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Outdated Subaru BRZ Stays Hot - Still Regarded One Of The Best Small Sports Cars

The 2020 Subaru BRZ is the last first-generation model, but the two-door coupe is not dead yet. See why it's still one of the best small sports cars in North America.


The outdated 2020 Subaru is ready for a complete remodel, production has stopped in Japan, and just when you thought it was dead, it's still getting awards. U.S. News and World Report announced its 13 Best Lightweight Sports Cars of 2020, and the BRZ sports coupe gets an honor along with its sibling Toyota 86.

The next-generation Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 are coming sometime next spring, but the BRZ is still alive and well. U.S. News says the BRZ is best at carving a tight corner because of its low center of gravity, making it ideal for cornering.

2021 Subaru BRZ, 2021 Toyota GR86, next-generation Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR86

The BRZ/86 twins share the Subaru 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine, which is a flat four-cylinder. Subaru's boxer engine sits low in the chassis, giving BRZ/86 one of the lowest centers of gravity of any production car in the world.

The BRZ's front-engine rear-drive configuration also allows placement of the engine lower and farther back in the sports car than in any other Subaru model. It helps BRZ to attain the best possible driving dynamics and "polar moment of inertia."

2021 Subaru BRZ, 2021 Toyota GR86, next-generation Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR86

The BRZ Boxer engine is closer to the chassis center, which helps make the Subaru BRZ very compact, at just 167 inches long on a 101-inch wheelbase. It's another factor that contributes to BRZ's outstanding handling characteristics.

Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 share the honors with a distinguished group. The list includes the Porsche 911, Toyota Supra, Volkswagen GTI, Lotus Evora GT, Porsche 718 Cayman, Honda Civic Coupe Si, Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, Mini Cooper, Alfa Romeo 4C, Fiat 124 Spider, and Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Even though it’s due for a complete remodel, the 2020 Subaru BRZ sells well and one of the fastest-selling models of any car in North America. Subaru of America reported they delivered 267 BRZ sport coupes to customers last month, a 69 percent increase over the same period the previous year. Customers are snatching them up as soon as they hit the retailers' lots.

Much will change when the next-generation 2021 Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR86 arrives next spring. They could get a new 2.4-liter direct-injection Subaru Boxer engine with more power, new sheet metal, new infotainment technology, and improved all-around performance.

What won't change is the first-generation model's low center of gravity and it's impressive handling characteristics. According to U.S. News and World Reports, the 2020 Subaru BRZ is still amongst the best sports cars available on the market today.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Competition Subaru


DANIEL RAYMOND… (not verified)    September 11, 2020 - 11:00AM

I have a 2019 BRZ Limited with the brembos and I have to say it really is one of the best sports cars out there. Its my daily and I love driving it to and from work everyday. Once I pay it off it will be my weekend car and hopefully I can get the new WRX/STI but I have had my eye on the Legacy XT.