A change in packaging strategy on the next-generation 2022 Subaru BRZ will see an automatic transmission and the EyeSight suite of safety technologies offered on all trim levels, a shift that could make the sportscar more appealing to younger buyers, says Subaru Canada Car Line Manager Brad Evans.
The second-generation BRZ will come in two versions, down from three. However, unlike the previous generation where each trim level was matched with a single transmission, both grades on the 2022 model can be purchased with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
On the 2022 BRZ, the standard EyeSight safety suite includes pre-collision braking and throttle management, lane sway and departure warning, rear automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, and lead vehicle start alert. Blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert are packaged separately from EyeSight and are available at an extra charge.
The EyeSight suite, however, cannot be equipped with the manual transmission, said Evans.
The automatic transmission’s take rate on the previous generation was approximately 20 per cent, he said, adding that Subaru Canada is expecting it to climb as high as 40 per cent with the new model. While projections put sales of the 2022 model’s higher Sport-Tech grade at 60 per cent and the entry-level grade at 40 per cent, Evans said that adding EyeSight for the first time could generate new sales.
“[The entry-level grade] may surprise us pleasantly,” Evans said. “We think it will be bringing new buyers into this segment and into this vehicle.”
Sales of the new BRZ are projected to average 600 to 700 units per year over the next three years, approximately double those of competitors such as the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5, according to data supplied by Subaru Canada and attributed to Desrosiers Automotive Consultants.
The 2022 Subaru BRZ receives design updates and a new, larger 2.4-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine making 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque that peaks at 3,700 rpm. These figures represent across-the-board improvements over the previous generation’s 2.0-litre engine, which offered a maximum of 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque peaking at 6,400 rpm. Other notable updates include a 4 mm lower centre of gravity, standard LED headlamps, and an available digital instrument cluster.
Pricing will be confirmed closer to the BRZ’s Canadian launch this fall, though Evans said Subaru plans to keep pricing accessible and “as close to the outgoing model as possible, while obviously understanding that a lot has gone into this new model.” The 2020 BRZ had a starting sticker price of $30,024 including destination and fees