In the early days of car racing, rear-wheel drive was taken for granted. It made it possible for Tazio Nuvolari to "invent" the four-wheel drift. The legendary Italian driver would enter a bend and then power the rear end around.
Other drivers had to virtually stop for tight bends. Soon all racers were doing versions of the Nuvolari drift.
Later, amateurs such as myself were doing the drift on the gravel country roads of Canada. Meanwhile, drifting was becoming a sport in Japan.
In the late 1950s we saw our first front-wheel drive, a Citroen.
Over decades, front-wheel drive became popular for medium-priced cars, while luxury cars kept to rear-wheel drive.
Nowadays, it is unusual to see a medium-priced car with rear-wheel drive.
One rare example is the Subaru BRZ, now available in Hong Kong, a unique rear-wheel drive sports car featuring the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine.
Designed from the ground up, the BRZ brings to the world a pure sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure.
The name BRZ stands for Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive, Zenith, which embodies Subaru's passion to design and develop an ultimate sports car that features their core technology - the Boxer engine.
Developed as a joint project between Subaru and Toyota Motor, the BRZ realizes both manufacturers' ambitions to offer a wide range of customers a pure sports car.
Powering the BRZ is a newly developed FA engine.
Making full use of the design concept of Subaru's new-generation Boxer engine, the FA engine is highly efficient with superior output and environmental friendliness.
This is the first engine of its kind to combine Toyota's direct and port fuel injection technology, with Subaru's new-generation Boxer engine, enhancing the car's responsiveness and fuel efficiency.
It also features an advanced electronic system - Vehicle Stability Control - which monitors braking, steering and cornering to help drivers from losing control as they push the BRZ to its limits.
Motoring editor Roger Boschman has been in Hong Kong since 1974 and has raced his own car on Macau's Guia Circuit.