Automotive

Subaru unveils all-new 2022 BRZ sports car as a purist’s dream

Subaru unveils all-new 2022 BR...
The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ gets 23 more horsepower, better chassis rigidity, and a lower center of gravity without changing the core focus of the sports car
The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ gets 23 more horsepower, better chassis rigidity, and a lower center of gravity without changing the core focus of the sports car
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Continuing with the past, the 2022 Subaru BRZ will be offered in both Premium and Limited trim levels, though we expect that special editions will be a regular event as well
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Continuing with the past, the 2022 Subaru BRZ will be offered in both Premium and Limited trim levels, though we expect that special editions will be a regular event as well
The rear design of the 2022 Subaru BRZ keeps the fastback clip of the previous-gen, but adds a slightly wider, fatter look for a bigger rear haunch
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The rear design of the 2022 Subaru BRZ keeps the fastback clip of the previous-gen, but adds a slightly wider, fatter look for a bigger rear haunch
For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) traction and stability system offers the driver five different settings
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For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) traction and stability system in the 2022 Subaru BRZ offers the driver five different settings
Production of the Subaru BRZ will be at Subaru’s Gunma, Japan assembly plant
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Production of the Subaru BRZ will be at Subaru’s Gunma, Japan assembly plant
The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ gets 23 more horsepower, better chassis rigidity, and a lower center of gravity without changing the core focus of the sports car
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The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ gets 23 more horsepower, better chassis rigidity, and a lower center of gravity without changing the core focus of the sports car
The 2.4-liter engine in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is the same as what's found in several Subaru products, though without a turbocharger
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The 2.4-liter engine in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is the same as what's found in several Subaru products, though without a turbocharger
The "double bubble" roof of the 2022 Subaru BRZ should (hopefully) allow for more headroom in the new car
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The "double bubble" roof of the 2022 Subaru BRZ should (hopefully) allow for more headroom in the new car
The instrument cluster in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is a customizable 7-inch digital display, shown here in default configuration
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The instrument cluster in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is a customizable 7-inch digital display, shown here in default configuration
When in track mode, the 2022 Subaru BRZ's digital instrument cluster changes dramatically
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When in track mode, the 2022 Subaru BRZ's digital instrument cluster changes dramatically
Standard in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is an 8-inch infotainment display using Subaru's own interface, a big change from the previous BRZ, which used a generic Panasonic system
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Standard in the 2022 Subaru BRZ is an 8-inch infotainment display using Subaru's own interface, a big change from the previous BRZ, which used a Panasonic system
The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ has a 101.4-inch wheel base and 60 percent better front lateral bending rigidity
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The all-new 2022 Subaru BRZ has a 101.4-inch wheel base and 60 percent better front lateral bending rigidity
A small fin at the back of the rear-wheel arch also assists in airflow adding stability at speed
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A small fin at the back of the rear-wheel arch also assists in airflow adding stability at speed
In a photo nod back to its heritage, the 2022 Subaru BRZ is shown (right) alongside an Impreza WRX STi 22B, the road-going version of one of Subaru's Impreza 555, the company's most-loved heritage sports model
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In a photo nod back to its heritage, the 2022 Subaru BRZ is shown (right) alongside an Impreza WRX STi 22B, the road-going version of one of Subaru's Impreza 555, the company's most-loved heritage sports model
The low design of an opposed piston Boxer-style engine allows the 2022 Subaru BRZ to have a low hoodline for better aerodynamics
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The low design of an opposed piston Boxer-style engine allows the 2022 Subaru BRZ to have a low hoodline for better aerodynamics
Subaru wanted to step up the interior appeal of the 2022 Subaru BRZ to make it feel more upscale
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Subaru wanted to step up the interior appeal of the 2022 Subaru BRZ to make it feel more upscale
The 2.4-liter Boxer-4 in the 2022 Subaru BRZ outputs 228 horsepower and redlines at 7,000 rpm
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The 2.4-liter Boxer-4 in the 2022 Subaru BRZ outputs 228 horsepower and redlines at 7,000 rpm
View gallery - 16 images

Subaru has taken the wraps off its all-new BRZ sports car, continuing the purists’ fun box into a new generation. The BRZ has an all-new design, a new engine with a bit more muscle, and retains the rear-drive formula that has made the car doggedly popular.

The long-rumored next generation of the "Toyobaru Twins" (Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86) has finally come. Billed as the purist’s sports car, the BRZ/86 has a low center of gravity, rear-drive excitement, and a light weight. No frills such as sunroofs, convertible tops, turbochargers, or usable back seats have ever muddied the focus of these cars. That tradition continues in 2022, though we have yet to see a Toyota announcement continuing the 86 line. The rumor mill regarding Toyota dropping that model was ended when the automaker said one was coming, but it hasn't been clear how much sharing between the BRZ and the 86 would be taking place this time around.

Whatever the fate of the 86, the BRZ is coming soon. Debuting globally from California, the new 2022 model year BRZ will remain a 2+2 sports car that focuses on those core aspects of simple purity. Upgrades include new styling, a 50-percent increase in torsional stiffness, and more power via a new engine.

Styling for the new BRZ clearly takes its inspiration from 1990s and early 2000s sports cars like the Porsche Boxster, which themselves took cues from 1960s and 1970s Euro-sports cars from Porsche, MG, and others.

The new look for the Subaru BRZ is definitely more aggressive and rear-biased to emphasize power. The hood scoops a little lower, the roofline sits slightly flatter, and the rear deck cuts a little quicker while the haunches squat a little deeper. It’s a look that definitely fits with the crowd it’s aiming to please.

A small fin at the back of the rear-wheel arch also assists in airflow adding stability at speed
A small fin at the back of the rear-wheel arch also assists in airflow adding stability at speed

Subaru did a lot to improve the little BRZ without fundamentally changing its focus: affordable good times. Aluminum now features in the roof, fenders, and hood to keep weight light. High-strength steel makes up much of the rest of the underpinnings for the same reason. The curb weight of the new 2022 BRZ is just 2,900 lb (1,315 kg).

Those pounds are pushed around by the rear tires thanks to the new 2.4-liter Boxer engine. This naturally-aspirated engine outputs 228 horsepower (170 kW), about 23 more than the best current-generation BRZ can muster. The engine redlines at 7,000 rpm and improves torque delivery by 15 percent over the previous 2.0L. The standard six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are continuing with the new engine. We’ve noted the goodness of these transmissions in BRZs past, especially the short-shift manual. The automatic should see improvements to performance thanks to throttle blipping for faster downshifts and yaw sensors that sense hard corners and leave the transmission in gear to prevent traction losses from shifts.

The overall body design is lower and more aerodynamic-appearing. Subaru says that the car is now about an inch longer and half an inch lower (2.54 and 1.27 cm respectively). Its wheelbase remains largely the same.

The new body design means a bit more interior space as well, with Subaru claiming that the fold-down rear seats will now accommodate a mountain bike, golf clubs, or even four spare tires for track days. The double bubble roof design (common in sports cars of the past) should allow for more headroom, Subaru says, which would be a great improvement in our minds.

Subaru wanted to step up the interior appeal of the 2022 Subaru BRZ to make it feel more upscale
Subaru wanted to step up the interior appeal of the 2022 Subaru BRZ to make it feel more upscale

For the driver, new controls in the cluster mean more data coming faster. The 7-inch digital dashboard is customizable and includes automatic changeover settings for track mode and other uses. Faster-read options such as a linear graph tachometer (versus a dial) and an integrated digital speedometer are included. An 8-inch infotainment touchscreen sits in the center stack and now uses Subaru’s Starlink multimedia interface, plus Subaru's EyeSight safety system is also standard in the new BRZ. Both of these features hint that there may not be a Toyota twin for this car coming.

With all of the improvements and changes, the 2022 Subaru BRZ will likely have a higher price tag compared to the outgoing BRZ. How much is unclear, but given the specifications, probably not by enough to dissuade enthusiasts from buying. Subaru has promised more details on pricing and other specifications closer to the 2022 BRZ’s launch, coming in the third quarter of 2021.

Source: Subaru

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5 comments
Spud Murphy
If Subaru doesn't get their act together and start producing EVs instead of yet more sports cars, they are not going to be around in 10 years.
Martin Hone
Styling based on Porsche Boxster and earlier MG ?.... maybe Datsun 240Z.....
DavidB
I’ve really liked the looks of the BRZ and the 86 for as long as I’ve been aware of them. I’ve owned at least two Subarus and two Toyota over the years, and all were excellent vehicles, so I’d buy from them again.

I made the switch to electric six years ago, though, and cannot imagine willingly going back to an ICE car.

Spud Murphy is right—Subaru needs to get on board the (electric-powered) train or face irrelevance or even extinction, just like the dinosaurs their cars are burning. ;)

Mazda is another company that makes great-looking cars and refuses to offer any of them as an EV.

SMH
paul c
needs a turbo !
or the EZ30 motor. should never be offered as an EV as they are a fad for want to be greenies
darkcook
I was at the racetrack two weeks ago for a HPDE; there were no electric vehicles there. The reason being is that none that are currently available can do what and ICE powered vehicle can do you. If they could, they would have been there silently eating up the track. They are catching up quickly and I believe they'll get there eventually, but that time is not now. All you electric vehicle guys, don't forget where most of the power comes from for your "electric" vehicle: fossil fuels.