Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 win Wheels COTY

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The sports car sensations of 2012, the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86, have added yet another trophy to an already bulging cabinet by being named the joint winners of the 2012 Wheels Car of the Year.

The almost identical twins edged out a strong field of 35 contenders in the 50th running of the Wheels magazine COTY, including the Holden Volt, Mazda CX-5, Audi Q3 and Honda Civic hatch.

The critically acclaimed BRZ/86 had between them already taken out several international awards this year as well as local accolades, including the People's Choice award for Best Performance Car Under $100,000.

Built at the same Subaru manufacturing plant in Gunma, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 share the same 147kW 2.0-litre boxer engine and six-speed gearbox, with only minor changes to suspension and aesthetics.

"Seldom do joint projects produce something remarkable like this," said Wheels editor Stephen Corby.

In particular the magazine praised the vehicles' affordability and driver involvement.

"Never before has pure driving pleasure been so accessible. Affordable, remarkably rewarding to drive, efficient and safe, the collaboration between Toyota and Subaru left the competition behind and drove – with just a dab of oppo – onto the Wheels COTY podium."

Subaru Australia said the prestigious award for the Subaru-designed and developed cars highlighted the Japanese car maker's engineering expertise.

"This win is testament to the fantastic engineering skills of Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles,” said Subaru Australia's Managing Director, Nick Senior.

"BRZ has captured motoring enthusiasts' attention in every market in which it has been launched and has received multiple awards worldwide, with the general impression being that it offers one of the most thrilling drives around at a fraction of the cost of its sports car competitors.

"It’s amazing value and fantastic fun and that’s the reason we’re sold out well into next year," he said.


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