2022 Subaru BRZ Makes Evolutionary Changes, Gets a Power Bump

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The new 2022 Subaru BRZ is here, and it’s …. not all that different.

Retaining its overall shape, the car gets updated looks, what Subaru claims is better handling (as always, have to wait until we drive it to verify), new interior duds, a 50-percent increase in torsional stiffness, and more powah.

Power is bumped to 228 horsepower with a 15-percent increase in torque, thanks to an increase in engine displacement up to 2.4 liters. The “boxer” engine remains naturally aspirated. Subaru claims that by situating the engine low in the chassis, it has achieved a lower center of gravity than what the previous BRZ offered.

Two trims and two transmissions will be available — and one of those gearboxes will, of course, be a manual. The trim choices are Premium and Limited, both transmissions have six speeds, and the automatic will offer up a Sport mode that can hold gears in corners while also being able to downshift more quickly.

If you want to wring this car out, there’s a 7,000-rpm redline.

Subaru wanted to keep the BRZ svelte, and it achieves what it estimates is an under-3,000 pound curb weight (about 2,900 pounds, to be more precise) by using aluminum for the roof, hood, and front fenders. The layout remains 2+2, and Subaru claims the cargo area can swallow a mountain bike, golf clubs, or a set of race tires and tools for a track weekend.

The car gains an inch of length and drops half an inch, the roof has a double-bubble look, and there are functional front side vents that reduce drag and add downforce. Fins at the back of each rear-wheel arch helped improve stability at higher speeds. There’s also a rear spoiler.

To our eye, the changes are noticeable but relatively subtle, although the differences in the rear are more pronounced. Still, the overall silhouette is similar enough to the outgoing car that it will be easy to tell it’s a BRZ at a glance.

A 7-inch digital screen for the gauge cluster has a prominent tachometer, and there is an 8-inch infotainment screen. Available features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and if you opt for the slushbox, Subaru’s EyeSight tech.

The front suspension is MacPherson strut and coil spring, while out rear its double-wishbone. Subaru claims the car’s weight distribution is “near perfect.” Front-lateral bending is increased by 6o percent, which is meant to improve turn-in, and the chassis is stiffened.

Subaru gives the driver five levels of traction control and stability control, including all the way off.

The next BRZ will be built in Gunma, Japan, and go on sale early in the fall of next year.

[Images: Subaru]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Nov 18, 2020

    Pluses - hp and torque are up, the torque curve is flatter, I would wager that the changes in hp/tq will make it more tolerable to daily drive the car until the warranty is up and you can start messing tuning. Negatives - even a light pressure turbo would be good for those of us at altitude. The interior may not be class leading but this car is all about "fun to drive" At the end of the day it's a car that still has a manual trans, is RWD, has a vestigial backseat, comes with a standard LSD, and will have a tremendous aftermarket. It will stay on my potential purchase list.

  • AnalogMan AnalogMan on Nov 20, 2020

    No car is perfect. Especially not for $30,000. Every car has compromises. To make the BRZ the 'perfect' car would result in it costing a lot more than it does. The simple reason the BRZ doesn't (and won't ever) have a turbo is because of the Toyota Supra. Toyota owns about 20% of Subaru. The two companies are partners in the BRZ/86 program. A Turbo BRZ, even at the necessarily higher price, would threaten Supra sales. Even though many Supra buyers probably buy the car just for the 'Supra' name, a BRZ Turbo would offer similar if not better performance for a much lower price. There's no way Toyota would undercut their own legendary sports car that way, and Subaru couldn't afford to design, develop, and build the BRZ on its own. When you dance with an 800 lb gorilla, you dance to the tune the gorilla calls, and you're finished dancing when the gorilla says you are. I own a 2019 BRZ, and am very happy with it. It's not perfect, but then, how many RWD, manual transmission, under $30k sports cars are out there (other than the Miata)? Having grown up with the sports cars of the 60s/70s, the BRZ to me feels very much like a modern day version of the Opel GT, Fiat 124, or MGB-GT (I had several of them back in the day). It's easy to join the chorus of screaming for 'more power', on almost any car. 205 hp in the current BRZ doesn't make it a screamer. Seems to me that most of the bellyaching comes from armchair internet experts who've never actually driven the car. I'd love 50 more hp myself, but the reality is that the car has plenty of power to be fun in real-world street driving (track use might be a different story). Compared to the 1960's sports cars I used to drive, the BRZ has about twice as much power. The BRZ isn't a 'numbers' car. For those who care most about the 'numbers', 0-60, 1/4 mile, Nurburgring lap times, etc. to brag to their friends or strangers about, this car isn't for them. I suggest, forget about the 'numbers' and instead focus on if the car is simply *fun* to drive, how it feels in the seat of your pants. By that measure, the BRZ excels. To my old-school eyes and tastes, the next-generation car is a mixed bag. The upgraded engine is a welcome plus. It doesn't turn it into a muscle car, but the torque increase, and lower peak torque (3700 vs 6500 rpm) should make the kind of noticeable difference you can feel in your butt, and the car more fun to drive on the street without having to wind it out to redline at every shift. The exterior styling, eh, to me not so much. It's OK, but seems like a bit of a disjointed mixed bag. The profile seems especially incongruous, with disparate curves and creases (compared to the more cohesive all-curves/organic styling of the first-gen car). Almost like it's channeling Chris Bangle. The rear of the car looks like it backed into a garbage dumpster. The interior seems to have some nice switchgear upgrades, and the all-digital dash is more cohesive than the current mixed analog/digital layout. But that touch screen looks like it was stuck in there with double-sided tape or epoxy by a teenager. Overall, the new car seems like it will be more appealing to drive, but a little less appealing to look at. I would have preferred they just stick the new 2.4 engine into the current car, maybe clean up the instrument panel, and call it a day. Regardless, I think it's amazing Subaru and Toyota made this car at all. The sports car segment has been shrinking, and many manufacturers are abandoning it completely. The BRZ was never a big money maker for the companies. That they spent the money and effort to make a next-gen car at all is a gift to car enthusiasts, for which they should be thanked.

  • Dartdude They need to rebrand the models, The standard model should be Wagoneer and long version should be Grand Wagoneer. There should offer the Ram Rev powertrain in these
  • Irvingklaws Seems more like they're adopting Honda styling queues. Now if they would just adopt their reliability...
  • FreedMike "Obsidian Edition."Oooooh, obsidian is really, really hard stuff.
  • John The awesome Infiniti G series saved this company 20 years ago, but they are right back on track to obsolescence. (yawn)
  • Teddyc73 White with black wheels, I'm so sick of. Or dull grey and black wheels. Just stop.