I have been a fan of the Subaru BRZ ever since it first came out, a true sports car that checks all the boxes: lightweight, rear-wheel drive, great handling, etc. The only thing that kept me from buying one was the lack of power, as 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque just didn’t get the job done, with it desperately in need of more power (or a turbo).
For years, Subaru and Toyota (the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 were a joint venture) claimed that there was no need for more power, that it would upset the balance of the vehicle, add weight, increase the cost, etc. But the first thing everyone complained about when driving the car was how underpowered it was.
Given that the BRZ was never a huge seller (selling only a few thousand vehicles a year), most didn’t expect Subaru to keep producing the car, let along bring to market an “all-new” model. But that’s exactly what they did, introducing the 2022 Subaru BRZ to the world this morning, with “more power, better handling, improved styling, a 50% increase in torsional stiffness and a modern interior.” Now we’re talking!
The “more power” comes courtesy of a new 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine that’s also used in the Subaru Ascent.. only the BRZ doesn’t get the Ascent’s turbocharger. The engine puts out 228 horsepower (at 7,000rpm) and 184 lb-ft of torque (at 3,700rpm). That’s a modest bump in power from the outgoing model, but max torque comes on MUCH lower in the rev range, so it should help. The car remains light, with an estimated curb weight of just under 2,900lbs.
Sitting low in the chassis, the Subaru BOXER engine’s unique design allows the BRZ to achieve a Center of Gravity (CoG) even lower than the previous BRZ and on par with exotic hyper-cars. The ultra-low CoG is critical to delivering unrivaled handling, with a low polar moment and quick reaction to driver inputs. A Subaru rep said one of the reasons they couldn’t add a turbo is because they’d have to raise the engine, thus upsetting the balance and such.
The front suspension features custom-designed MacPherson-type struts to optimize the low hood line while retaining a long stroke for ideal handling & ride quality. The double wishbone rear suspension system provides outstanding bump absorption to enhance tire grip over varied surfaces. For track driving, the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) traction and stability system offers the driver five different settings. The system has been redesigned to allow more input from the driver before it activates the traction system.
As for the “improved styling”, that’s really a a subjective matter. Personally, I’m not loving the new look of the BRZ, it looks a little bubbly, the headlights reminiscent of the Nissan 400Z, and the front three-quarter giving me a strong Porsche Panamera vibe. And the rear tails are a bit like the 2017 Honda Accord Coupe. But the duck tail looks pretty sharp. Hopefully the car looks better in person than it does in these photos.
Using design elements from the Subaru Global Platform, the BRZ’s chassis has gained rigidity through a reinforced chassis mounting system, sub-frame architecture and other connection points. Front lateral bending rigidity has increased by 60% to improve turn-in and response.
Lastly, the 2022 BRZ’s interior gets a much-needed update. A new customizable 7-inch digital dashboard is the focal point with the tachometer front and center featuring an integrated digital speedometer readout. To the left of the tach is a programmable meter that can show amps, water temp, or a g-meter. There’s also a new 8-inch touchscreen, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is only available on automatic models for right now.
All in all, the updated 2022 Subaru BRZ sounds promising, and I’m eager to see how it drives (and looks) for myself. But I’ll have a little time to wait, as the redesigned BRZ doesn’t go on sale until early Fall 2021.
What do you guys think about the 2022 Subaru BRZ?