The second generation Subaru BRZ gains muscle, both visually and mechanically.
Subaru presents the second generation BRZ coupe, which will take over from the current model launched in 2012. The new coupe, developed in collaboration with Toyota like its predecessor, the Toyota GT86, retains the silhouette of its predecessor by far.
In its North American configuration, the first presented, the new BRZ is about 3cm longer and 1cm lower than the previous one with a wheelbase enlarged by 0.5cm. Its rear track has been widened. The car rests on 17 or 18 inch rims depending on the finish.
However, the design evolution is notable with almond-shaped front lights, a lowered and wider hexagonal grille and rear headlights overhanging the fenders on a stern that can evoke the current Honda NSX. These fenders are more curved to give the car a more muscular look with the reduced glass surface.
The BRZ’s aerodynamics have been the subject of particular attention. The combination of front air intakes, extractors placed behind the front wings and sculpted side sills create a support on the latter. The flat end of the rear fenders, somewhat reminiscent of the Lexus RC, and the trunk spoiler also serve to manage airflow. There’s also a discreet double boss on the roof.
The mechanics are also getting stronger
On the engine side, the BRZ remains faithful to the 100% gasoline naturally aspirated four-cylinder flatbed engine. Equipped with Toyota’s direct injection system, it has a displacement of 2.4L compared to 2L previously. It sends 231hp and 249Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox (automatic gearbox optional), i.e. 31hp and 44Nm more than the current European model.
With an even lower center of gravity thanks to an aluminum roof, hood and front fenders, the new BRZ still weighs a mere six kilograms, with 1,277kg announced unladen, compared to 1,269kg previously according to U.S. standards (1,243kg currently in Europe). Subaru announces a stiffer structure. Performance figures remain to be seen.
The BRZ’s cabin retains a relatively classic sporty look, but is being modernized with the arrival of a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, part of the display of which is configurable. The 8-inch center infotainment screen is still integrated into the console; Subaru says it has improved visibility by playing with the shape and positioning of the hood, dashboard and windshield pillars. Driver and front passenger enjoy wrap-around seating while the two small rear seats can be folded down, providing enough room to carry, say, four tires for a Subaru racetrack session, according to Subaru.
The end of the BRZ in Europe?
The new Subaru BRZ will go on sale in the United States in early fall 2021. Nothing has been said about a possible European version, because according to the latest news, Subaru has no plans to launch its new sports car on the Old Continent. The increasingly stringent environmental standards of the EU could explain this choice.
One hope remains for Europeans on the side of Toyota, which is preparing the replacement for the GT86 and benefits from low average CO2 emissions thanks to its largely hybrid lineup, which allows us to take advantage of the GR Yaris in particular.