Currently reading: 2021 Subaru BRZ prototype spotted in production form
Second-generation sports coupé will feature familiar styling but new chassis and substantial power upgrade
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
2 mins read
13 August 2020

A prototype of the next-generation Subaru BRZ has been spotted for the first time, giving us an early look at the hotly anticipated sports coupé's production styling ahead of its expected unveiling next year. 

The 2021 BRZ, as reported earlier this year, will get 252bhp from a turbocharged petrol engine. Like its predecessor, it will be mechanically - and likely visually - identical to a Toyota being launched at around the same time, expected to be called the GR86.

These images reveal that the BRZ's familiar curved silhouette forms the basis for the styling of the next-generation car, but we can see for certain that the front grille has been significantly enlargened and there are new light designs at both the front and rear. 

A similarly compact footprint to the outgoing model tallies with earlier reports that the Toyota-Subaru duo will swap from their current Subaru-derived underpinnings onto the TNGA architecture that underpins Toyota's Corolla family hatchback and can be adapted to suit a rear-wheel-drive powertrain.

As with the previous model, however, the BRZ and its GR86 sibling will use an engine from Subaru's current line-up, likely the 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer motor found in the US-market Ascent SUV. Its 252bhp output represents a substantial upgrade over the 197bhp offered by the current BRZ's naturally aspirated motor, which suggests Subaru and Toyota are looking to target more potent sports cars, such as the Alpine A110. 

Also on the cards is a comprehensive interior overhaul for both models, with improvements made in material quality, infotainment functionality and usability. The size and shape of this new prototype suggests, however, that there hasn't been a move to significantly extend rear leg room to enhance the car's grand touring potential.

Subaru and Toyota extended their model development partnership last year, confirming that a successor to the GT86 and BRZ was under development. Sharing the high cost of designing and building a sports car makes it a more economically viable proposition, given that demand for such models has tailed off in recent years. 

The two firms will also collaborate on a new electric vehicle architecture with the ultimate aim of jointly launching an electric SUV with Subaru-derived four-wheel drive technology and Toyota's powertrain hardware. 

The first sighting of a BRZ development mule comes just two weeks after Subaru announced that it was ending production of the original model, eight years after its launch. 

Read more

Subaru ends production of BRZ sports car

Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ sports cars confirmed for next generation​

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12

13 August 2020

 Me thinks they need to rethink they're styling, completely! , if it wasn't selling that well, then, why not a bolder new front for instance?

13 August 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Me thinks they need to rethink they're styling, completely! , if it wasn't selling that well, then, why not a bolder new front for instance?

I don't think styling was the issue, I think they look great, personally, from what most other commentators say though, I'd guess it was lack of a higher powered version, which this addresses.

13 August 2020

But will we actually see the Subaru version, or will rationalisation mean only the Toyota is sold in the UK?

Given the likely engine size coupled with what must be a very mild turbo boost, I would imagine throttle response will remain sharp. However I'd be concerned that fuel consumption may suffer - and this may mean a substantial price rise given the likely WLTP fines which will have to be paid by someone. 

Still, any new compact sporty rear-wheel-drive must surely be welcomed. And kudos to Subaru and Toyota for persevering with an enthusiast model that has not so far achieved the success it deserves.    

13 August 2020
That 0-60 of 7 should tumble to 5.7. Now the car's complete.

13 August 2020
I would prefer the na personally, but agree, there should have been the option of a higher powered version from day one really.

13 August 2020
Look forward to seeing this properly, I really like the current cars, would love one, but they need to get a bit older and cheaper for me yet.

13 August 2020

Why not just make it a roadster to compete with the Mazda MX-5, would sell much better...

13 August 2020

I had a BRZ for just over a couple of years and I was extremely satisfied with it, it's a wonderful car perfectly balanced  with fabulous handling and with adequate power to enjoy it's performance. Personally I think the 25% power increase offered by the new engine is a mistake,made worse by the new engine being turbocharged as well,I rather feel that this will rather spoil the character of the car. What I'd really like the new BRZ/GT86 to have is a hatchback as the boot has plenty of space (especially with the rear seats down) but a distinct lack of height which limits it's usefullness also a rear wiper would be very handy in wet weather. It'll be interesting to see how the new model sells here,the BRZ is no longer the bargain it once was and the Subaru dealer network is rather sparse in  UK which doesn't help either. 

14 August 2020

Boy will this car benefit from a turbo, mind you it'll put a few tuners out of business as they spotted what so people wanted,  a Tubo kit

14 August 2020
This car will NOT be turbocharged. Figures for the new 2.4 NA engine have been released by other publications (220 ps / 177 lb ft). Turbos would require significant chassis upgrades. Do the rear tyres look capable of delivering the supposed 80% torque increase to the rear wheels? (No) Would Toyota release a cheaper car that snaps at the heels of a four banger Supra? (No)

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