New Subaru BRZ launches with more power and torque

Subaru has unveiled the second-generation of its BRZ sports car, which will go on sale late next year and has been developed alongside the forthcoming Toyota GR86.

The new version of the rear-wheel-drive coupe has been given an extensive makeover, and is slightly longer than its predecessor while sitting slightly lower.

The BRZ retains Subaru’s 2.4-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine, tuned to deliver 170kW at 7000rpm, an increase from 147kW in the previous model. It also produces 250Nm, a 15 per cent increase on the previous version.

Buyers can choose from six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes, with the latter gaining a new Sport mode that uses automatic throttle blipping to enable faster downshifting. There is a choice of 17 or 18-inch wheels.

The BRZ uses a bespoke platform, with elements taken from Subaru’s Global Platform, developed for it and the mechanically identical GR86. It has a 2575mm wheelbase and what Subaru claims is “near perfect weight distribution”. The BRZ weighs 1315kg, aided by an aluminium roof, bumpers and bonnet.

The front suspension uses a strut and coil spring set-up to reduce weight, with custom-designed McPherson-type struts. There are double wishbones struts at the rear. A reinforced mounting system is claimed to improve the rigidity, with the firm claiming that front lateral bending rigidity has been improved by 60 per cent, in order to improve the turn-in and response. The Vehicle Stability Control system features five different settings.

The new design of the BRZ features a low grille and more pronounced front bumpers, which include large side vents to reduce drag. The air pushed through those vents is directed into a side spoiler that helps generate downforce. There are also small fins on the rear wheel arches, and a ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler to generate further downforce.

The interior of the BRZ features a 7-inch digital driver display, with is centred around a large tachometer. When track mode is selected, that switches to a liner graph display. There is also an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen using the latest version of Subaru’s Starlink system, and contoured bucket seats are offered in the front as standard.

When out goes on sale in the US next September, the BRZ will be offered in two trim levels, Premium and Limits. The machine will be built at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan.

As with the previous generation model, the new BRZ has been developed alongside Toyota’s mechanically identical GR86 (previously called the GT86), which is also due next year. Toyota has yet to confirm when it will launch its new car as part of its expanding GR performance range.

James Attwood

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