It has more power, but there's a reason it's still naturally aspirated.
Automotive enthusiasts demanded that Subaru fit a turbocharged engine in the 2022 Subaru BRZ. The outgoing car packed a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine producing 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, and suffered from a tremendous dead spot in the torque curve, leading it to feel slow and at times unresponsive.
As it's been made clear from the reveal of the next-generation BRZ, Subaru took these objections seriously and did something about it. The new BRZ is more powerful than before, but much to the dismay of enthusiasts, it still doesn't come with a turbocharged engine. Speaking with Road & Track, Subaru explained why.
Let's just take a moment to appreciate that Subaru dropped in a larger 2.4-liter engine producing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, 23 hp, and 28 lb-ft more than the outgoing 2.0-liter mill. This FA24 engine is the same one used in the Subaru Ascent, albeit without the turbocharger, but there's a good reason the BRZ stayed normally aspirated. One of the reasons why Subaru (and its joint partner Toyota) decided to use a boxer configuration in the BRZ and 86 is to allow the engineers to mount the engine lower in the car.
Subaru Public Relations Chief Dominick Infante explained that if the BRZ has a turbocharger like the Ascent, it would be mounted on the bottom of the engine, thus forcing the engineers to raise the mounting point. This action would have disturbed the BRZ's low center of gravity and handling prowess.
Cost and weight played a factor as well. Adding a turbo would have pushed the BRZ beyond its scant curb weight of under 2,900 pounds and likely ruined its affordable $28,845 entry price. While some will complain that the BRZ still needs a turbo, Subaru will argue that it isn't really necessary with the improved engine.
The old engine didn't deliver peak torque until 6,400 rpm, but this new one provides its 184 lb-ft max at only 3,700 rpm. With a lower torque peak, it should be far easier to build up and maintain speed in the new BRZ. A turbocharged engine would still lend itself more to tuning, but the new BRZ looks like a fine improvement out of the box.