How Do the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ Differ?

How Do the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ Differ?. The first-generation Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 are now considered cult classics. They both perform what they’re supposed to do best: they’re terrific sports cars. In many ways, the BRZ and GT86 have encroached on territory that the Miata has dominated for far too long. Some might argue that the GT86/BRZ did a better job of executing the low power, snappy handling recipe. They were designed and intended to be used as track toys. They also caused a lot of confusion among less knowledgeable enthusiasts, who either thought the cars were entirely different models or thought they were the same. Neither of these were true, as they shared the same chassis and engine but differed slightly in appearance and handling.

Both Subaru and Toyota have revealed their follow-up models for the 2022 model year, with the Subie keeping the BRZ name and the Toyota changing by one letter to GR86. They are also fraternal twins, just as the first generation. The BRZ and GR86 share nearly similar DNA with their predecessors from 2013. The majority of the distinctions between the two are cosmetic in nature. However, there are some significant differences in handling characteristics that could sway someone one way or the other.

How Do the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ Differ

What Differences Existed Between the Two Generations?

Before we go into the changes between the current generation BRZ and GR86, let’s go over how the two have changed since 2013. Subaru and Toyota have had time to listen to criticism on their prior models and improve the formula over the first generation’s eight-year lifespan. The improvements appear to be overwhelmingly favourable, with many of the most serious complaints addressed.

Engine Variations

The engine choice is unquestionably the most notable difference between the first and second generation BRZ and GR86. The first-generation BRZ and GT86 were both criminally underpowered. Subaru was in charge of engine development and placement for the BRZ, GT86, and Scion FRS. Both vehicles were previously powered by the naturally aspirated 2.0L Subaru FA20, which produced only 197 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Despite the Subaru boxer engine’s small level of power, many aficionados were able to look past the sluggishness due to the handling characteristics that compensated for it.

Subaru chose a new 2.4L boxer engine for the second-generation BRZ and GR86 when it introduced them. The 2.0L FA20 was replaced with the new FA24D flat-four Subaru engine. The FA24D, which replaced the previous flat-four, is a refined and upgraded version of the Subaru Ascent engine. As a result, the 2022 BRZ and 2022 Toyota GR86 gained 28 horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque, for a total of 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. While this may not appear to be a significant difference, both cars received a 28 percent increase in power despite only gaining 50 pounds over the previous generation.

Subaru altered the torque characteristics and power delivery in addition to increasing the power. The lack of torque in the middle of the rev range was one of the key complaints about the first generation BRZ and GT86. As a result, the new engine is significantly better suited to high-performance driving. The majority of folks who have driven both generations say the engine difference is night and day.

Differences in Chassis and Suspension

Subaru and Toyota both claim that the 2022 BRZ and 2022 GR86 have a substantially stiffer chassis than the previous generation. According to the makers, the new vehicles have a 50% improvement in torsional stiffness and a 60% rise in lateral bending rigidity. As a result, cornering performance has improved noticeably, as has stability and controllability, with a little more forgiveness in difficult circumstances.

Both the first and second generation automobiles have the same suspension system. The suspension configuration retains MacPherson struts in front and a double-wishbone layout in back. The previous generation’s setup was one of the most famous aspects of the automobile, as great handling had to compensate for the lack of power. The suspension on the 2022 BRZ and GR86 had to adapt for a little more weight and a lot more power, which resulted in slightly stronger spring rates and tweaked suspension tuning.

Both new models are about a half-inch lower than their predecessors. The suspension configurations on the 2022 BRZ and 2022 GR86 are marginally different to give each car a distinct feel, but we’ll go into more detail in the parts that follow.

Design and Other Distinctions

The first and second-generation BRZ and GR86 appear to be older and more successful cousins of their previous selves. Toyota extended the popular design of the 2013 BRZ/GT86 into the 2020s, with leaner lines and a redesigned front fascia. The new models are about an inch longer than the previous generation, which makes little difference. The new versions have a distinct design, similar to the distinctions between the original Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86. In a way. This will be saved for the following section as well.

Furthermore, the interior of the new generation is more advanced, with fully digital gauges replacing the analog/digital hybrid of the previous generation. The infotainment screen was upgraded from an unimpressive 7.0-inch touchscreen to a slightly less unimpressive 8.0-inch touchscreen.

Is It Worth It to Upgrade to a New BRZ/GR86?

With the differences noted above, many drivers who possess the previous generation BRZ/GT86/FRS will wonder if it is worthwhile to upgrade to the current model. I suppose it all depends on what you want to get out of the car.

It’s a toss-up from a simply practical/daily standpoint. On the one hand, the new generation offers a better fit and quality than the prior version. The interiors of the 2022 BRZ and GR86 are more refined, with new electronics. Despite the current generation’s somewhat longer wheelbase, the back seats are still unsuitable for their original purpose. The latest generation’s firmer chassis and sturdier suspension may make it slightly harsher on the road, but not noticeably so.

While the upgrade may not be a night and day difference on a daily basis, track day and performance driving will be the most noticeable. It’s no secret that the first-generation BRZ and GT86 developed a cult-like following for their track-day prowess. Previously, however, enthusiasts had to build them to perform well on the track. The latest version has a bigger emphasis on performance, making it an even better track day toy. This is especially noticeable with the new 2.4L FA24D engine, which gives the new models a little more grunt.

Finally, there is styling. While neither model has evolved into an entirely new vehicle over the years, they have both received some botox. The new automobiles’ design is undeniably refreshing, if a little predictable. But we’ll leave that decision to you.

Is There a Difference Between the Toyota GR86 and the Subaru BRZ?

As previously stated, the first-generation BRZ and GT86 were basically identical. The two were nearly identical in terms of overall chassis design, powerplant, cabin, and tyre arrangement. While both companies claimed that minor changes were made to each car’s suspension and steering characteristics, it would be nearly impossible to tell the two apart if you were blindfolded.

So we’ve arrived at the second generation. It appears to be a similar situation on paper and in person. While the 2023 GR86 and 2022 BRZ differ in a few key ways, the guts appear to be very similar, if not identical. In fact, the two differ in a few key areas, emphasising the contrasts between the Toyota and the Subaru.

Toyota GR86 vs Subaru BRZ Engine Specs

How Do the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ Differ

Engine Comparison: 2022 GR86 vs 2022 BRZ

When it comes to engine performance, the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are almost comparable. Of course, the Subaru FA24D boxer engine was used in both the 2022 GR86 and 2022 BRZ, providing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque in both vehicles. Despite early allegations that the 2022 BRZ had a greater 13.5:1 compression ratio than the 2.5L FA24D, both the GR86 and the Subaru BRZ have the same 12.5:1 compression ratio in production trim.

The FA24D boxer engine is a variation of the FA24F boxer engine found in the Subaru Ascent. The stroke, bore, and combination port/direct injection mechanism of the two engines are identical. The 2.4L FA24D engine, on the other hand, lacks the turbocharger found on the FA24F. Despite the BRZ/GT86 enthusiast community’s repeated requests, neither Toyota nor Subaru presently offers a turbocharged version of their respective models. While the FA24D is factory-equipped to accept a turbocharger, Toyota and Subaru decided against forced induction because it would have increased costs and raised the centre of gravity.

The GR86 and BRZ have both been adjusted to reduce the significant torque gap that plagued prior FA20/4U-GSE-equipped vehicles. Many drivers found it difficult to maintain momentum through the curves in the previous generation due to the dramatic power dropoff in the middle of the rev range. With the new generation, that problem has been completely resolved. Although each manufacturer claims to have tuned the FA24 in their own unique way to differentiate the two, most claim that they still feel nearly identical.

Suspension and handling differences between the Toyota GR86 and the Subaru BRZ

The suspension is one of the most noticeable variances between the GR86 and the BRZ. On first glance, the two appear to have similar configurations, which they also share with older first-generation versions of themselves. The 2022 BRZ and 2022 GR86 both have MacPherson struts and a double wishbone system in the back.

The most noticeable differences between the two are in the spring rates and sway bar dimensions. In comparison to the BRZ, the 2022 GR86 has a 7% softer front spring rate and an 11% stiffer rear spring rate. As a result, the BRZ features a more pointed front end that is easier to position in the desired direction.

In addition to the improved front-end precision, the BRZ has somewhat thicker front sway bars. The GR86, on the other hand, has a thicker rear sway bar, which adds stability and predictability to the back end. There is also a difference in the rear sway bar attachment technique between the two, with Subaru installing it directly to the unibody and Toyota mounting it to the subframe. Other differences include a difference in front knuckles, with the BRZ using a lighter aluminium compound rather than the GR86’s steel ones.

The difference in suspension configurations between the two models, in general, does have a noteworthy effect in how both the GR86 and BRZ handle. Overall, the Subaru BRZ is regarded as the more precise of the two options, with superior turn-in capability. Having said that, the Toyota GR86 is claimed to maintain speed better around turns thanks to its stronger rear end.

Aesthetic Differences Between the 2022 GR86 and the 2022 BRZ

The most obvious difference between the two models, aside from the modifications hidden beneath their surfaces, is their appearance. At first sight, the GR86’s front fascia appears more aggressive and frightening than the BRZ’s. The GR86 features a substantially larger front grille than the BRZ, although it serves no additional purpose. In comparison to the GR86’s scowling expression, the 2022 BRZ exudes a warmer demeanour. The grille mesh differs as well, with the GR86 employing a honeycomb pattern as opposed to the side-slatted design. The BRZ’s smaller grille design makes it appear lower and sleeker without attracting undue attention to itself.

The rear end of both new generation cars is identical to that of the previous generation BRZ and GT86. Developing a new rear end for each would have been either too expensive, too complicated, or both. While the previous generation’s badges were slightly rearranged between models, the new Subaru and Toyota retain the same badge positioning. Because of their nearly identical style, both vehicles have the same side profile. From a distance, the only way to tell them apart is by their front ends.

It’s also déjà vu in the two’s interiors. The inside dials, screens, gauges, and buttons are all the same and in the same place. The only distinction is in the trimming. They all have the same, essentially useless, back seats – at least for humans. Having said that, both cars have enough space in the rear to be an acceptable everyday driver. In terms of utility, grocery runs and weekend trips appear to suit both the BRZ and GR86 the best.

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Toyota GR86 2022 vs Subaru BRZ 2022 Summary

With the release of the new Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ, a GR86 vs BRZ comparison seemed unavoidable. While not much has changed over the generations, what has changed is significant. The most significant change is the transition from the previous 2.0L FA20/4U-GSE to the more powerful Subaru 2.4L FA24D.

The approximately 30 horsepower increase in power, paired with improved torque characteristics that address many of the previous generation’s shortcomings, completely transforms the driving experience. The 2022 GR86 and 2022 BRZ are more capable sports cars all around thanks to enhanced chassis stiffness and better suspension arrangements.

Aside from generational differences, the new GR86 and BRZ have the same relationship as before. With a few exceptions that can largely be attributed to Subaru spearheading the engineering side of the collaboration, they share almost entirely the same DNA. As a result, the handling characteristics of the 2022 BRZ are slightly more sporty. Some think the BRZ is a handful, while others argue the reverse. That just goes to show how similar they really are.

Aside from minor performance tweaks and subtle differences, the only other factor to consider is styling. That one is completely subjective and only applies to the front bumper design because everything else is the same. I suppose if you decide you like the bumper on the other car later on, you could just swap it on.