Most of the international auto shows scheduled in 2020 have been canceled, so carmakers are finding creative and unexpected ways to preview new and upcoming models. Subaru’s hotly-anticipated next-generation BRZ eschewed the bright lights and made its debut as a fully camouflaged prototype during a charity event.
Enthusiasts who attended the 2020 Subiefest World Record Attempt and Charity Drive in Costa Mesa, California, were treated to an early preview of the coupe, which is reportedly new from the ground up. While official images have yet to be released, photos of the car are beginning to appear on various social media platforms. Instagram user SubaruDwayne posted an image of a thinly-veiled test mule that confirms the BRZ’s basic proportions haven’t significantly changed. It still wears a long, low hood and a fast-sloping roof line. It looks like the rear side windows are bigger than the outgoing model’s, and we can tell the rear lights are much sharper than before.
For its part, Subaru published a close-up of a similarly-camouflaged car that shows a five-lug, 10-spoke wheel, a brake rotor (which is a superb thing to put in a sports car), and a vent chiseled into the front fender. The bottom part of it is filled in, but the top portion of it looks functional; it likely reduces turbulence in the wheel wells.
No one got a peek under the hood, so precisely what the next BRZ will be powered by remains up in the air. Unverified reports claim power will come from a naturally-aspirated version of the turbocharged, 2.4-liter flat-four that’s offered in the Ascent crossover. It will send approximately 220 horsepower to the rear wheels in its most basic state of tune. Rear-wheel drive will come standard, and nothing suggests all-wheel drive will be available.
Subaru pledged to introduce the 2022 BRZ in the fall of 2020, meaning the coupe could make its debut any time between today and December 21, when winter begins. Deliveries will presumably start in the first half of 2020.
What about Toyota?
Toyota has remained surprisingly silent about its version of the car. We know it will again be closely related to the BRZ, so it will arrive as a relatively nimble rear-wheel drive coupe powered by a flat-four engine, but stylists might put more effort into differentiating the two models. We assume it’s also scheduled to break cover before the end of 2020. Odds are both cars should have been introduced at the 2020 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show.