Punchy New Subaru BRZ

Punchy New Subaru BRZ

Here’s something you don’t see every day – a Subaru BRZ doing a burn-out.

It’s an obvious sign of a major performance boost for the second-generation BRZ, which is likely to arrive in Australia in the second half of next year.

There is no official confirmation yet of the down under plan for the BRZ, or any news on its Toyota 86 twin, but both are a dead-set certainty as the car goes public in the USA.

The big change for BRZ 2.0 is a 2.4-litre boxer engine that lifts power from 147 to 170 kiloWatts and boosts the crucial torque output from 205 to 249 Newton-metres.

That’s 15 per cent more power and 20 per cent more torque, a massive change for a car which has always been under-powered.

The newcomer is also slightly lighter, stiffer in the chassis, more refined in the cabin, gets a more-responsive automatic gearbox, and can be ordered with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres instead of the slip-sliding Toyota Prius tyres of the original.

“It’s tremendously exciting to get these first glimpses into second generation BRZ,” said Subaru Australia general manager, Blair Read.

“This car gave the whole sports segment a massive shake when it originally launched in 2012 and based on what we know so far about the second generation, we’ve got very high hopes for its ongoing appeal in Australia.”

This time around, Subaru has jumped out of the blocks ahead of the Toyota 86 and is taking credit for the edgier new body design, a longer-and-stiffer chassis spun from the Subaru Global Platform, and the upgrade in the cabin which includes a 7-inch digital dashboard and an 8-inch infotainment screen.

The car will still be available with six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes for its rear-wheel drive, with the roof, bonnet and front guards now stamped from aluminium. More high-strength steel is used to improve the rigidity of the chassis and the car’s crash performance.

Full details are some way in the future, but the BRZ is expected to get a version of Subaru’s EyeSight safety package to boost its driver-assistance performance.