What’s Different? 2022 Toyota GR 86 vs 2022 Subaru BRZ
The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have entered their second generation, and like before, they were jointly developed by the two Japanese companies. We’ve looked at how the Toyobaru twins differed in the past, but now that the cars are new, what are the differences for the 2022 models?
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The most prominent difference between the two cars is their appearance. And if you don’t find their appearance to be all that different, you’re not wrong. The cars are simply very similar.
At the front, Subaru uses a thinner grille and larger, teardrop-shaped air intakes as well as, predictably, its own badge. The Toyota grille is taller and more squared-off, with the upper part blocked off behind the honeycomb mesh for aerodynamic purposes.
At the rear, you may be hard-pressed to find any differences at all. Everything from the bumper and rear diffuser to the tailpipes and taillights looks just about identical. The only real clue as to which car is which — once again — is the badge. Ultimately, the biggest visual difference between the cars is the available paint options.
The 2022 Toyota GR 86 and 2022 Subaru BRZ share a 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder engine developed by Subaru. It makes the same amount of power in both cars: 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. According to Subaru, each manufacturer did its own engine tuning to differentiate the experience of driving one compared to the other, but in practice, these supposed differences are difficult to spot.
Toyota also says it delayed production for the GR 86 to ensure it has its own unique character, especially in regards to the handling. This meant adjustments to the chassis, suspension, and steering system. And indeed, the 86 is slightly different when you take a peek underneath. The front and rear suspensions are set up to be softer and stiffer, respectively. The rear anti-roll bar is also mounted on the subframe (rather than the unibody for the BRZ).
In theory, this should give the BRZ a sharper turn-in, while the 86 should be easier to get into a drift. That said, you’d probably have to drive both cars back to back and have a fairly sensitive feel for car handling to tell the differences.
At the end of the day, this is not a case of the Toyota GR Supra and BMW Z4. Though those two cars were also developed together, they turned out to be fairly different. The GR 86 and BRZ, however, have identical interiors, identical safety systems, and virtually identical appearances and powertrains.
Related: Learn more about the GR Supra
So which one should you get? These are a few questions you could ask yourself:
- Which one has my favorite paint color?
- Which manufacturer do I like better?
- Which manufacturer offers the best factory support? (spoiler: it’s Toyota)
If you’re just in the market for a rear-wheel drive, $30,000 sports coupe that comes in a manual, you can’t really go wrong with either of them. Happy shopping!
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.