Subaru Tells Us A Next-Gen BRZ Is Definitely Going To Happen

Only yesterday we read a report that the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ ‘twins’ would not be replaced once their life cycle comes to an end. This struck us as odd, so we decided to investigate.

The good thing with the World Wide Web is that you can get tonnes and tonnes of information. The bad thing is that you can also get tonnes and tonnes of misinformation. Oftentimes, it’s hard to distinguish between the two, and even huge media outlets have, more than once, been duped.

After we talked to Toyota yesterday about whether the 86 was going to be axed, and receiving an immediate reply that this is totally false, we thought we ought to chat with Subaru, too, and find out their plans about the BRZ.

Subaru USA spokesman Ron Kinno’s response was swift and leaves no room for interpretation:

“We do not endorse this report coming from Japan’s Best Car”, he told CarScoops. “We are moving ahead with a next-generation Subaru BRZ, but have no further details at this time.”

This is indeed good news for petrolheads who, due to dwindling demand (and sales), have little choice when it comes to a fun to drive compact sports car. People might cry ‘badge engineering!’ and, for the most part, they are correct, but considering the low sales volumes, as the sports car has also become a victim of SUVs, a joint project is the only way to roll out such a model without losing money.

Kinno’s answer might also hint that Toyota and Subaru will, once again, cooperate on the replacements of their compact coupes. After all, the 86 is manufactured at Subaru’s Gunma assembly plant alongside the BRZ, and it would not make sense for any of the two automakers to develop the next-gen of their model alone.

Will they stick to the flat-four engine? Probably. Will they use a revised version of the current platform? Given the accolades it has amassed, that’s very likely. Will they, at last, fit an engine with more than 200 HP, as their customers want? If the redesign allows for its fitment without ruining the handling balance, we don’t see why not.

When can we expect to see them launch? Can’t answer that one, although we guess they shouldn’t be more than two or three years away.

And for the record, the opening rendering that was made by CarScoops’ own Josh Byrnes a few years back, wasn’t for a BRZ replacement, but for a higher-end sports car aimed at the Nissan GT-R. If you want him to take on the next BRZ now that we know that there will be one, all you have to do is ask…


Photo Rendering Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes


Subaru Viziv GT Vision Concept for Gran Turismo Game

  • Momogg

    An other Z4?

  • Blade t

    Make it look like that rendering, and they will sell a bunch of them..

  • ME

    If it is a Subaru it needs Awd

  • Bo Hanan

    With the Supra being Toyota’s flagship sports car you can bet this new BRZ/86 will have less than 250hp.

  • ErnieB

    If it looks like the rendering it would upstage the ugly duckling Supra so it will never look like that period. Dream on folks..

  • eb110americana

    I hope that it makes a return to both Subaru and Toyota. But regarding that rendering, please don’t turn it into a CR-Z on dubs.

  • MarketAndChurch

    The market might be friendlier to both of these cars if they grew in size to at least be the size of the A5/Corvette/Camaro, price it between 25 to 50k, and to let their designers loose to create something beautiful, international, and muscular.

    • eb110americana

      They should either go smaller to compete with the Miata and lose the useless back seat, or go slightly larger, to at least be an actual 2+2 instead of a 2+0. They don’t need to be as big as an A5, but 3000 lbs. would probably be acceptable if it meant a daily livable interior. If they don’t put a turbo on the 4 banger this time, no amount of “making it fast will ruin it” excuses will save them.

      • Ali Ahadi AJ

        I don’t understand why in the initial inception of the BRZ/GT86 no one thought “hey how about we have a N/A model the first year and ADD a second turbo trim model for those who want to spend more and go faster?” Like the other sports cars that sell boat loads like the big three.

        • Loquacious Borborygmus

          The chassis was designed with the current engine, any change to the configuration or power would require re work of a very fine handling car that would likely make the costs prohibitive to the buying public.

    • Jonathan

      Camaro or A5 is WAAAY too big for a sports car.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    ….and what about the 86?

    • Mr. EP9

      What about it? It will most likely remain virtually unchanged. There’s no way Toyota is going to let it get anywhere near the GR Supra.

  • Dennis James

    …but this time it will be limited to 150hp, to further enhance driver experience 🙂

    • Wandering_Spirit

      I’d add a “pedal mode” too, so you can decide to switch the engine and use it like a bicycle, to optimize fuel efficiency and environmental impact.

  • blunt-o

    Will there be a hybrid ? How about an electric option? Not all of us want to destroy the planet with fossil fuels, but still like to go fast in an affordable car.

    • Ali Ahadi AJ

      You want it to be affordable, fun and be an EV/Hybrid? At the moment can only really pick two.

    • Trackhacker

      Lol…stop eating beef. That is half the problem.

      • blunt-o

        I was vegetarian before your mom was born.

      • brn

        Stop breeding. That’s 95% of the problem.

  • StrangerGP

    your rendering is horrible, looks like a shooting brake gone wrong

    • Dampfender Mistmacher

      Yep, awfully jagged…

  • WalthamDan

    Please don’t let Toyota be involved with designing the exterior!

  • Alex87f

    Except the 86 / BRZ outsold the Miata by 160% (or 50,000 cars) between 2012 & 2016. It only got outsold by the MX-5 in 2017 & 2018 (by a total of appx. 1,300 cars), despite being a much older platform, so your base statement doesn’t really stick. Especially considering the Miata has the convertible argument going for it.

    And the issue’s always the same. The twins can handle more power, but it comes at a cost, for a car most people already deem too expensive. Spending $3000 on the aftermarket will give you appx. 230 street legal ponies, and that seems to be what Toyota relies on for customers in need of more power.

  • d’Aforde

    The next Toyotaru should have one engine option: the engine from the WRX STi. And the Toyota version should be called Celica. Toyota could make a slighly smaller version and call it MR2. Toyota could also share the car with Lexus.

  • Jonathan

    It needs at least to have a second engine option for the people who want the car quicker from the factory (I.e. With a warranty). Either the turbo flat-4 from the WRX or the flat-6, both will get you to 265-270 HP, which would put the optioned car well above the Miata and closer to the non-V8 pony cars.

  • FordMopar

    They should ask Toyota if BMW can include Subaru in engine sharing for the next Subaru BRZ…..using Supra’s but de-tuned to like 275 hp. It would shut everyone up. Including me! Ha

  • Toronado_II

    And a Subaru SVX again the Supra ! 😉

  • SteersUright

    Now we’re talking! Dont have to do much to get the next BRZ to be awesome. Just refresh design and add power. Done. And for gawd’s sake, offer a proper STI version this time around!

    • brn

      Better brakes too.

  • Alex87f

    a) Miata’s have been selling for a long time, but they’re still hit by life-cycle fluctuations that can be pretty large, the questions is could you create the same type of cycle for the ’86, which is in even more of a niche? I’d tend to think so, but with the big addendum that sales are always going to be limited
    I was surprised by the EU sales figures vs. the miata (and even more once you take the fiat 124 into account), but then you have to factor in the new car taxes that tend to heavily disadvantage the ’86. In France, a 1.5 MX-5 starts at 27k€ on the road, an ’86 is a 42k€ car once it’s registered. Same with insuring a 130hp car vs. a 200hp car.

    b) I generally agree with your statement that people don’t mod their cars (my 86 is stock), though the user base for cheaper (and japanese) small sporty coupes would likely be much more open to modding that the general public.
    And again, if you want it to be as quick as the WRX, you have to realize that you’re building a car with mechanicals as expensive as a WRX, on a specific (read: much costlier) platform. It basically becomes a $/€40++k car, and that’s an even smaller niche, with (paradoxically) more competition from 370Zs, Caymans, Z4s, etc. Add AWD and you’re probably looking at another 5k€.

    Regarding your last point, I’d blame two things: bad targets setting, and the SUV-pocalypse we’re currently in. People with a little extra cash in hand will tend to spend it on upgrading their compact purchase towards an SUV, not a coupe anymore.

    • Wandering_Spirit

      I can explain, or try to (translated for the automotive for decades before going into something else).

      Different sales volumes between EU/US can, maybe, be explained with the fact that the Miata, as i said is a recognized model that sells itself among a quite thick niche, for that model, not in absolute numbers. Subaru’s flat line in Europe is due to two major complaints. A) Lack of an AWD version (decades of marketing focused on AWD and rallies shaped consumer’s minds who now expect Subaru to only sell those, even in the cheapest segments) and B) Lack of ponies. 200 is considered too low and in Europe there are many places and roads where that is really true as people may not tune their cars much but they do use them at max performances and 200 HP makes you become a laughing stock if you happen to meet hot hatches. Toyota’s curve is normal. They always have a peak as soon as the model is released in this segment and then enthusiasm fades. It was the same for the Corollas and all other sport models except when Toyota was winning big in the 1980s and their sales were driven by Rallies.

      Your observation on the SUV-pocalypse is an interesting one i hadn’t considered. Maybe because in Europe is not so visible but i think you are right instead. Many people want these big, roomy cars and spending the same for what they see as a very limited tinbox with no practica use besides fun might not be the best thing. In the 1980s/1990s in many parts of Europe, wives were partners in crime in wanting 3 door cars often, kids would go behind and sliding a seat wasn’t such a big thing and putting stuff in a cramped boot was ok.

      Things might have changed at this turn of automotive history. Thanks for the observation. It makes sense.

      I’d still go with a BRZ (slightly tuned) or with a Miata RF. :-). I really hope the next generation of GT86/BRZ will have a better design and some more ponies out-of-the-box.

  • E Gman

    People who say “WAaaH WAaH MORE pOWER moRE PowER” obviously haven’t driven a BRZ / FRS / 86. Can’t believe people still think co developing is “badge engineering” as well. But you know, people are small minded now.

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