The Subaru BRZ was a joint project with Toyota, which marketed the same rear-wheel-drive, affordable performance coupe as the GT86. Well, for the all-new model of this collaboration, Subaru has got in first, revealing its all-new BRZ at the Thermal Club Raceway in California. Oh, and bad news, folks: looks like slow sales of the first-gen BRZ in this part of the world mean this newcomer is unlikely to officially make it to these shores. For shame, Subaru!
Bigger 2.4-litre heart
The headline notes of the BRZ Mk2 are more power, better handling, improved styling, a 50 per cent increase in torsional rigidity and a more modern interior. To drill down into some of these a bit more, under the bonnet is a 231hp 2.4-litre boxer four petrol engine, redlining at 7,000rpm at the point of peak power. It's not turbocharged, as the 2.0-litre which went before it was normally aspirated too, but torque has increased 15 per cent on the 2.4 to a maximum 250Nm at 3,700rpm. There's a choice of two six-speed transmissions, one manual and one automatic with paddle shifts and a Sport mode, while all BRZ derivatives will gain a limited-slip differential on the rear axle as standard.
On the outside, there's a much smoother, flowing design but it remains unmistakably a BRZ. Dimensionally, it has grown ever so slightly, measuring 4,265mm long (+30mm on the old model) with a 2,575.5mm wheelbase (+0.5mm). The overall width stays the same at 1,775mm and the new Subaru is marginally lower than its predecessor, a roof height of 1,311mm being 1mm closer to the ground than before. Weights start at 1,277kg for a lower-spec manual car with smaller wheels and less kit, rising to 1,299kg for big wheels and more toys; add 8-9kg onto these figures for the automatic equivalents.
Inside, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster is the new upgrade, while a customisable gauge to the left of this can show amps, water temperature or a g-meter. Atop the centre stack is an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Subaru's Starlink OS, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Overall, though, it looks broadly the same in here as the interior of the model which is being superseded...
Near-perfect weight distribution
Underneath, the BRZ has a low centre-of-gravity and a high-strength body structure. Subaru is claiming near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution front-to-rear on the Subaru Global Platform, while something called the 'front lateral bending rigidity' has been increased by 60 per cent from the old car. Suspension is handled by custom-designed MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone independent set-up at the rear. The standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) can be switched through five different settings, allowing the driver to enjoy more and more oversteer before the electronics intervene and cut the power. Production of the all-new BRZ will take place at Subaru's Gunma plant in Japan.