With the cancelation of most international auto tradeshows and exhibits in 2020, carmakers have been coming up with various ways of introducing their upcoming models. While some found creative ways to conform to the new normal to launch their new cars, Japanese brand Subaru opted for a low-key preview of the new generation of its one and only rear-wheel drive coupe, the Subaru BRZ. Shunning the bright lights, the new iteration appeared as a fully disguised test mule in a charity event in the United States.
Attendees of the 2020 Subiefest World Record Attempt and Charity Drive held in Costa Mesa, California, got a sneak-peek of the 2022 Subaru BRZ coupe. No official images have been circulated yet, but photos from quick-to-snap enthusiasts have begun appearing on social media platforms. Based on an Instagram photo that shows a thinly veiled prototype, the upcoming Subaru sportscar's shape and basic proportions ― with its long, low hood and a fast-sloping roof line ― didn't undergo significant changes. From the looks of it, there are bigger rear side windows and sharper rear lights than the outgoing iteration.
Subaru also teased a close-up photo showing a wheel design and a small bit of the car part near the wheel, which is similarly camouflaged as the one in the charity event. You can see a 5-lug, 10-spoke wheel closely resembling that of the Toyota GR Yaris, a brake rotor, and a vent chiseled into the front fender, the bottom part of which is filled in but the top looks functional. The brake rotor is a cool addition in a sportscar, the vent is likely for reducing turbulence in the wheel wells, and the ventilated arches serve to cool the front brakes.
The hood wasn't raised so new power details remain undisclosed, but the current Subaru BRZ is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2L 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed boxer engine that delivers power output of up to 200hp and peak torque of 205Nm. This comes mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission that sends power up the rear wheels.
Subaru USA said that the 2022 Subaru BRZ will arrive this fall. To us Filipinos ― who only have summer and rainy seasons ― this means any time now up to the 3rd week of December, before winter officially begins in the US. The new-generation sports car is presumed to go on sale in the first half of 2021.
As for the Toyota 86, the BRZ's corporate twin, Toyota has remained tightlipped about details of its upcoming iteration. But since the model always closely resembles the BRZ, it will most likely come as a nimble rear-wheel drive coupe powered by a flat-four boxer engine. The design and styling might however be more striking than its Subaru double. With the Subaru BRZ having broken cover, even in camouflage form, the Toyota 86 may also just be around the corner.