New-generation Subaru BRZ revealed, with bigger engine
TOKYO - Subaru and Toyota are sticking it out for a second generation of their compact rear-wheel drive coupe models, and the first to show itself to the world is Subaru’s new BRZ.
While the Subaru will again be twinned with the next-generation Toyota GT86, the latter hasn’t been unveiled as yet but the new BRZ that we see here should give a clear indication of what to expect, with only smaller styling details likely to change.
The big news for the new generation model is the fitment of a bigger engine, with the previous 2-litre flat-four engine making way for a 2.4-litre unit, also normally aspirated.
Fans of the lightweight sports cars have for a long time been crying for more power, and while the bigger engine isn’t necessarily going to transform it into a robot-to-robot racer, it is appreciably more potent, with 170kW on tap at 7000rpm and 250Nm from 3700 revs. That’s a good 23kW and 45Nm more than before.
The horizontally-opposed petrol engine retains its Toyota-derived D-4S direct fuel injection and port injection system, and power goes to the back wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox - the latter featuring a new Sport mode that allows for more rapid downshifts.
The suspension has been upgraded too, incorporating elements from the new Subaru Global Platform, and rigidity has been improved in the process.
Longer and lower
The new BRZ is slightly longer and lower than its predecessor, Subaru says, boasting an improved centre of gravity that’s said to be on a par with hypercars. It’s also rather light for a sporty machine, with a kerb weight of around 1315kg. Depending on the spec grade chosen, the new BRZ rolls on 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin has also been given a complete overhaul, and incorporates a new 20.3cm touchscreen infotainment system, while the instruments in front of the driver are now digital. It’s also got a little party trick in Track mode, where the rev counter switches to a linear graph with a colour display that allows for easier reading.
The new Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 will be built in Subaru’s Gunma facility in Japan, and at this stage there is no word on when either will reach South African shores.