The new Subaru BRZ is revealed with more power, new styling

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Subaru BRZ in blue against a mountain backdrop
Subaru BRZ in blue against a mountain backdrop
Subaru BRZ in blue against a mountain backdrop
Subaru BRZ in silver at a circuit
Subaru BRZ in silver at a circuit
Subaru BRZ in silver on a mountain road
Subaru BRZ in silver on a mountain road
Subaru BRZ in silver on a mountain road going sideways
Subaru BRZ interior looking at the seats
Subaru BRZ interior from the driver's view
Subaru BRZ interior from the side window
Subaru BRZ engine bay

Subaru have been the first to pull the covers off the much anticipated Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 co-developed platform. Looking a little more grown up yet no bigger in dimensions for the most part, the car looks decidedly as expected: sporty, stylish, a little more aggressive, and typically inoffensive. This is a sports car which needs to appeal to a wide audience after all.

There’s certainly a lot more going on in this new design than the previous and first impressions without seeing it in person are positive. Dare I say it, it almost looks Nissan Z car-like in places, which isn’t a bad thing. The whole design feels more decisive than before while introducing new elements, new lines.

This first release comes via the US, so specs may change when it hits Australian shores, while British fans miss out altogether and will need to wait for Toyota’s 86 replacement.

A new 2.4-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine mounted lower in the chassis continues the tradition of low mass centralisation with improvements in strengthening intake/exhaust efficiency and reducing friction to deliver 15% increase in torque with power up another 25hp over the previous gen.

Those crying out for more power be warned: that’s a slippery slope that never ends. Had Subaru thrown in a 300hp engine, chance are we’d still hear the same cries for more power.

It must be noted however, that there is a slight increase in weight as well (1,277kg), so those engine improvements are probably countering the increase somewhat. Despite that, Subaru have tried to keep the weight down by using aluminium for the roof, front fenders, and bonnet.

The BRZ wears 17-inch wheels (215/45R17) as standard and 18-inch (215/40R18) on the higher spec car which also benefits from Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

A lot of the handling improvements will most likely come through structural rigidity with a 60% increase in front lateral bending rigidity and a 50% increase in torsional stiffness. This provides options for engineers and suspension techs to deliver a more sophisticated ride and handling package.

With a virtually identical wheelbase the BRZ should retain the dynamics of the current car but with more adjustability and feel with the BRZ using MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs, stabiliser bar up front and double wishbone, coil springs, stabiliser bar for the rear.

The original Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 (which shares development), have often been criticised for their low rent interiors but there looks to be a lift in quality for the new car. It’s better, but there’s still quite a bit going on with circular shapes competing with rectangular shapes mashed closely together that creates a sense of unresolved fussiness. 

What you do get is a more modern 7-inch TFT interface and digital gauge cluster, an 8-inch SUBARU STARLINK™ multimedia infotainment system including standard smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Thankfully the car also retains important functions as buttons and dials.

It’s expected the car will arrive in Australia late 2021, possibly early 2022.

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