I hate to admit it, but I was among those craving for a turbocharged motor in the second-gen 2022 Subaru BRZ. And yet, here it is, still without a turbo. Strangely enough, I still find it exciting. For starters, Subaru heeded our plea for more power. In return, the carmaker gave the 2022 BRZ a larger and an all-new 2.4-liter horizontally-opposed engine, a venerable replacement to the anemic FA20/4U-GSE 2.0-liter motor of the first-gen model.
The styling has also taken a few steps towards genuine grand-touring sportiness. Have you seen those rear wheel arches? Okay Subaru, I get it. From an enthusiast’s perspective, I can’t wrap my head around why Subaru has yet to infuse the new BRZ with some STI DNA, particularly from the brand’s glorious rallying past. The platform is already there, and the BRZ is a two-door coupe with a manual, for crying out loud!
However, I understand the ins and outs of jointly developing a low volume sports car. The fact of the matter is that Subaru made the new BRZ a better car than before, which does mean a lot.
It’s only proper to start with the motor. The 2022 Subaru BRZ now has a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine. It now produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque, which is 23 more horsepower and 28 more lb-ft. of torque than before. The engine is paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox with a short-throw shifter or an optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters and a new Sport driving mode. Similar to the first-gen BRZ, power is sent through a limited-slip differential turning the rear wheels.
This new FA24 motor is similar to the one found in Subaru’s Ascent crossover. But in the Ascent, the Boxer motor has a blower to boost the output to 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. Additionally, the turbocharger allows it to churn peak torque from 2,000 rpm. I know Subaru was worried about packaging a turbocharged engine in the new BRZ because doing so may compromise the vehicle’s ultra-low center of gravity – the very reason why you’re buying a Subaru BRZ instead of a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Fiat 124 Spider.
But still, just knowing the Ascent has a turbocharged version of the new BRZ’s 2.4-liter motor is a hard pill to swallow. Just saying, Subaru.
Alas, but the Subaru BRZ is not just about balls-out power! Subaru has stuck with a proven formula in the 2022 BRZ. It remains light and agile with its 2+2 seating and a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution. According to Subaru, torsional stiffness is up by 50 percent, while front lateral bending rigidity has improved by 60 percent.
The 2022 BRZ has the same MacPherson strut suspension in the front and double wishbones in the back. The wheelbase has grown a smidgen to 101.4 inches to the old model’s 101.2 inches, while the chassis includes reinforced mountings and a sturdier sub-frame architecture.
What this means is a voracious tendency to devour corners or perform magnificent power slides. If you’re familiar with the rather playful and tail-happy – yet at certain times, naughty – nature of the old BRZ, the new model has taken it up a notch. The new BRZ has five settings for its vehicle stability control system, and you can turn it completely OFF if you’re feeling brave. So in the end, the 2022 BRZ is still exciting despite the persistent absence of a turbocharger.
Familiar Styling, New Vibe
Don’t get me wrong, but the 2022 Subaru BRZ is not a gargantuan departure in the style department from the outgoing model. It does have a bolder front grille, larger air intakes, a slimmer greenhouse, a wider rear track, those curvy rear wheel arches, and a subtle double-bubble roof design. But it still looks pretty much like the BRZ of before with that subtle ducktail rear spoiler and dual exhaust tips.
Inside, the new BRZ has a customizable seven-inch digital instrument cluster, while the passenger can fiddle with a new eight-inch infotainment touchscreen display. Connectivity options include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth. Deep-contoured bucket seats are standard, while automatic models receive the full plethora of Subaru’s EyeSight driving assist technology.
Interestingly enough, the 2022 Subaru BRZ remains as practical as before. Subaru claims the rear trunk can accommodate a mountain bike (with the front wheel removed), golf clubs, or up to four racing tires if you fold down the tiny rear seats.
2022 Subaru BRZ: Pricing & Availability
Pricing for the 2022 Subaru BRZ is still forthcoming, but initial deliveries will start in the early fall of 2021. Production of the BRZ will be at Subaru’s Gunma, Japan assembly plant. Subaru claims the new BRZ will be the lightest 2+2 RWD sports car in the United States when it goes on sale. That is until the next-gen Toyota 86 joins in the fun.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.