Next-gen Subaru BRZ seen testing with Mustang Turbo

A camouflaged version of the next-generation Subaru BRZ has been seen undergoing testing with a Mustang Ecoboost. It’s common practice for automakers to benchmark their cars against competitors’ offerings, and although we don’t know any stats on the BRZ yet, the fact that they’re putting the it up against the 310-horsepower turbo-four Mustang offers a clue to where Subaru plans to position it in the marketplace. 

The BRZ prototype was caught by spy photogs for Autoblog, who witnessed the test session at Subaru’s R&D facility just outside of Detroit. They state that the BRZ is (thankfully) smaller than the Mustang and seems to have a smoother overall shape that eschews the curvy fenders of the outgoing generation. Comparisons to the Genesis Coupe from rear angles aren’t far off.

BRZ production has just ended, and we are fairly certain that the next BRZ/86 will be powered by a version of Subaru’s turbo FA24, a 2.4-liter boxer found in the Ascent. In that behemoth SUV, it makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Ascent weighs about 4500 pounds, though, and if it makes no additional power than the Ascent tune, it means that the BRZ will likely end up weighing far less than the Mustang’s 3600 pounds. For images of the prototype, see the article on Autoblog.

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11 Responses to Next-gen Subaru BRZ seen testing with Mustang Turbo

  1. dankan says:

    It’ll be very interesting to see exactly how they evolve the toyobaru formula. I know a lot of people complained about the perceived lack of power, but I wonder how much hard evidence they had that they were losing a lot of sales due to that specific detail. And how will they balance the power vs the weight and the cost?

    • Mark F Newton-John says:

      Uhh, the Mustang sells WAY better than the 86/BRA. They even sell more Mustangs than 911s in Germany.
      People with money will buy a more powerful Mustang, than keyboard jockeys still stuck in the 90s driving old Acuras.
      So until a Japanese manufacturer can finally combine something north of 300 hp that doesn’t cost more than $40 grr will they have a hit.

      • dankan says:

        Uh, I know that the Mustang sells more. Not sure what any of that had to do with my comments.

        I was commenting on the online complaints about the lack of power vs. real data that it was costing sales. If they don’t have it, it’s a helluva thing to try basing your target market on the Jalopnik comments section. I don’t know that a move towards a turbo-charged, more powerful machine actually improves the market appeal of the car. To use your Mustang example, that car has half a century of brand awareness and support, and people will chose the Mustang over the 86/BRZ regardless of if it is faster, slower, or an SUV. The Mustang has its own market, as well as “sporty” car shoppers.

        The 86 does not, so I am not sure where they think buyers will come from. Especially with a Toyota Supra 4-cylinder just above this in the market creating a very hard ceiling on price and performance.

  2. speedie says:

    I’m hoping the final design has more styling than the camouflage would indicate. Like it hate or hate it the current car does have distinctive lines and styling character, most of which look to be taken out in the new version.

  3. Steve says:


    I would have traded in my 2016 FRS in a blink of an eye if this new one had been equipped with a Toyota I4. 200hp is more than enough for me; just pop in an updated 3SGE from the 2004 Altezza.

    I’ll think about “updating” and take a look when they come out, for sure, but more power and new styling doesn’t make me that excited as long as it has that flat 4…

    • Buns says:

      If rumors and leaks are true then it will have the fa24 which is shaping up to be an incredible motor and I would hazard to say the best Subaru boxer put on the market.

  4. Mark F Newton-John says:

    Finally someone benchmarking the Ford turbo-4. You can talk handling all day, but in ‘Merica, when you’re down 100 up, you’re not gonna sell a lot of cars. Although they didn’t benchmark the Focus RS with it’s 350hp, the RS has been discontinued and is about $10,000 more.
    What I want is a new Corolla Levin with the Yaris GR motor.

  5. Mark F Newton-John says:

    What, no uproar that Toyota is using someone else’s motor? So Toyota partners with BMW and people LOSE THEIR MINDS, and Toyota uses an SUV motor from someone else and… crickets.
    Well at least it will look fast with window shades, tow hooks, and an oversized wing. 😉

    • Steve says:

      See my comments, two posts up (although it’s not really an uproar).

      Funny you should mention “crickets”. One of the few issues the current motor has…

    • James says:

      Well people lost their minds because they see the Supra name as THE Toyota sports car. The mk IV was a special car with a beautiful engine (well a lot fame did come from FF, but that’s another thing). When Toyota sad they would be bringing back the Supra, fans wanted a pure Toyota experience. When they saw how much BMW touched the new Supra it understandably turned them off. If it was just the motor it might have been fine, but the interior, underpinnings and etc. are mainly BMW. It’s a change of character from something quintessentially Toyota and “bastardising” it.

      I understand that it is a much better value prop for Toyota to team up and share development costs, but maybe they shouldn’t have called it a Supra. This could have changed people’s mindset. But whatever, I’m just happy Toyota is selling sports cars again.

    • Speedie says:

      The difference is the 86/BRZ was a clean sheet design with no heritage. The Supra had four prior generations that built up a strong fan base. Ford had the same issue when they first introduced what eventually became the Probe as the Mustang replacement in the 80s. No one really cared that it was basically a Mazda, they just did not see it as a Mustang.

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