For 2022 the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins have been given a thorough makeover or what we call a refresh in the auto biz, this year coming with a complete re-skin, a larger and more powerful engine, an updated interior and a lot of other important tweaks.
In November, Subaru got to show their boy off first as the 2022 BRZ was unveiled to show its fresh new styling. Looking much less like Kermit the frog and more like an affordable exotic, the new face is crisper and sculpted looking than before.
From the side you can see new sculpting and lines that tie into functional side vents in the new aluminum fenders. An inch longer and an inch lower, the greenhouse is largely carried over but when you get to the rear three-quarter view it’s got some new smack.
With a wider planted stance, an integral duck tail spoiler and a set of LED tail lamps t hat almost look lifted from an Aston Martin it’s definitely dialed up. A set of dual exhaust tips round out the all-new look.
The interior gets a significant rework too. While the previous design wasn’t anything to complain about, there’s an all-new dash with modernized controls, displays, and infotainment options. Ahead of the driver is a 7-inch fully customizable digital instrument cluster.
Thankfully, the aftermarket audio deck look is out and center stage is a more integrated 8-inch infotainment touch screen along with a redesigned center stack and center console. Offered will be the latest and expected connectivity, audio and navigation choices. It’s a fresh look around the perimeter but those great seats are carried through to the present.
The 2022 Subaru BRZ will come in two trims, Premium and Limited. As before you can choose either a standard six-speed manual or option a six-speed automatic. The latter comes with a with a new Sport mode and in Limited trim comes with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
Big news comes under the hood with a larger and more powerful boxer engine now at 2.4-liters. Bore increases to 94mm with still an 86 mm stroke so now over-square it offers up 228 horsepower and more important a good bump in torque to 184 pound-feet. And it shall sing with a 7,000 rpm redline. A new Sport mode in the automatic transmission gives faster downshifts and automatic throttle blipping.
To chassis, Subaru says that body rigidity has been increased by 60-percent and that along with a number of subtle suspension and chassis tweaks offer better turn-in feel, more stability and overall better handling.
For track driving, you can choose up to five different settings for the stability control which has been re-calibrated to allow more sly and fly before shutting down the party like a micromanaging parent. And yes can also completely turn it the fuck off.
Production of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota variant starts next year and will go on sale here in the United States in fall 2021. With the engine bore size change, whether Toyota keeps the name 86 as of today remains a mystery.