Subaru and Toyota may have collaborated on the twins but sit behind the BRZ's wheel and it smells and sounds like a Subaru. No surprise really, given the car is built by Subaru and the 2.0-litre boxer engine is the same as in an Impreza, albeit capped with at Toyota-derived cylinder head and direct fuel injection.
The engine redlines at 7400rpm and most of the accelerative action takes place not far off that. Peak power kicks in at 7000rpm; maximum torque is just 400rpm below that.
The high-spirited engine favours a manual gearbox to keep it spinning up where it provides a solid shove in the back. The six-speed auto is OK but it's primarily for those who have bought the BRZ for its style rather than its substance.
Learn to work with the BRZ's strengths and this two-door coupe is a delight. It is sluggish off the mark by sports car standards but once under way, few can match its nimbleness, thanks to the light weight and quick-revving flat four.
This is all about the drive, from the direct steering to the lift-off oversteer that demands commitment to a corner. Serious drivers will replace the tyres, given they're the first thing to let go when the going gets serious. Even the regular rubber encourages high corner speeds and the natural chassis balance means it is easy to bring the car back into line.
The driving position is brilliant, the gearshift falls directly to hand and the display - rightly dominated by a tachometer - is clear and easy to read. That's the best bit about the interior. The downside is dated tech: old-school radio, no standard satnav and Bluetooth that rates as an antique.
You have to pay an extra $1500 to match the 86 GTS's colour touchscreen satnav as well as premium heated sports seats. Forget about the rear seats. As with most 2+2 sports cars, the rear pews are primarily there to store luggage, especially as the uncovered full-size spare occupies a large area of the boot.
Forgive it the sins of a spartan interior and the BRZ is still a loveable larrikin with the inherent characteristics to keep a motoring enthusiast smiling. Not the quickest kid on the block but one of the cheekiest.