Will it be built this time?
The first-generation Subaru BRZ we desperately wanted never happened but hope has been revived. The 2022 Subaru BRZ has arrived with a new engine, improved handling, and design updates inside and out. The fact that it's built on the same rear-wheel-drive platform as its predecessor is nothing to complain about. Subaru engineers updated an already brilliant setup. And this all begs the question: will there be a true BRZ STI this time around?
The Japanese automaker, not surprisingly, refuses to comment on the subject, but this didn't stop rendering artist X-Tomi Design from dreaming up the perfect BRZ. Just a few days ago he rendered a BRZ convertible, though we highly doubt a production version will come to fruition; the Mazda MX-5 Miata owns that small piece of the market.
This new BRZ STI, however, has far more serious potential. The must-have body kit includes a large rear spoiler, side skirts, and some front aero. Gold rims wrapped in larger tires and a hood scoop for the turbocharger round out the updates. How much additional power could that turbo offer?
The base 2022 BRZ's naturally aspirated 2.4-liter Boxer engine offers a healthier 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, a nice improvement over its predecessor's 205 hp and 156 lb-ft. A turbo could easily kick the new model's output towards 300 hp. A tighter suspension is another must. Technically, this is all easily possible. Business-wise, it may not be for the same reason as before.
The Subaru WRX STI remains the automaker's halo performance model and we don't see this changing any time soon. Even though the rear-wheel-drive BRZ never has been nor ever will be a direct rival to the all-wheel-drive WRX STI, Subaru is rightly concerned some sales and attention will be drawn away from its longtime rally-inspired compact sedan.
Nissan, for example, was able to justify the 370Z Nismo (and hopefully 400Z Nismo) because it lacks a WRX STI fighter. It's still way too early in the new BRZ's lifetime to know its full trajectory, but we're keeping our fingers crossed. Again.