Here it is then, the highly-anticipated 2020 Subaru BRZ. While yes, we may not be getting it over here in Malaysia, there’s no indication as of now that the unannounced Toyota-branded sister-car, rumoured to be named the GR86, won’t be making its way round here. So think of this as a teaser of some sorts, and keep our hopes and spirits high, shall we?
First things first – there are no turbochargers here. Unfortunately, early rumours for a turbocharged engine turns out to be untrue this time round, but the new 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated still gives quite a significant bump in power output, now making 228 hp and 249 Nm of torque – 28 hp and 44 Nm higher than before.
The all-new Hachiroku twins still maintain its old formula with a heap of pure driving experience, dash of lightweightness, and topped off with a fairly-affordable price tag. A six-speed manual gearbox plus a limited slip differential is standard, but a six-speed automatic gearbox with Sports mode for faster downshifts is available as option.
The engine revs all the way up to 7,000 rpm, and as there’s no forced induction here, the engine response should be quite linear throughout the entire rev range. It’s also been placed lower in the chassis to help lower the all-new BRZ’s centre of gravity, and when paired to a 2,576 mm wheelbase and “near-perfect weight distribution”, the 2020 Subaru BRZ should be quite a hoot to drive, too – not that we’ll get to try it in the near future unfortunately.
Subaru also says that the torsional rigidity in the “bespoke” chassis has increased by 50% while the “front lateral bending rigidity” has been increased by 60-percent, using design elements learned from the Subaru Global Platform such as a reinforced chassis mounting system, sub-frame architecture and other connection points.
By using struts and coil springs on the MacPherson struts front suspension, paired with a double-wishbone rear suspension set-up, Subaru is also able to keep weight low – 1277 kg to be exact, though “estimated”. In fact, Subaru even claims that the new BRZ is the “lightest rear-wheel-drive 2+2 production sports car sold in the US”, which is oddly specific, and somewhat side-steps the Mazda MX-5.
While the overall proportions and size is pretty similar to the outgoing model, the 2020 Subaru BRZ looks completely new, thanks to the slightly rounder shape. Up front, there are the new more upright headlights, paired to a gaping, protruding hexagonal front grille that also sits lower than before.
The two side air scoops are also functional, and looks mighty aggressive with its jagged edges. There are also new sculpted bonnet that frames the headlights, while the roof retains the “double bubble” treatment as a nod to old-school race cars.
The side air vents behind the front fenders are also completely functional – ahem, unlike those found on the Toyota Supra – which works to channel air from underneath the car to flow over the side skirts, generating more downforce. The small fins on the rear wheel arches also serve an aerodynamic purpose to help increase lateral grip.
As for the rear, the 2020 Subaru BRZ now feels a lot taller visually thanks to the new taillights, which seemingly sits a lot higher-up than before – although, they reach further outwards towards the side to give it a wider stance, while also being joined together by a thin strip across the entire width of the bood lid.
There’s also an integrated ducktail spoiler that houses the third braking light, while lower down, the reverse/fog lights combo has been retained from the outgoing model, flanked by the exhaust tips on each end. Two variants are available in the US – the Premium sits on 17-inch wheels, while the higher-end Limited is equipped with a set of 18s.
Inside, the driver-focused interior is upgraded with a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, which can be customised to display amps, water temperature, or a G-force meter. In Track mode, the tachometer automatically changes to a linear horizontal scale, which supposedly helps the driver to focus on the road.
Elsewhere, there’s also a new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display – which frankly, looks like an afterthought that’s just been tacked on. The infotainment display runs on Subaru’s latest StarLink system, and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Models equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission also feature Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
The all-new 2020 Subaru BRZ will be produced at the marque’s Gunma assembly plant in Japan. Pricing is unannounced, though it is estimated to start at around $30,000 (RM123k), and will go on sale in the second half of next year – unfortunately in the US only for the time being – please prove us wrong, Subaru?