Subaru BRZ Concept

Subaru has long been known for its all-wheel drive systems and unique boxer engines, but now the automaker’s first rear-wheel drive sports car is getting closer to production. The automaker announced Tuesday that a performance-tuned version of the upcoming Subaru BRZ will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.

“The first RWD Subaru, the production Subaru BRZ will begin production in spring 2012 as the only mass-produced front-engine, Boxer engine rear-wheel drive sports car in the world,” Subaru says in a press release. STI, Subaru’s performance division, has enhanced the BRZ slated for introduction with a carbon-fiber roof and a performance-tuned suspension.

So far, critics are impressed by the BRZ’s sleek look. “The photos released by Subaru show a very slick-looking sports coupe, with similarities to the Nissan 370Z and Hyundai Genesis Coupe,” writes CNET. “The BRZ comes from a collaboration between Subaru and Toyota. For Subaru, it represents a unique rear-wheel-drive car in its lineup, which is currently exclusively all-wheel drive.”

Subaru says that the BRZ will carry a 2.0-liter flat-four engine, but has yet to release detailed specs. However, detailed information has been leaked about Toyota’s version, the upcoming Scion FR-S.

Motor Trend reports, “The 2660-lb Scion FR-S will produce 197-hp and 151 lb-ft of torque from its Subaru-sourced 2.0-liter F-4.” Pricing has yet to be announced.

Shopping for an affordable sports car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.