2022 Subaru BRZ Review

MODEST power and torque gains from a larger-capacity (but still naturally aspirated) engine, a new, slightly longer platform with a wider rear track and the addition of more standard features… Well, whoop-de-doo, if that’s the sum of the improvements a car manufacturer has implemented on its replacement product for a 10-year-old model… that’s not progress, man – it’s stagnation. 


We jest, of course, but in the current automotive landscape, in which turbocharged downsized powerplants, electrification and autonomous driving technology are all the rage – and compact sportscars seem well and truly on the endangered species list – products such as the second-gen Subaru BRZ seem impossibly narrow in focus, singular in purpose and, well, a little indulgent.


Subaru Australia’s newly introduced BRZ, however, has merely kept strictly to the brief. Like its predecessor, it has a light, compact package with a non-turbocharged motor that drives the rear wheels via a limited-slip diff. Although based on a new platform, it retains the elements that made the first-gen model such an elemental and, importantly, affordable sportscar. 


Underpinned by the Japanese marque’s modular global platform, the new BRZ’s wheelbase and overall length has increased by 5mm and 25mm respectively, while its height has been reduced by 15mm. The newcomer’s body offers about 60 per cent more front lateral bending rigidity and 50 per cent more torsional stiffness and the rear track has notably been widened by 10mm.


As expected, the new BRZ offers a lot more standard specification than before, yet it weighs only 3kg and 8kg more (the manual and automatic versions, respectively) than its predecessor, because aluminium has been used extensively for the newcomer’s bonnet, front fenders and roof skin.


Under the bonnet, a 2.4-litre flat four-cylinder petrol motor with direct injection and port injection has replaced the 2.0-litre unit of the previous model – it develops 174kW at 7000rpm and 250Nm at 3700rpm and is paired with a either a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission (augment with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles). Those figures represent improvements of 22kW and 38Nm for manual- and 27kW and 45Nm for automatic cars.  


All derivatives feature self-levelling and steering-responsive LED headlights and 18-inch alloys, while inside, Subaru Australia has fitted smart-key access with push-button start, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear/transmission lever, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a 7.0-inch, customisable digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and includes DAB+ digital radio and built-in satnav.


Along with the expected active and passive safety equipment, the new BRZ features blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, while automatic versions benefit from selectable Sport and Snow transmission modes, reverse automatic braking, as well as the Shibuya-based marque’s proprietary EyeSight stereoscopic camera driver-assist system. 


The all-new Subaru BRZ comes standard with Subaru’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, five-year capped-price servicing program and twelve-month roadside assistance program.

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