Purists, your car has arrived.
Once again, a small, light, naturally aspirated rear drive coupe is coming to save us from the power wars.
The car we have all been waiting for. The second-generation Subaru BRZ, and soon the twin Toyota GR86. A small, light, rear drive sports car for the masses that is focused on fun rather than lap times. Happy days. The old one was brilliant to drive, easy to throw around and being rear wheel drive always just felt a little more special than the faster and more powerful front drive hot hatches. The small coupe body was never a great looker, but the dimensions were pretty enough to never really offend anybody, particularly after the refresh in 2017. The new one however is a smart looking little sports car with real intent, but is it just me or does it look a little Hyundai Genesis Coupe?
The only real criticism of the original was it just lacked power, something that’s been hopefully sorted for this new car. Rather than throw a turbo at it and be done, they have simply stuck with the old ‘no replacement for displacement’. Don’t think they have gone crazy though, a new NA 2.4L four cylinder developing 228bhp and 184lb ft of torque, is a slight increase of 31bhp and 28lb ft over the old 2.0-litre. Still not huge numbers, but we think it will weight around 1300kg, so let’s hope it’s enough to keep the punters happy in this power-hungry world we live in.
The gorgeous small 2.4L NA boxer engine.
To try and give the purest feel they can, it comes with a six-speed manual and gets a LSD as standard, it also revs all the way to 7500 rpm. Should be as fun ringing its neck right out to the redline as the last one. A six-speed automatic with wheel-mounted paddles will be available as an option, one I’m sure many will tick, but I do hope the manual stays the biggest seller. It has a brand-new bespoke chassis that promises a near-perfect weight distribution and improved rigidity, not that the old car really had many issues in these areas. One of the biggest steps forward is the interior. A seven-inch screen is there instead of the normal dials and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with both CarPlay and Android Auto gives it a much more modern feel. The only worrying news is the stability control system has five settings, which in a car that is meant to give a pure drive, seems about 3 too many. But lets not judge till we can drive it.
Also, Subaru has announced that it has no intention of bringing the new BRZ to the UK, however, Toyota did sell far more GT86s than Subaru ever did, so there is still hope.