2012 Subaru BRZ breaks cover ahead of 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on November 29, 2011

After Toyota unveiled the GT 86, it’s time to take a look at the new Subaru sports car: this is the Subaru BRZ! As expected, the new car is a joint-project between Subaru and Toyota Motor Corporation and promises to be a sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure that everyone can experience.

According to Subaru, the new BRZ is comes with a low center of gravity as the engine was mounted closer to the center of the chassis.

Regarding the engine, the Subaru BRZ is powered by the same 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed boxer direct injection engine found on the Toyota GT 86 and capable to deliver 200 hp and 205 Nm of torque.

The engine is mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, while an automatic 6-speed gearbox is available as an option.

The 6-speed automatic transmission has an “S mode” for better shifting response and “M mode” for optional shifting. Regarding the design, we can’t say that the new Subaru BRZ is impressive… it is a beautiful car, but honestly we expect even more from the STI version which was previewed by a concept at the 2011 LA Auto Show.

Overall height of BRZ is 1,300 mm and it has a wide and low body of a stylish coupe at 1775mm. Yet, it allows for 2+2 seating and a trunk with ample space.

Exterior Design

In terms of how the exterior is designed, the Subaru BRZ has top quality features but is also extremely fun to drive. Notably, its design is easily recognizable as part of the brand’s product range. Looking at its side for instance, since the BRZ has a low center of gravity, having the shapely fender flares greatly helps in highlighting its intense beauty. Being a sports car, it is clear that the overhangs for both the front and the rear were shortened as a way to display its dynamism.

From the side, one can see that that the brand managed to achieve the perfect mix between functional beauty and aesthetic beauty to bring forward aerodynamics through the shape of its C-pillar, the layout of the trunk line, and the incline of the rear glass, to name a few.

Going to the front fascia, the BRZ can afford to have a design aimed at having a low hood due to its ultra-low center of gravity package. The low hood coupled with the protruding fenders in the front give rise to the expectation that is the drivability of the BRZ.

Highlighting the fender is a unique garnish. To guarantee that the BRZ is indeed a Subaru, its hexagonal lower grille and the six-star ornament headlights are in line with the brand’s design theme present on all the new models. For its rear fascia, the way the rear wheel arches are projected provides a contrast of how compact the cabin is while at the same time it is able to underscore just how beautiful the rear view is.

Another important effect of its ultra-low center of gravity package is that the new BRZ has a Boxer engine that is low-mounted on a sub-frame that is purposely designed for it.

By having this set-up, the BRZ is able to deliver a low driving position, as expected from a sports car. While total height is 1,300 mm, its width is at 1,775 mm, much like the typical stylish coupe. Even with these dimensions, the 2+2 seating is possible in the BRZ and even has a trunk that offers enough space. Given this surprising utility, it is obvious that the BRZ is not merely a sports car but also a vehicle that one can take on long trips.

Press Release

Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ is a rear-wheel drive sports car featuring the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine. It was developed as a joint-project between Subaru and Toyota Motor Corporation, to bring to the world a sports car with superior steering response and driving pleasure that everyone can experience. The Subaru Boxer engine in the BRZ was positioned even lower than other Subaru models so that the BRZ has one of the lowest possible centers of gravity s on the market today. This low center of gravity produces astonishing handling character and combined with a light-weight chassis BRZ realizes Subaru's aim for "Pure Handling Delight" - the driving experience taken to a new level.


The product concept of Subaru BRZ is "Pure Handling Delight." The Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine has inherent qualities of low center of gravity, lightweight, and compactness. These attributes are maximized by placing this engine even lower and closer to the center of the chassis. These factors contributed to BRZ's low center of gravity - one of the lowest possible. The Subaru BRZ is a fun sports car that any driver can enjoy driving with peace of mind.


The Subaru BRZ has a low-mounted Boxer engine on a specially designed sub-frame that forms an "ultra-low center of gravity package". With this arrangement, BRZ achieved a low driving position typical of a sports car. Overall height of Subaru BRZ is 1,300 mm and it has a wide and low body of a stylish coupe at 1775mm. Yet, it allows for 2+2 seating and a trunk with ample space. Not only is the BRZ a sports car, but it can also be a suitable partner for long tours with its unexpected utility.


Subaru aimed for a sports car design that instinctively conveys the car's fun-to-drive character. In addition, it was detailed to be instantly recognizable as a Subaru.

Front fascia

The "ultra-low center of gravity package" also allowed a low hood design. This low hood and bulging front fenders raise expectations for the Subaru BRZ's drivability. Also, to communicate the Subaru identity the Subaru six-star ornament, headlights and hexagon lower grille follow the Subaru design motif common across new Subaru models.


The low center of gravity enhances BRZ's sensuous beauty with its shapely fender flares. The aesthetic beauty is combined with functional beauty that advances aerodynamics through such areas as the C-pillar shape, rear glass inclination, trunk lid layout. As would be expected from a sports car, the front and rear overhangs were shortened to express the Subaru BRZ's liveliness. The front fender is accentuated with a distinctive garnish.

Rear fascia

The projecting rear wheel arches sit by way of contrast to the compact cabin and emphasizes the beauty of the BRZ's rear view.


Details were carefully designed to allow a new level of fun-to-drive experience in which the driver and vehicle become one.

The steering wheel was made smaller to achieve sports car maneuverability.

A tachometer with digitally displayed speedometer is placed in the center of the gauges so that the driver can instantly see information without diverting attention from the road.

Bespoke sports car seats were designed to hold the driver and passenger and feature lowered sitting positions to match the "ultra-low center of gravity package".


Making full use of the design concept of the new-generation Boxer engine, the newly developed engine made exclusively for the BRZ is highly efficient with superior output and environmental friendliness. It realizes an exhilarating high revving nature of a naturally aspirated sports engine.

It has square bore and stroke of 86 x 86 mm.

Due to the joint development with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota's direct injection and port injection technology "D-4S" was incorporated in the Subaru BRZ's power unit.

To achieve the "ultra-low center of gravity package", the engine as a whole has been made more compact by such means as adopting the shorter intake manifold and the shallower oil pan.


The joy of sports car driving was realized through a transmission that focuses on shift feel and response.

The 6-speed MT employs a short stroke shift lever. The lever was optimized in rigidity, shift quality and weight application in its pursuit of a superb shift feel.

The 6-speed AT has "S mode" for better shifting response and "M mode" for optional shifting. Also, with the paddle shift and downshifting blipping control, this model can respond faithfully to the driver's inputs.


The lightweight yet highly-rigid body was developed exclusively to maximize the advantages of the "ultra-low center of gravity package".

Low center of gravity and low driving position were achieved by the perimeter type body frame layout.

The body has a rigid and durable frame structure that also works in balance with the vehicle's light-weight. The rigidity is optimized for high drivability and appropriate durability is maintained for collision safety.

High tensile steel was used in the body to contribute to weight reduction. Effective use of this material in the upper structure of the Subaru BRZ contributed to its low center of gravity.

The front hood employs aluminum for lightness. The structure was fine-tuned for a low styling that also improves pedestrian protection performance.


Excellent maneuverability and stability of the "ultra-low center of gravity package" offers direct and sharp response to steering and enhances driver's connection to the car

The front suspension employs struts for light-weight and high rigidity, while a double wishbone layout is adopted at the rear for better shock absorption.

To gain a low front hood from the "ultra-low center of gravity package", the front strut mount was lowered while maintaining the stroke.

The tires are 215/45R17 combined with lightweight and highly rigid aluminum wheels.

All models are equipped with electronic stability control to provide both driving pleasure and safety.

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