By on November 18, 2020

2022 Subaru BRZ. Image: Subaru

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.

2022 Subaru BRZ. Image: Subaru

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.

2022 Subaru BRZ. Image: Subaru

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.

2022 Subaru BRZ. Image: Subaru

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]

 

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33 Comments on “2022 Subaru BRZ Makes Evolutionary Changes, Gets a Power Bump...”


  • avatar
    tallguy130

    Lot of Caymen in the new exterior and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. On the inside… are they mad at us with that center display? It looks like they pulled it out of an off-brand parts bin from ten years ago.I get trying to lot spartan but this is just punishing us

  • avatar
    ajla

    The interior looks like it came out of a full-size van, but I think the exterior looks great.
    A lighter weight, RWD coupe with a manual transmission and a naturally-aspirated engine on a 7500RPM redline isn’t going to exist for much longer. So get it while you can.

  • avatar
    slap

    Surprised Subaru still doesn’t offer eyesight with a manual transmission. Like the way Volkswagen did it in my manual Alltrack.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Why use the 370Z for interior design inspiration?

    I like this car, but the redesign looks half hearted. Good to see the exterior and power train upgrades, but that interior looks like the designer was told they were getting laid off 2 weeks into starting the job.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Screw the low center of gravity. I’d mount the turbo sticking out through the hood.

  • avatar
    stuki

    The whole center stack, heck even the interior, looks like it’s lifted out of the 80s. Including the pre-logical-control-casette-player, mechanical look, buttons.

    Very Japanese interior, even for a Japanese car.

    Away from the land where guys in their sixties are “young guys,” or even “kids”; and where “young guys” are instead hard pressed to afford any car, and hence need practicality even when they want fun; I believe this would be an easier sell as a shooting brake, than as a coupe.

    It does look god as a coupe, though. And having just sat in an 86, it’s got about the most perfect ergonomics of any car on offer anywhere.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Am I the only one seeing old AM Vantage in the rear?

  • avatar
    JMII

    Once again no turbo and no hatchback. They have missed the mark twice now.

    The exterior tweaks look good, but as mentioned the interior is really blah. I’ve driven one of these on track and all it needed was some more power. The bump should help especially the TQ since that is where it fell flat before.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    The exterior, while not particularly eye catching, is an improvement over the current car.
    It’s no longer trying too hard to hide the bulk and looking like a big guy in skinny jeans.
    The rear could be a little cleaner though.

    Interior, yeah… too much 80s. I know much of their Japanese customer base skew older, but yech.

    I hope the upsizing to 2.4l has reduced the big torque dip in the middle since that was the biggest annoyance with the current engine. I’m glad they didn’t go the turbo route.

    • 0 avatar

      “Interior, yeah… too much 80s.”

      Because it is for aging Gen X-ers.

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        Speaking as an aging Gen X-er…

        You nailed it. I like it and I want one. Interior reminds me of my old Mk1 MR2, or AW11 as the kids call it these days.

      • 0 avatar
        duncanator

        50 year old Gen X-er here and yeah, I don’t mind the interior. Unlike the interior of my vehicles, I can’t replace an infotainment system at all when then break! Maybe with this design I can swap it out should I want or need to. The MMI system in my last car went out and since the unit was copy protected, they wanted to charge me 4k to replace it. Um, no.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Shame that we have to go to another website to actually see what it looks like. Your WordPress layout is still hot garbage and your images are tiny.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can sell popcorn when the market has been ‘tater chips for decades. You can entirely miss the whole damn point by being unbelievably blinkered.

    This thing needed a hatch and turbo. Period. Everyone knows that would sell. It requires no acuity of business brainpower to see that. So, what do they do? They fiddle around the edges, uglify the car, and put a bigger FA engine in it.

    Whoopee-doopy-doo.

    Marketing genius! Give that man a raise!

    Someone doesn’t want to sell cars or be successful, it’s obvious.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      A turbo (and its associated plumbing, cooling, strengthened transmission, drivetrain, brakes, etc) would have pushed the weight and cost of this car directly into the line of fire of V8 muscle cars, with which it has no hope of competing, turbo or no.

      The niche they operate in now is basically a Miata coupe with +2 rear seating. That’s at least unique. There is (or should be) still a place for a lightweight NA sporty car. I’m glad it still exists as is.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I am not buying that adding a turbo would add that much weight or cost. Granted all the weight would be on the nose and clearly affect the balance. The advantage of the turbo, in addition to the obvious HP and TQ gains would be the aftermarket tuning. I’m thinking the BRZ’s main competition is a VW GTI. In the end it hard to argue against the simplicity of a NA engine but Subbie knows how to built a boosted power plant.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Turbo and associated plumbing.

          Upgraded cooling system.

          Stronger transmission.

          Stronger rear end, driveshaft, axles, etc.

          Larger brakes.

          Larger wheels to clear those brakes.

          Wider tires.

          For comparison, the C7 Z06 gained 225 lb over a base car. A Challenger Hellcat is 250 lb heavier than a 392. The 997 Turbo gained over 400 lb vs a Carrera 4. That kind of weight gain is easier to hide in a bigger car, it would completely change the character of the BRZ.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          If the GTI’s already an acceptable competitor, Subaru also offers another smaller performance car with turbo and AWD. The WRX is probably the reason Subaru hasn’t turbo’d the BRZ, as how many buyers are going to spend more money for a less useful car that isn’t any faster?

          • 0 avatar
            JMII

            The WRX could be the most likely reason they don’t boost the BRZ. They appear to be sticking to the KISS principal with this car and thus keeping it NA. The market is too small to have two BRZ power plants. While awesome handling is great the opportunity to truly exploit is somewhat limited.

        • 0 avatar
          FerrariLaFerrariFace

          That it would add weight, complexity, and cost is exactly the reason(s) that Subaru/Toyota gave for not ever putting a turbo on the first gen, so…

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I actually think this looks better than the previous model. I’m not in the market for a vehicle like this but if I were the hp is fine and I prefer that it doesn’t have a turbo.

  • avatar
    Drew8MR

    It should be plenty fast enough to have fun ON THE STREET or at Autocross. My old Evo VIII dyno’ed at 215 WHP bone stock and brand new, and no one complained they were particularly slow. There’s no point in 300ish HP if you’re only using 100 of it on average, is there? I’m not sure what the rear end gearing or top speed is, but if you gear it to top out at 120ish instead of laboring to 140ish it’ll be quicker still. Assuming it’s faster in 5th (6th?) than 6th (7th?) and top gear is an overdrive it shouldn’t be too punishing on the hwy.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It comes with 4.10:1 gears (final drive) but swapping those to a more aggressive ratio is the best idea I’ve heard. A 100-ish MPH top speed would be fine for the street. Like a 5.13 if it’s available.

      Plus it’s cheap/easy and won’t affect emissions (laws/testing). Yes adding a turbo would be the most gratifying if you’re dead set on the car, but it’s much easier to just avoid the headache and upgrade to a better car.

      The 50/50 balanced weight thing is overrated. I’d rather have a rear or mid-engine car anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Turbos were invented to serve as a more hygienic alternative to sticking ones finger down one’s throat to induce barfing.

        Done to perfection, they can be OK. Kind of like barfing can be, when one is feeling unusually bad.

        Mostly, they both, turbos as well as barfing, just kind of suck. Or, more literally, blow.

      • 0 avatar
        turbo_awd

        Higher ratio might impact mpg though (if 100 mph at 7000 rpm is top speed, 55-60 mph in highest gear would be what? 4000 rpm?) – which would be a huge red flag. Subaru has to keep CAFE mpg to an overall acceptable level. If they can’t get a 33+ mpg hwy rating on this thing (that’s what the last one had), they’d kill it rather than actually sell it. STI already pulls their fleet MPG down – they can’t have two albatrosses like that…

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s not a suggestion for the carmaker. Except back in the Malaise Era, even the performance cars lacked performance, but mostly in stock form.

          That’s thanks to CAFE and other concerns. But enthusiasts knew what subtle changes to make, unleashing a monster.

          There were “speed shops” everywhere, in every small town too. It’s as if automakers made them to go fast, but simply detuned them for the factory build.

          In high school (mid ’80s) I had a ’79 Mustang 5.0 and wondered why the new CRXs and MR2s were a bit faster. Funny, it would do 55 MPH in first gear (redline)!

          After some investigating, turns out it had lame 2.42:1 gears. With 4.10s and a posi, it was a whole other animal, while otherwise bone stock.

          • 0 avatar
            Drew8MR

            My concern is that with factory 4:10s, you might render first gear rather useless by changing. I was expecting something like 3.2, 3.4.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Then it’s one less gear to shift. But it’s not going to happen. You’ll shift sooner, but that’s the point.

            We are talking about a manual, right? If it’s an automatic, who the hell cares? Let the trans figure it out, even if it shifts at 50 feet, hard throttle.

            But the sooner you get the RPM up (in every gear) the better, since it has no balls down low.

  • avatar
    NG5

    I like it a lot. I wish every car were either this or a Miata, so that it would be easier for me to get another one before such simple and joyful cars are gone forever. I agree that the interior looks like a commercial van, and I don’t care as long as it lasts like one.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    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.

  • avatar
    AnalogMan

    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.

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