Revealed: New Subaru BRZ gets bigger engine, no turbo

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Words: Matthew Hansen
19 Nov 2020

One of the motoring world’s big ‘will they, won’t they’ questions of the last few years has been confirmed overnight; the next-gen Subaru BRZ (and we expect therefore the Toyota 86 as well) will continue to be naturally aspirated — skipping over forced induction.

Revealed solely in its Subaru guise, the compact sports car gets Subaru’s 2.4-litre flat four, producing 171kW of power and 249Nm of torque. That’s a healthy bump over the last car, and in theory should tide over those who’ve yelled from the sidelines that the platform should have more power.

While Subaru hasn’t quite given those people the turbocharger they wanted, they have listened in other ways. For example peak torque now arrives at 3700rpm, directly negating the ‘torque dip’ owners noted in the last model. Peak power, meanwhile, arrives at 7000rpm with redline following at 7500rpm. So yes, this is still a singing highly strung four.

As you’d expect, lightness and stiffness are things Subaru placed at the forefront. This new BRZ tips the scales at 1300kg, thanks to things like the use of aluminum for the roof, front wings, and bonnet. The new engine allows for a lower centre of gravity than the last model. And a new chassis mounting system means a 50 per cent improvement in torsional stiffness.

Those who loved the last car’s silly love for slides may be slightly disappointed that the new BRZ will come with very sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber. Drivers get a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Looks-wise, the BRZ clearly has a few Toyota and Lexus influences drizzled over its panel work. The vents behind the front wheel are pure Lexus, as are the sills that follow. Overall it looks to be quite a resolved design — one less likely to divide the audience than that of the Nissan Proto Z, for example.

Inside the dashboard layout has changed completely; a hefty Subaru Starlink touchscreen in the centre setting the tone for a rather driver-focused format. The instrumentation behind the steering wheel is now digital, thanks to a new seven-inch screen in the binnacle. As with most other performance cars fitted with this feature, the screen is configurable, so you can make it show anything from a tachometer, to a g-meter, to your water temperature.

America gets the new BRZ in the third quarter of 2021, with markets like New Zealand’s set to follow afterwards. Now, we wait for Toyota to reveal their version.

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