While we’ve already gotten a clear look at the 2022 Subaru BRZ, Toyota has been playing coy with revealing anything at all about its version of the boxer-powered, lightweight rear-wheel-drive sports coupe. Thursday, thanks once again to Australia’s patent office, we can at least look at the front bumper.
IP Australia has published design documents submitted by Toyota for the front bumper of a car, and it’s pretty much a dead-ringer for the upcoming 86, which some insiders believe will be dubbed the GR86 going forward. The design was filed on October 30, according to the government department, and formally registered on January 18.
The general shape of the headlights — or the bottom of them, anyway — appear to be identical between both models, so the primary changes are reserved for the grille and side ducts.
You were always able to distinguish the first-generation BRZ from the 86 from a distance based on the orientation of the grille. If the car was grinning and had a mustache, you were looking at a Subaru; if it was frowning or slightly anguished-seeming, it was the Toyota. For what it’s worth, it seems this mental shortcut will be applicable to the GR86, too — save for the ’stache part. Neither will have a mustache this time around.
Given that these cars have historically been pretty much identical save for their badges, I find it interesting how some enthusiasts will prefer to think of them exclusively as Subarus or Toyotas. At the time both originally came out, my friends in high school and college tended to fall in the BRZ camp, because many of them were WRX dudes anyway. (Of course, they were. They almost always are at that age.)
For me, the Toyobaru’s “true” ancestor is the AE86 Corolla, so I see the car as a Toyota first. Ultimately, it probably has more to do with which brand you like, and the fact Toyota originally chose to badge its version a Scion probably didn’t help its credibility with the certain sects of the automotive community. But that’s all in the past!
While we don’t have numbers for the GR86, expect it to fall in line with the BRZ’s 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque from the 2.4-liter flat-four that both cars will share. There could be slight differences in weight — the first-gen BRZ was slightly heavier than the 86 — and the new BRZ tips 2,815 pounds in its lightest trim. Both cars will enjoy a lower center of gravity and a more rigid chassis, helping them flit around as they’re known to do.