Back in August, Toyota and Subaru ended the production of the current BRZ/86 Toyobaru sports car, one of our favorite speed machines — which suggested that the new version's arrival would be imminent. Subaru confirmed it would unveil the new vehicle sometime in fall 2020 on social media on Sunday evening, revealing the picture you see above
Subaru also offered attendees of Subiefest (it's exactly what it sounds like) a sneak peek of the new car, which naturally leaked on Instagram.
The new BRZ will be a 2022 model year vehicle, which implies it will hit dealers during the 2021 calendar year. That timeline meshes with the leaked Subaru product-planning document that had the new car starting production in spring 2021.
Subaru described the BRZ as “all-new.” However, manufacturers treat that designation as expansively as required for marketing purposes. There's a good chance the new BRZ (and related Toyota 86) might continue on an upgraded version of its current platform; re-working Subaru’s new global platform (which, obviously, is most focused on AWD crossovers and sedans) for a low-volume, rear-wheel-drive, manual-transmission sports car would seem like a lot of effort for minimal return.
The other key question to be determined is the powertrain. Enthusiasts have been clamoring for an upgrade from the now-outmoded 205 hp naturally aspirated engine in the current model. Reports have suggested Subaru could wind up using its turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer engine — the “B” in BRZ stands for boxer — tuned to around 250 horsepower.
That power output would place the BRZ in a good spot within Subaru’s lineup, slotting in below the upcoming (and likely more powerful WRX.) That said, it would also present Toyota with an 86 making roughly the same power output as the four-pot Supra — an odd situation, given that the 86 would almost certainly cost less and offer the six-speed manual the Supra does not.
Whatever the setup, the new BRZ / 86 will be among our most anticipated cars to drive next year. Hopefully, the latest version will maintain the pure driving character of the present version while being a tad more comfortable and tolerable for everyday driving.