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3 Reasons Why You Will Never See a Turbo Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86

There’s three simple reasons why Subaru and Toyota will never produce a turbo BRZ/86 sports coupe.

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The 2017 Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86’s 2.0-liter engine remains naturally aspirated. There’s no turbo model for 2017 and there never will be. Even though performance enthusiasts would like one, Subaru and Toyota will never produce a turbocharged BRZ/86 sports coupe. There’s three simple reasons why.

Subaru of America's Car Line Planning Manager, Todd Hill, talked with CarBuzz recently and cleared up any idea of a turbo BRZ model. Hill told the auto website that putting a turbo into the BRZ would change the car way too much. There’s three reasons why Subaru won’t ever do it. It will add weight and price to the rear-drive sports coupe. Hill says, "We wanted to keep it affordable. It’s priced for enthusiasts.”

Subaru BRZ turbo will change the dynamics

Todd Hill went on to say, “A turbo BRZ will become a different car altogether.” Adding a turbo to the BRZ "will add weight and price.” Another reason Hill gives is that the turbo won’t fit under the hood easily of the BRZ, and “packaging it in there would be a pretty big undertaking” says Hill. The BRZ/86 is perfectly balanced with the boxer engine sitting low in the chassis, and a turbo could change it.

It’s all about the boxer design

Subaru’s 2.0-liter FA engine is perfectly compact allowing it to be placed lower and closer to the firewall. To gain a low center of gravity, the rear-drive layout enables the engine to be mounted as low as possible. This placement allows for low polar movement and near-perfect balance.

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Subaru never intended the BRZ two-door coupe to be a top performer on the strip. They wanted it to be a great driver’s car with fun-to-drive dynamics in the corners. Hill says, “The BRZ was never intended to be a straight-line car," like U.S. muscle cars.

BRZ/86 gets added horsepower for 2017

Even though the BRZ won’t get a turbo, the Japanese automaker did bump up the horsepower for 2017. The 2.0-liter naturally aspirated boxer received several internal updates for friction reduction including new valves, camshaft and cylinder heads. Accompanied with a new aluminum intake manifold and redesigned exhaust manifold for increased air flow, the engine output in models with the 6-speed manual transmission is increased to 205hp and 156 lb-ft of torque.

A new performance package

Subaru also offers the new Performance Package ($1195) for the 2017 BRZ. It’s available on the Limited model with the 6-speed gearbox and includes Brembo calipers and larger rotors on both front and rear brakes for better stopping power. The package also includes SACHS Performance shock absorbers on all four corners for improved ride and corning stability. Also included in the package are special 17-in x 7.5-in black aluminum alloy wheels. More on Page 2.

The 2017 Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 won’t be getting a turbocharger. What it does get is a few upgrades to improve performance. BRZ also gets the new Performance Package which isn’t offered on Toyota’s 86 coupe. The BRZ /86 won’t be getting a turbo because of price, weight and balance.

Source: Subaru, CarBuzz

Photo: Subaru

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Adam (not verified)    October 5, 2016 - 7:05AM

Funny. Aftermarket has been fitting turbos in there just fine. Space is a lame excuse.. have you seen how much room the stock air box takes up? That being said, I don't support a factory option turbo in this car. As an owner of an FRS from day 1 I can say the car is plenty fun to drive and red light to red light racing just doesn't have an appeal.

Dennis (not verified)    October 31, 2016 - 5:26PM

In reply to by Adam (not verified)

I agree since I'm a BRZ owner. What other people don't realize is that are other means to get power out of the car without use of forced induction though use of aftermarket parts. Besides there are other options in the market if you wanted a faster car. Subaru has always had an answer called the WRX. If you wanted a rear-wheel drive turbo you can get a Mustang. You really wanted a 4-cylinder boxer motor with rear-wheel drive you can get the new Porsche Boxster or Cayman. At the end of the day you are still getting what you paid for.

Pete (not verified)    February 23, 2017 - 1:21AM

Yeah, it'd become "a different car": a car people want to buy. I was extremely excited about the BRZ debut, but after driving it and feeling how gutless it is, no way I'd plunk down the money for it. And bringing the power up to 205... Wow, big whoopidy doo. Very underwhelming after 7 years as a Spec. B owner.

Trempton Tymes (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 5:07AM

In reply to by Pete (not verified)

I agree, I bought my 1st 86 in 2015. That day took it thru the canyon and was let down on so many levels, but mainly the power. Sold it next day....
2021, a 2nd 2015 86, Borla, (Corvette) built including full race exhaust, headers, complete with a Borla CF dual fan cold air induction system, very similar to a turbo without the strain on the motor. My everyday driver with almost 300hp not boosted and safe. Not to mention 100% street legal due to using Borla Parts! Certified and inspected by CHP
Built specifically for Willow Springs Raceway. I dig my 86 now.....

Rocketman (not verified)    June 8, 2017 - 8:36PM

I would be reluctant to go turbo because I like predictable throttle response. Wouldn't mind more power or more Honda-like flexibility though. Thinking about changing the differential to close up the gear ratios.

Chas in Philly (not verified)    September 28, 2017 - 12:08PM

Subaru's reasons for not installing the WRX turbo in the BRZ are lame. Subaru refuses to make it all it could be because "that would change it?" Genius. Besides, who said you have to toss out the non-turbo version to offer a turbo?. I have 65,000 trouble-free miles on my stock BRZ, and it's been been go-kart fun throughout. But Subaru isn't listening to it's owners. It's a shame, because the BRZ could have had staying power. It remains handsome enough to be a classic, if they gave it the chops. Subaru's real reason may be that a performance BRZ in the lineup would obliterate the STI's performance edge,

Chris (not verified)    December 27, 2017 - 3:05PM

Next time I end up in a field and need more "CORNing stability" I will be wishing I had this Subaru. I spell checked this. RIP journalism!

David (not verified)    February 1, 2018 - 7:30PM

I want Subaru to talk to the engineers at the Italian company MV Augusta. They have used the same basic engine design for years. The difference is they are never satisfied, every year they find more power and torque from the same engine by refining and tweaking without forced induction. Come on Subaru 250 HP is possible without a blower!

Martin Seebach (not verified)    April 6, 2018 - 12:47AM

Needs an AWD with 300 or more hp. The Celica All Trac worked very well. It had low clearance. Had to keep rocks less than 2" on my roads and still be careful. Nothing like a rock through thin steel/aluminum to ruin a day. An 86 Toyo all wheel drive with enough power and solid drive train would be sweet.

Muggsy (not verified)    May 3, 2018 - 8:31AM

I have to agree with most of the comments posted. I just so happen to be passing by a Subaru dealership, that little BRZ is a sexy looking little car. But refusing to up the hp with a turbo/super charger is utterly ridiculous. Weight? The 10 lbs (all in with inner cooler) nothing compared to the 50 hp you can gain. Change up the rear end a bit and you have something with some staying power. I was flerting with the idea of trading in my Genesis, witch I have had 3 of since 2011. Dollar for dollar, not a chance I will give up my little rocket. With the R-spec walking of the assembly line with 285 hp. And with less than 1000$ worth of bolt on upgrades, putting the car to 345 hp @ 6500 rpm (yes on a dino) you can see why Genesis is not just a model any, but it’s own label.

Bash ayoubi (not verified)    August 26, 2018 - 12:17PM

This car can gors up to 800 hp with special parts modification !! This is how the company made it :) I like it

Larry (not verified)    September 10, 2018 - 1:19PM

I just bought my third SVX. Like my other two, it is 25 years old. If Subaru made a new one ala 2019 / 2020 with what they have learned in the past 25 years, without making any changes to what is good about the SVX (lots of space for a six foot driver, two doors, but with a rear seat, exterior styling that is timeless). Did it with a H6 engine, no turbo, offered a manual shifter (need not be true manual gearbox) and with 300HP, for $60,000 or less, I would by at least one, maybe two or more tomorrow.

Paidattentioni… (not verified)    February 12, 2019 - 4:28PM

Nice car, bogus reasons - as per many of the accurate comments. The article...not so nice! Could have 40% or so shorter and more concisely pleasant to read without the re-duhhh-ndantly repeatedly repeated repeats upon repeats of all the same repeatedly repeated material. Was that an annoying sentence? Good! So was the article, for the same reason!

Literacy and journalism are dying arts in our "thumbspelling" times.

Subaru SS (not verified)    February 15, 2020 - 7:53PM

Forget the turbo, I don’t want a laggy engine anyways. What it needs is more displacement. Either Subaru’s 2.5L H4 or even better, their 3.6L H6.

A port and direct injected flat 6 would be fuc ing amazing in a BRZ!

Critical Thinker (not verified)    March 25, 2020 - 2:38PM

Well, this article didn't age well. The BRZ is getting a turbo from the factory. Oh well, it was fun to read anyway...

Toyota 86 TRD … (not verified)    November 19, 2021 - 3:24AM

The 2022 BRZ is NOT getting a turbo from the Factory. It probably never will.
As Subaru SS wrote, it needs a Flat 6.