“Touge” is a Japanese word that means “Mountain Pass”. Apart from the literal translation, this word embodies an entire philosophy that, since the 80’s, represents the passion for driving on the narrow and twisty mountain roads of the land of the Rising Sun. 73 percent of Japan’s landmass is mountainous, so, living in a country where the best roads snake like ramen noodles over drastic elevation changes, you’re going to want to drive a certain type of car.
Touge racing is also often associated with drifting and requires a high level of skill and precision due to the technical nature of the roads. It gained popularity long before social media, especially through various movies and video games. Most of the legendary Japanese sports cars, such as the Nissan Gtr, Toyota Celica, Mazda MX5, were all built for the same reason, simple and pure driving pleasure on those amazing roads..
To celebrate, once again, this philosophy, Subaru Italy decided to build a limited edition of the BRZ with only 60 cars, based on the new 2023 model.
As you already know, we love the BRZ, having tested it on many occasions, from Lapland to Switzerland and Slovenia, and we’ll never be tired of it.
The BRZ was developed as part of a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, and the first-generation hit the scene a decade ago. For the second-gen BRZ and GR86, Subaru took the lead on the engineering, and it builds both models at its factory in Japan. Really, choosing between the pair is as much about personal preference than anything.
The recipe remains the same, as does the engine. The new BRZ uses the 2.4 Liters Flat-4, now with more horsepower and torque peak available at lower rpms. While some still complain about the lack of a turbocharger, we still think it doesn’t need one. The BRZ is just perfect as is. It’s not about crazy power, it’s all about balance and old style driving pleasure. While the new model is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission, Subaru claims that roughly 70 percent of BRZ customers choose to operate the clutch with their own feet.
In 2023, if you are looking for a naturally aspirated, rear wheel drive and manual car, you don’t have many alternatives and once again, the Rising sun is indeed the country which has provided the right answers to those enthusiasts looking for fun on a budget.
Subaru Italy decided to create a limited edition fine-tuned with some interesting accessories that makes it even more unique and enjoyable. The “Touge” Limited Edition is available only with the iconic “Blue Pearl” livery, paired to the gold finished OZ “Racing Ultraleggera” wheels. The car is fitted with a Supersprint exhaust that adds a little bit of character to the soundtrack. The interior is also enriched by numeros “STI” details.
It’s mid December and we are on top of one of the few mountain Passes (of course) of the Italian Alps which is open all year round, connecting italy to Austria.
Everything about the BRZ is predictable, and this is what makes it so rewarding. In these tight mountain roads, it might not be crazy fast, but it is absolutely in its element, handling like a champ. It’s small, low to the ground and since you’re not trying to work between twenty different drives mode, you can just focus on the road, pushing it harder and harder knowing it will deliver consistent performance and extreme fun. If you disable traction control, the BRZ can easily hold controllable drifts, with the communicative steering and linear power delivery through the throttle letting you experience the next level of the “Touge” experience.
The Brz is the kind of car you don’t mind driving through the grocery store on a rainy day, because you already know that there’s a spacious roundabout at the end of the block.
There are no electrically adjustable settings, no drive modes, no paddles, you just get in and drive. If it’s on a Mountain Pass or on normal roads it doesn’t matter, pure driving is the only thing that matters.