Subaru Is Ending Production of the Current-Gen BRZ, and We Know Why

The Subaru BRZ and it’s twin the Toyota 86 have been on the market for a little more than eight years (since January 2012), and now it’s time to say goodbye to one of the coolest compact sport coupes to grace the last decade. All told, 2020 will mark the final year for the Subaru BRZ, at least as we know it, but that’s a good thing, as long as you’re willing to wait for the next-gen model. Don’t bother sounding the fake news or rumor alarm, either, as this news comes directly from Subaru itself – if you can read Japanese, that is.

Subaru Is No Longer Taking Orders for the BRZ Sports Car

2020 Marks the Final Year For the Current-Gen BRZ, But That's a Good Thing
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If you head over to Subaru’s Japanese portal for the BRZ and let your browser to the handy translating for you, you’ll find big, bold letters at the very bottom that read “We have closed the built-to-order manufacturer order for the models listed.”

The translation is, obviously, a little off, but you get the idea – if you want a BRZ right away, you better find one in stock now because supply will dry up relatively quickly.

Subaru has refused to comment on the matter, telling Automobile Mag that they “can’t comment on the BRZ at this time,” and Toyota has said nothing about the 86. But that’s also where the good news comes in.

When Is the Next-Gen Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 Launching?

2020 Marks the Final Year For the Current-Gen BRZ, But That's a Good Thing
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We’ve known for a while now that Toyota and Subaru have partnered up on the next-gen BRZ and 86. but we knew even before that when we predicted that neither will be offered with AWD or a turbocharged engine. Since then, we’ve learned that the next-gen 86 (and probably the BRZ) is set to arrive very soon, along with a 255-horsepower, turbocharged engine. Mix in that fairly recent report and the fact that Subaru is now killing off orders for the current-gen BRZ, and it looks like the next-gen BRZ will likely debut in before the end of fall 2020 and will launch as a 2021 model. If it doesn’t happen by fall of 2020, we’ll see it in the first quarter of 2021, and it’ll launch as a 2022 model. With all of that said, however, there is some other recent news that you probably won’t like.

Will The Next-Gen Subaru BRZ Be Turbocharged

2020 Marks the Final Year For the Current-Gen BRZ, But That's a Good Thing
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We’ve been back and forth about whether or not the next-gen Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 will be turbocharged, and it looked likely since they were said to be powered by Subaru’s FA24 turbocharged mill (straight from the Subaru Ascent).

A leak as recent as January 13, 2020 and March 25, 2020, said we’d be looking at some 252 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, but more recent news as all but debunked those claims. Despite the calls for forced induction from BRZ and 86 fans over the better part of the last decade, neither car will be turbocharged for the next-generation. Rumor has it that both cars will see just a mild power bump up to 217 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Subaru’s FA24 engine will still provide that grunt, but it’ll do so with natural aspiration.

Why Won’t the 2021 Subaru BRZ Be Turbocharged?

2020 Marks the Final Year For the Current-Gen BRZ, But That's a Good Thing
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It seems simple enough, right? If Subaru and Toyota are going to place the FA24 from the ascent into the next-gen BRZ and 86, the turbo should go too. It is, unfortunately, not as simple as that.

See, originally, when all that turbocharger drama was going down, both cars were expected to transition to Toyota’s TNGA platform, which would allow for not only better driving dynamics and weight distribution, but all-wheel-drive and turbocharging as well.

However, the latest reports (you know, the stuff I told you would piss you off back in May 2020) say that the next-gen BRZ will ride on the same Subaru platform that underpins the current models. That platform, by the way, was the reason why the current-gen BRZ and 86 couldn’t be turbocharged.

Why Isn’t the Next-Gen Subaru BRZ Riding on Toyota’s TNGA Platform?

2020 Marks the Final Year For the Current-Gen BRZ, But That's a Good Thing
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Toyota’s TNGA platform sounded like a big step forward for the BRZ and 86 – it would have opened the door for AWD and turbocharging. It would have also been lighter, offered better weight distribution, and would have – in theory- provide for an impressive bump in on-road handling. However, as reported by Torque News, Toyota’s TNGA platform – found under cars like the Toyota Auris, Lexus UX, and Toyota CH-R, among many others – isn’t really suited for RWD. So, you could have AWD, but RWD wouldn’t really work, and that’s one of the biggest selling points of the current-gen cars. However, if you know Toyota’s TNGA platform, you know it can support RWD. What car am I talking about? I’m talking about the Lexus LC 500, which is underpinned by the TNGA-L platform. It, along with the TNGA-N platform, are – according to Toyota – capable of supporting rear- or all-wheel drive. So, if there’s truth to this report, it likely has to do with the fact that the TNGA-N and TNGA-L are too long for the BRZ and 86 twins. The next platform down, the TNGA-K that underpins cars like the Camry, Avalon, and RAV 4, only supports front- and all-wheel drive configurations, as does the TNGA-C, which underpins the Prius, C-HR, and Auris. That’s why this report holds even the slightest bit of water.

2019 Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ drivetrain specifications
Type, Materials 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, boxer, aluminum alloy block and head
Valve train DOHC 4-valves per cylinder with Dual Variable Valve Timing
Displacement 1998cc
Bore x Stroke 86 x 86 mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Horsepower 205 hp @ 7,000 rpm (SAE NET) (A/T – 200 hp @ 7,000 rpm)
Torque 156 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm (A/T – 151 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm)
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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