Subaru has been caught benchmarking a BRZ against the Mazda Miata.
If you want sports car thrills at an affordable price, you can't go wrong with the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ. While sales of both models have been declining since they were introduced in 2012, next-generation versions are already in development. Toyota claims the next 86 will be even better than the Supra.
But before they arrive, the current BRZ could be getting a send-off because our spies have caught a mysterious prototype sporting some upgrades for either a new facelift model or a special edition.
We first saw the mystery Subaru BRZ being put through its paces at the Nurburgring back in October, and now the sports car prototype has been spotted being benchmarked against a Mazda MX-5 Miata and Alpine A110 on the streets.
Compared to the current model, the prototype BRZ has a more aggressive front bumper with a larger central air intake flanked by vertical openings. It's also been equipped with new front fender vents behind the wheels and new headlight graphics. Judging from the camouflage at the back, there will also be changes applied to the rear lights and the section between the lights and on top of the trunk.
Powertrain details remain a mystery, however. Being based on the current BRZ suggests it will retain its 2.0-liter boxer engine that produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, enabling the Japanese sports car to sprint from 0-62 mph in seven seconds.
Its performance falls short of the Miata, which can do the same sprint in 5.9 seconds. Since Subaru is benchmarking the BRZ against the Miata, it seems likely that the prototype has been given a power bump to complement its aggressive styling upgrades. Rumors also suggest the next-generation Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 will be powered by the same 2.4-liter turbocharged unit as the Subaru Ascent. In the Ascent, this engine currently produces 260 horsepower but is expected to be detuned to around 217 hp in the new Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.