This year’s certainly put everyone through the wringer, but there are brighter skies ahead. I know this because Subaru has just revealed the 2022 BRZ, and wouldn’t you know, it has more power.
Yes, the upcoming BRZ benefits from a new 2.4-liter flat-four producing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’ll come standard with a 6-speed manual, or an optional 6-speed auto with paddle shifters. Sure, some will clamor for yet more thunder to be sent through the BRZ’s tiny rear wheels, but at least 228 ponies are enough to get it out of the basement. Besides, who knows? Maybe we’ll actually see a higher-performance version this time! (Please don’t quote me on that.)
Subaru kept the curb weight low. The new BRZ weighs 2,815 pounds in its lightest manual guise. That inches up closer to the 2,900 pound-mark with the automatic options and optional Limited trim, but in either case, it’s about even with the outgoing model. What’s more, the new BRZ’s center of gravity is said to be lower than the original’s, too.
Proportionally, Subaru’s new two-plus-two nearly matches the previous generation, as it’s longer by just over an inch and lower by about half an inch. Still, there are a few stylistic changes worth noting.
The front end has adopted a slightly more conventional design, with more vertical headlights that almost resemble a mix of the Porsche 718's and the pre-facelift Jaguar F-Type’s. The side profile sports probably the most glaring similarity to the existing BRZ, in that the roofline appears to have been mostly preserved from the preceding generation, though the way the sills and rear bumper cut upwards is a dead ringer for the Lexus RC-F. And the back? Those look like Acura taillights to me — though I do lament the disappearance of that weird triangular rear fog light. On the new car, it’s just a plain old rectangle.
Subaru says it worked to strengthen the BRZ’s bones beneath the surface, too. A “..reinforced chassis mounting system and sub-frame architecture” contribute to a 60 percent increase in front lateral bending rigidity, according to the manufacturer, making for snappier response upon turn in.
Despite the aforementioned visual familiarities, I don’t think the new BRZ looks derivative. The very concept of a small, light sports coupe like this is still, regrettably, extremely rare today. Nobody other than Toyota and Subaru have really tried it, and so, the BRZ and 86 can very easily get away with being their own thing.
Of course, we’re still waiting to see how Toyota’s take on this sports coupe shakes out. The 2022 BRZ will begin reaching dealers in the fall of 2021 which, sadly, isn’t tomorrow.