By on March 17, 2020

While Toyota and Subaru are officially developing a new generation of the 86/BRZ, neither model from the current generation looks long for this world. The Toyobaru twins’ placement as an affordable sports car meant volumes were never going to be stellar but the last few years have been particularly unkind. Inside the United States (the duo’s strongest market), the Toyota half of the pair hasn’t managed to break 10,000 deliveries since 2016 — something the BRZ has never achieved. Last year, Toyota’s coupe was sitting at just 3,398 units while the Subaru only sold 2,334.

But the final nail in their coffin could be the new special edition that’s coming out of Europe. Subaru is introducing the conclusive-sounding “Final Edition” of the BRZ for Germany. 

According to Motor1, the farewell edition is supposed to be limited to just 100 units and priced at a ludicrous €40,270 (about $44,000 USD). Considering the BRZ starts at $28,845 here in the states, you might think that it comes with a new engine or something. But you’d be disappointed if you did.

The car’s 2.0-liter boxer continues to produce a meager 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Despite being sufficient for backroad driving pleasure, many have criticized the models for being underpowered. While the previous stock response was to remind them that the vehicles were never intended for the drag strip, that argument seems less relevant now. Toyota’s introduction of the 4-cylinder Supra seems to suggest the brand already has something to satiate enthusiasts that liked the agile Toyobaru concept but wanted a juicier power band.

So what exactly are Europeans getting for this $44,000 swan song?

Subaru says it’s offering the BRZ unique 17-inch wheels, painted brake calipers, some exterior garnish to denote its limited status and new Sachs dampers. Paint is limited to the standard Crystal Black Silica or optional Blue Pearl. Inside, the car has embraced premium materials — resulting in black-and-blue seats that use both leather and Alcantara. Contrasting blue stitching is also applied liberally throughout the cabin with Subaru installing a few more Final Edition placards.

If you’re curious as to what that looks like, so were we. Unfortunately, Subaru only bothered to release a single exterior image to stimulate our appetites (failing miserably). We suppose that collective lack of enthusiasm says as much about the model’s future as anything else. For now, the Final Edition is a German exclusive but we’d wager it’s only a matter of time before other markets start hinting at discontinuing both the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86. Though the cars’ absence may only be temporary; both companies confirmed the joint development of their offspring in November.

Despite presumably being nowhere near the final stages of that process, Toyota engineers have already said the new model will be better to drive than the Supra. Benchmarks like that will undoubtedly encourage us to monitor its progress but we’re not ready to believe everything we’ve been told. Future Toyobaru models could easily find themselves perpetually trapped in development.

[Image: Subaru]

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26 Comments on “Subaru BRZ Final Edition: Last Nail in the Coffin?...”

  • avatar

    Well, maybe there isn’t enough of a market for a performance coupe anymore. I’ll bet there’s still a market for tall, AWD wagon/van like the late 1980s Nissan Stanza wagon with sliding rear doors, but with more horsepower. AWD and the look of a SUV in a van-like wagon might sell better than the Forester or Sienna – or both combined, with the BRZ engine.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL that’s the point – they wont add HP and 200HP even for a minivan size of an Stanza wagon these days will barely do. And the engine really sounds industrial, more NVH than a Mitsubishi Outlander. Can’t put that engine anywhere else, realistically. It barely works for the BRZ

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You may be right on the lack of a market for the BRZ, but I will take that bet on your van thing. Yes, it’s a more practical package and yes, the Best and Brightest would heap praise on it (without buying it), but in the end, sliding rear doors and a minivainish ID are a death sentence for the most part nowadays, though I do think if anyone has room in their lineup and could make it work, maybe it would be Subaru. If still take the bet though

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Last year, Toyota’s coupe was sitting at just 3,398 units while the Subaru only sold 2,334.”

    “While Toyota and Subaru are officially developing a new generation of the 86/BRZ”

    Which such pathetic sales, why would they bother?

    From the beginning, I’ve felt like the relationship was backwards – the engine should have come from Toyota, and the chassis/suspension from Subaru.

    • 0 avatar

      Then you missed the entire point of the car, and why the Subaru engine was chosen.

      • 0 avatar

        Eh, I get the whole “low center of gravity” reasoning, but it’s not a particularly charming engine and has that weird power band. A high-revving Toyota I4 (like the one deemed good enough for a Lotus) would likely be a better compromise, without a huge impact on handling.

  • avatar

    First Nail were the sales quantities. Miatas probably did better.

    Second Nail is the Supra 4-cyl – Toyota can ask more $ for it than the 86, and makes no sense to have three coupes in the line up – this ain’t the 90’s anymore bros

    I know they were announced a 2nd gen sometime in 2018(?) but officially they have not started and the BRZ/86 twins could die at any time. Maybe Subaru will have designed a 2nd gen BRZ, but without the $$ of a partner to make, it won’t happen.

    I got one (FRS) that I take to the track. Is mad fun, but it lacks refinement and power. Couldnt be a daily. No amount of kibbles and bits and stickers have made these cars any meaningfully better. Marketplace will help ameliorate some shortcomings.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not three coupes in the lineup – two are Mazda, one is Toyota. They’re still separate companies, though with the Japanese kieretsu system, all Japanese makes should be called Japan Motors, Inc.

  • avatar

    The VAT makes Directly converting the prices in euros to dollars a useless exercise.

  • avatar

    I bought my G37S coupe shortly after they were introduced in 2007. There are several cars I would have considered had they been available at the time. The 86/BRZ is one. (I’ve always thought of it as the Miata coupe Mazda refused to build.) The current generation Mustang is another.

  • avatar

    OTH: How many “Final Destination” movies are there, and how come the WHO is still touring. Anything is possible in this topsy turvy world of ours.

  • avatar

    Yes, this car was touted as the Second Coming… not…

    I’ve said many times before, there’s nothing wrong with this car that a LSx/LTx couldn’t fix.

  • avatar

    SCCA has their Solo Spec Coupe class for autocross that is open to 2013 – 2016 Toyobarus. If they just opened up to all model years, that would net maybe 5 or 10 more sales.

    That would help, right?

  • avatar

    A new generation of these with Subaru’s latest turbo 4 and something other than a CVT would actually pique interest.

  • avatar

    They are a nice enough looking car but I think when they came from the factory with tires made for a hybrid instead of proper performance tires it hurt the reputation. Even the Miata with its smaller output has sticky tires.

    They should have also designed these with adding a turbo in mind. 250/285hp would do wonders for the car.

    Quick question, are these faster around a track than a Miata?

  • avatar

    The BRZ Final Insult.

  • avatar

    When I was little my Dad came home with a new 1958 Pontiac Super Chief 4 door hardtop. The car was a beautiful two-tone green and white inside and out. I thought it was the greatest. It was very powerful and fast, and my Dad loved to use all that power. But in a year or less, the car proved to be a lemon. My dad sold it to a used car dealer and took the bus home. He had taken a beating financially on the car at a time we had little money. He then found a 9 year old 1951 Chevy with low mileage at the local used car lot. That became our ride for the next several years. Slow but dependable.

  • avatar

    So they’re 86-ing the BRZ. Who’d notice?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Another reason for Gen X to feel ill done by. They grew up lusting for some real malaise like ‘dreck’.

    Whereas Boomers got to lust after chrome laden, land yachts or muscle cars with zero pollution controls or safety devices.

  • avatar

    Growing up in a very small town in flyover country, there’s not a chance in hell I’d forget seeing my first XKE.

    Or actually driving one owned by a friend in the middle of a restoration during the late 80’s. Damn slow synchronizers…

  • avatar

    as a kid it was any kind of mustang fastback (65 to 70) especially the 67/68 style. I had no idea who made it, never knew what a ford, gm or dodge was but loved the fastback mustang, guess i would sort go a bit nuts when we passed one on the street lol, when i hit 16 and a license i passed a 70 fastback for sale on the side of the road in rough shape, bought it and completely restored it. still love them today !

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