The 2022 Subaru BRZ Almost Hits All the Right Notes


The most controversial thing about the current-gen Subaru BRZ (and the Toyota 86, for that matter) was the lack of a turbo charger and mundane power deliver – 205 horsepower at best. One could argue that the BRZ was meant to be a driver’s car than handles strong in corners and isn’t meant to be a straight-line car, but a little extra juice and a turbo would have been nice. Now, Subaru has revealed the second-gen BRZ, and it’s scheduled to launch in mid-to-late 2021 as a 2022 model. It marks a huge improvement to Subaru’s compact sports car recipe, but it’s still naturally aspirated with no hope for a turbo in sight.

2022 Subaru BRZ – It’s a Good Thing That Looks Don’t Kill

I’ll come right out and say it – the 2022 Subaru BRZ is an aggressive, sexy beast that’s sportier than every before, snarls at you from the front, and screams “I’m here, and I mean business.” Subaru changed a lot of front, with the front haunches being more aggressive than ever. The elbow-shaped corner intakes are a nice touch, and the sculpted design of the front fascia – along with the muscular lines that bleed downward from the hood all contribute to the BRZ’s sport nature. The new sleeker headlights are also light years ahead in terms of design compared to the outgoing model.

The side profile has also been largely improved. The new and more aggressive side skirts compliment the fender vents and the larger rear haunches. When you see this thing from a rearward angle, it’s almost hard to believe that this is a Subaru, but you’ll definitely know that it’s a sports car. The rear end feels more evolved than before with the 3D taillights, sculpted spoiler, and mild diffuser. The coupe silhouette is more emphasized than before too, and the car – as a package – is downright attractive.

The 2022 BRZs Interior Is Nice, But It’s Simple

The 2022 Subaru BRZ’s interior might be simple, but that’s a good thing. The BRZ is designed to be a no-nonsense driver’s car, and the cabin delivers on that more now than ever. The simplistic dashboard and flat door panels are a price example. It would have bene nice to see a flat-bottom steering wheel here, but that might have been a little too much. The seats are more supportive than before, and the center stack, from the redesigned HVAC controls all the way to the humble infotainment system have restored my faith in Subaru’s design team. Rounding off the interior is the two-tone accents and that sexy little digital instrument cluster that brings a bit of luxury without going overboard.

The eight-inch infotainment screen feels kind of small in a world full of Tesla-inspired tablet systems, but for a no-frills car, it’s just right. And there’s no compromise in terms of software, either. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity. If you opt for the telematics package and the eight-speed automatic transmission, you’ll get some nice readings on the display as well. As far as cargo storage goes, the rear seats are foldable on this model, and Subaru claims you can even carry a mountain bike or – more importantly – four race tires and tools for a day at the track.

The 2022 Subaru BRZ Has Grown in Displacement and Power

Since its introduction in 2012, the biggest complaint about the BRZ (and the Toyota 86) was that the 2.0-liter flat-four just didn’t deliver enough power. For 8 years, the world has begged for a turbo model, but it never happened. Sadly, it’s still not going to happen, but the rumors about the Subaru Ascent’s 2.4-liter flat-four were true. That’s right; the 2020 Subaru BRZ rocks out a 2.4-liter flat-four that’s good for 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That’s an improvement of 23 horsepower and 28 pound-feet of torque over the 2021 BRZ with a manual transmission.

As you’d expect, the six-speed manual transmission (you’re not going to opt for the automatic, are you?) sends power exclusively to the rear wheels. If you opt for the automatic transmission, you will get a new “Sport” mode for more aggressive driving, but we’re sure that you’ll agree rowing your own gears is better. These extra ponies and the larger engine don’t contribute to a massive weight gain either. With a manual transmission, the BRZ weighs just 2,815 pounds while an automatic transmission will increase that weight to 2,881 pounds. To put this into perspective, the outgoing model with a manual transmission weighed in at 2,798 pounds, so the BRZ has seen a 17-pound increase as it rolls into the new generation.

To keep things stable in the bends, Subaru as revise the suspension system. New struts and coil springs up front should help decrease body roll while the returned double-wishbone suspension will contribute to better stability behind the seats. You can also fine tune the stability control system (VSC) to allow for more input before it kicks in if you like.

Engine2.4-liter flat-four
Horsepower228 HP
Torque184 LB-FT
Transmissionsix-speed manual/six-speed automatic
Weight2,815 pounds (manual)/2,881 pounds (automatic)

The 2020 Subaru BRZ Hints at What We Can Expected from the Next-Gen Toyota GT86

Subaru and Toyota are still partnered up for the BRZ\86 project, so you can bet that it won’t be long before Toyota shows off the next-gen GT86. As was the case with the outgoing models, the 86 will be a spiritual twin of the BRZ with very little changing outside (mainly the badges) and some minor trim alterations inside. There’s no word as to when Toyota will show off the new GT86, but it should launch around the same time as the BRZ for the 2022 model year, so we’ll be seeing it soon than later too.

Robert Moore
Robert is an automotive expert and gaming fanatic that somehow manages to split his time between doing both and blending in some family time as well. His gaming history goes all the way back to Atari, the Commodore 64, and the original Nintendo, and he can proudly say that he’s owned every single mainstream console since, including duds like the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Wii. He currently owns a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, and a custom-built gaming PC. His all-time favorite games include Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (zombies, specifically), League of Legends, Diablo 3, and even a little World of Warcraft. Robert has been working as a journalist for nearly 15 years, primarily in the automotive segment and now in the gaming segment.

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