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Car Talk By Jack Biddle

Brent’s Subaru WRX - a cuddly tiger with controlled aggression

They say never poke a sleeping tiger as it can quickly turn from looking very placid, harmless and longing for a cuddle to something entirely different. A tiger woken from its slumber unexpectedly, can become very aggressive and an animal to be feared with its somewhat unpredictable and uncontrolled nature.

It’s a similar scenario with the latest Subaru WRX 2.4 litre Turbo ts. However, it’s more about enjoying the cuddles during the quiet moments and then taming the aggressive nature when given the wakeup prod to take advantage of its impressive 202kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

Local Whitianga resident Brent Willcocks took delivery of his brand new Subaru WRX, painted in a very rich World Rally Blue to reflect the brands long and successful rally heritage, in late November last year, and has travelled a grand total of just 300 kilometres since.

“I have for a number of years been very passionate about the Subaru badge and its legendary Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system amongst other attributes, but to have the opportunity to purchase this particular all-new model is pretty special and satisfying for me. It’s built on three decades of innovation and doesn’t just have one standout feature; the list is almost endless and quite mind-blowing,” says Brent.

Those features include face recognition for up to five different drivers, alerting them to keep their eyes on the road when distracted or when fatigue is detected. The driver personalisation mode is another cool feature which can automatically adjust to specific personal driver preferences including seat position, preferred door mirror angle, air conditioning settings and other instrument cluster displays once the pilot gets behind the controls. It also has a Drive Mode Select system which gives the driver the option of having control of the car’s sporty and more aggressive nature such as steering feel, throttle responsiveness and suspension dampers if they are that way inclined. It will only let the driver go so far however and will wind back the enthusiasm levels when it determines the boundary limits are being pushed a little too far.

It’s certainly a tiger of sorts with several quite different personalities. It can be driven very sedately around town by way of selecting one of three intelligent drive modes or taken to the race track to experience its full potential when let out of its cage. Safety is catered for by way of Subaru’s award winning EyeSight technology and basically acts as the driver’s second pair of eyes. Cameras mounted at the top of the windscreen are continuously scanning the road and immediate surroundings and will take action, without driver intervention, to help avoid potentially dangerous situations including pre-collision brake assist and speed sign recognition.

Brent knows his cars. He has spent over 45 years in the motor trade, many of which were on the tools carrying out service and repairs on the most popular makes and models on our roads. He currently holds the position of Sales Specialist, new and used vehicle sales, for Farmer Autovillage Coromandel, based in Abrahamson Drive. Brent, along with his wife Sue, was the former owner of the business when it operated as SubLab, a Subaru sales and service agent. That was in fact where his passion for the Subaru brand began.

The Subaru Corporation globally are certainly not dragging the chain when it comes to the electrification of their current and future suite of vehicles but have produced a stunning car ideally suited for those not quite ready to make the change just yet. The WRX Turbo ts is very much a vehicle that appeals to those car buffs, like Brent, who enjoy owning a true driver’s car loaded with the very latest technology and safety features. It also meets the current Euro6b emission standards.

“The WRX may be the last true internal combustion engine in production in a sports sedan or wagon for the Subaru Corporation and if that’s the case, the engineers have done a wonderful job of sending the model out in style. In my mind it’s the perfect package and will become a much sought after model in years to come. As the saying goes, they just don’t build ‘em like this anymore in my opinion,” adds Brent.

With only 300 kilometres on the clock, this particular tiger is getting lots of cuddles currently and staying dry but Brent fully intends to give it regular wakeup calls to experience its true all-round abilities and enjoy all the on-board innovation in the near future.

This is definitely one tiger that can’t be taught any new tricks.

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