Report: Will Subaru BRZ Make More Power than its Near-Identical Toyota Twin?

By Jason Davis | October 26, 2011
This is the performance question of the season, for what is, admittedly, an enthusiast's dream car pairing. Reports indicate that Toyota's FT-86 (to be sold as the Scion FR-S here in the U.S.) will make around 200 horsepower from its Subaru-derived 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. But according to the UK's Autocar, Subaru will tweak the engine's computer to deliver "less than 300 horsepower" for its own BRZ. It's pure speculation on our part, but this could eventually signal that a turbo is being considered, or at least that the door is open. Based on concept photos, we've previously reported that Subaru's BRZ looks like it could have turbocharged-specific exhaust parts. However, we were rebuffed when Subaru announced the BRZ would launch sans boost. Realistically, we expect a figure closer to the 250-horsepower threshold, a la Honda's S2000, which was, when introduced, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive, high-revving, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder breakthrough. Subaru is known for high-powered turbocharged cars, and reports suggest that Toyota reworked the new engine with an advanced injection system and other performance measures to meet Subaru's higher-powered goal without boost. Of course, Toyota's less-powerful version is reportedly more "tossable" for the drifting and aftermarket crowd, and will probably conform to Toyota's tradition of high-mileage efficiency.
Autocar's newest report inadvertently confirms that the turbo question can be addressed by Subaru at another time. "The new Subaru BRZ coupe will have the lowest centre of gravity of any production car when it goes on sale next summer," and "the BRZ’s rear-wheel-drive configuration has meant that Subaru's compact 2.0-liter boxer engine can be mounted even lower in the chassis than would normally be permissible in the manufacturer's conventional four-wheel-drive layout." Essentially, this means the engine bay should have the necessary clearance for a turbo and its extra hardware. And, there would be one additional, but important, benefit for a turbo: It could potentially be a more efficient engine (think Ford's EcoBoost) than a high-powered non-boosted application (think Mazda rotary). Source: Autocar