro Circus Live US Tour, which he’s really excited about—and you should be, too!
Subaru, the automotive division of Fuji Heavy Industries , is on a terrific growth trajectory. It’s eyeing 1 million vehicles in annual sales in the not-too-distant future, and it’s all happening in the U.S. In the last five years, the U.S. has become Subaru’s largest hunting ground, and sales have exploded. Its cars are so spacious and inherently American that people joke that the new Outbacks will not fit in a Japanese parking garage.
The 2013 Global RallyCross schedule makes its second to last stop of the season this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s dirt track facility – with 15 of the best rallycross racers in the world lining up to do battle including some new(ish) faces and some old faces in new cars.
For the last four years in a row, Subaru has experienced incredible sales growth including record sales of 336,441 units in 2012. This trend is all but guaranteed to continue this year with 281,652 on the books so far, but Automotive News is reporting the automaker has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
As a budget sports car, the BRZ can be a little uncompromising sometimes. Around the uneven freeways and potholed roads of Los Angeles, daily commuting in the little Subaru requires a willingness to be jostled around. The price paid for little body roll and that glued-to-the-asphalt feel on Southern California’s best back roads is a pretty firm ride around town. Living with the car week to week and month to month, I’ve gotten used to the way it rides and even put it out of mind. But getting back into the BRZ after a few days spent in a more supple sedan orcan be a little eye-opening. For those looking for a true sports car, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker at all — it wouldn’t be for me.
Subaru is the fastest-growing auto brand in the U.S. Why? Love. Yes, it’s the brand’s tag line, but Subaru does have huge brand loyalty, strong equity, desirable product, and a good ad agency in Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch.
With a digital guru leading its marketing, Subaru spends 25 percent of its marketing budget on the Internet and social media, up from 15 percent two years ago, and it’s paying off. In the past two years, Internet leads have quadrupled and the closing ratio, the percentage of leads that result in sales, has jumped 50 percent.
Focusing its sponsorship support on two areas – rallying and Ironman – Subaru has carved out an identity. Craig notes the company has been involved with the Ironman badge for more than two decades, and it has grown along with the sport. The course was covered in Subaru signage; Craig smiled as each competitor crossed the finish line sporting a Subaru logo on his or her chest. Temporary Subaru tattoos were as common as the real ink many participants sported.
Tough safety standards have made modern cars better able to protect occupants in a crash. But a new crash test rolled out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has made it harder for automakers to win a top safety ranking. However, Honda, Subaru and Volvo did especially well in the new test.
The “frontal small overlap” test which approximates just 25 percent of the vehicle front hitting another car, a tree or a pole, was especially tough for compact crossover SUVs. Of the 13 2013 and 2014 models tested, only the 2014 Subaru Forester got the top “good” rating. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport got the second-level “acceptable” rating. Several other popular crossovers — including the Ford Escape, BMW X1 and Hyundai Tucson — got marginal or poor ratings. The Honda CR-V also got a marginal rating — Honda’s only poor performance on this test.
Subaru who is one of the world’s most progressive automakers, and on the move around the globe, has just revealed a world’s-first for handicapped drivers. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru automobiles in Japan revealed a 2014 Forester with the first-ever innovative “Wing Seat” for handicap drivers.
Scott’s Comment: We’ve come a long way.. I owned a 79 DL station wagon (same body style as this) for about a year and a half that I eventually sold to a buddy for $300.00. Truly rusty but trusty at that point, the driver’s foot well filled with water every time it was wet due to a hole in the front wheel well. But it went through everything I could throw at it and then some. It had character..now considering that these were in the neighborhood of $5 to $6K new, they haven’t depreciated too much over 35 years now, have they?
Old Subarus of every stripe are a little more common in places where Subaru sold a lot of them — most notably the Pacific Northwest and in Colorado, where I live. Nevertheless, rust has killed most of the older ones. Imagine my surprise when I found one hidden on the back lot at Super Rupair, Boulder, Colorado’s thriving independent, you guessed it, Subaru repair shop. I didn’t spot it myself, but stumbled across it on an online forum and figured that since it was in my own backyard, I’d better go have a look.
Comment: The current BRZ is superlative..are there words to describe the car at 280 HP? I just wonder what the price point for this variant would be.
Despite consistently denying that such an official project is in the works, a turbocharged version of Subaru’s BRZ sportscar will likely be ready for production by the 2014 model year. According to reports, not only is the project in its advanced development stages, but it was done entirely in-house by Subaru without any input from Toyota (with which it developed the car originally). In other words, Toyota and Scion shouldn’t be looking forward to the release of the BRZ STI, previewed by the concept car pictured here.
Comment: After having a chance to be up close and personal with the BRZ for a little while now, I think this article pretty much sums it up..the car is a hoot. I get to go to the BRZ ride and drive at the end of March to have the factory guys officially tell me this, but I think it is something we already know.
Take a moment and mentally process all of the hype surrounding the launch of the 2013 Subaru BRZ. Go on, I’ll wait. Now take that hype and dial it back to 80 percent. That’s how good the Subaru BRZ is. It’s not the second coming or the messiah for performance driving — it’s not perfect — but it is quite good.
The B in BRZ should stand for “balanced” because that’s exactly what Subaru’s new rear drive coupe is. This car is all about balance with a near 50-50 weight distribution between its front and rear axles and a low center of gravity that is helped in part by its engine configuration, but is mostly due to the BRZ’s purpose-built sports coupe design. This is no repurposed and hotted up econobox; it’s a bona fide sports car.
Comment: The All Wheel Drive system that is currently being utilized in the 2.0i and 2.5i series was first introduced in 1987. The system has been coninually refined and improved since then. This article is a good little commentary on the systems currently in place with a little history thrown in for good measure.
Back in 1972 in Japan, Fuji Heavy Industries and its Subaru car brand launched their first passenger vehicle equipped with all-wheel drive. Little did they know that four decades later, the system employed by the Leone Estate Van 4WD would largely define the brand and the majority of its models.
All-wheel drive back then was a rudimentary technology. But even so, it was highly effective in providing much needed traction in a variety of environments and climates. Together with Subaru’s now-iconic flat-type engines, all-wheel drive dramatically improved grip in performance situations as well.