Pandemic obliges, Subaru Canada proceeded to the launch of the second generation of the sporty BRZ in a virtual way, and this at the stroke of noon on Wednesday. This is essentially what was presented to us. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn much that we didn’t already know. Fortunately, we will have the opportunity to take a more comprehensive look at the model once we have tested it.
However, it may happen in the fall, because that’s when the new generation of the model is expected. A word on that in conclusion.
Still with Toyota
First, let’s mention that the model has once again been developed in collaboration with Toyota. Moreover, the partnership between the two groups will give birth to other products, which is good news, both for the two firms and for consumers.
The styling of the first BRZ was successful, so we didn’t have to stir things up too much here. Consequently, we simply added spices to bring it up to date. This gives us a product that is part of the same philosophy. What is important is that we managed to lower the center of gravity by 4 mm thanks to the addition of aluminum materials, especially at the height of the roof. The seat has also been lowered by 10mm for a driving position even closer to the ground.
This is by far one of the most important things with this model which has kept its essence. Ditto for the weight, which only increases by 10 kg, which is interesting considering that we find a more imposing engine under the hood.
2.4 liters As
we knew, the 2-liter 4-cylinder fitted to the first generation models is replaced by a 2.4-liter Boxer 4-cylinder block. The latter, we guess, delivers more power with 228 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 3,700 rpm. In fact, we are talking about gains of 10% and 15%, respectively.
Versions and gearboxes
The BRZ, which will be offered in only two versions (Base and Sport Tech), will be able to receive a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission, both offering six gears. With the first, the pleasure will of course be there, but we must give up the EyeSight safety system, standard with the automatic transmission. Regarding the manual gearbox, Subaru mentions having improved the selector stroke, making the passages even more natural and easier.
Improvements to the cooling system and several mechanical components, aimed at greater robustness, are also on the list of alterations. We calculate that with more power, the model will be subjected to a little more severe torture sessions, which is not wrong.
A retouched interior presentation, a new instrument cluster with a configurable screen, StarLink connected services (a first with the BRZ) with three-year subscription, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as many elements as the we will find it by sliding into the driver’s seat.
At the wheel, we will certainly find the same level of pleasure, at a minimum. The mass balance has remained practically the same, going from 48/52 to 47/53 for sporty driving. Subaru engineers readjusted the MacPherson front struts and multi-link rear suspension to improve model performance. The rear track has also been slightly widened for better dynamics and the suspension attachment points have been reinforced. Torsional rigidity has been increased by 50% at the front and the BRZ benefits from Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires of 17 or 18 inches, depending on the version.
You will agree, this is all very interesting on paper. We will confirm it in due course on the road… or on the track.
Pure sports cars are in the process of disappearing on the market, but fortunately, some manufacturers persist and sign, and in this regard, we must salute the work and joint commitment of Subaru and Toyota with this model.
If there is good news, it is that the company tells us that sales have been stable over the past five years, despite a decline in the segment. There is therefore cause for hope with this new version.
However, the company takes a wrong step with a fall presentation. If for our neighbors to the south it matters less, here at home, launching a rear-wheel drive sports car when winter is upon us makes no sense. It would have been desirable to see the model arrive in the spring or the height of summer, at worst. Coudonc.
Still, everything looks promising. The prices will be communicated to us just before the product arrives at the dealership.