Subaru BRZ v Toyota GT86

There has been a fair bit of confusion surrounding the Toyota GT86, Subaru BRZ, and the Scion FR-S. It is confusion which is entirely founded. Essentially there are three cars all running on the same chassis which all look pretty identical but have different badges on the front.

Scion FR-S has now been discontinued. However, Toyota has announced the Scion won’t be rebranded as the Toyota 86. Current plans are that the Scion will now be known as the Toyota FR-S. A fitting tribute to the Scion heritage, however a rather confusing name again.

So, we have decided to take a look at the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GT86 (or FR-S) and see if we can find any worthy differences.


Starting with the Subaru. The 2017 BRZ has been updated from top to bottom; exterior, interior, powertrain, suspension, and safety, refining the driving experience while enhancing sports car appeal.

The Coupe shape remains but is improved with a wider, lower stance at the front end. The BRZ’s face is finished off with full-LED headlights, a Subaru first. New design rear lamps and aerodynamic pedestal spoiler top off the rear of the car, and the wheels are now a ten spoke aluminum design.

BRZ was built to deliver a linear driving feel, ensuring that the car responds exactly as the driver intended. Keeping this concept in mind, the BRZ’s suspension, engine, and drivetrain have been further refined to enhance its poised handling and driving experience.

For sporty drivers, the new TRACK mode increases the stability of the car and allows for more refined accelerator inputs when driving on race circuits. For urban drivers, there is a new type of Hill Start Assist (HSA) to help with uphill starts or downhill reversing.

The 2017 BRZ will be available in SE Lux trim only with either a manual or automatic transmission from Spring; you can check out all of the Subaru range including the brand new models here.

The Toyota GT86 isn’t a car for standing still however it hasn’t refreshed its line-up or style detail changes since 2016. At heart, it remains every inch the best driver’s car to be had for the money – and now for even less cash, thanks to a price reduction.

Wheels and colors are pretty significant on the features list, with the range-topping Aero model running on gloss black 18-inch rims and available with a hot GT86 Orange paint finish. In line with customer preference, Aero is exclusively available with six-speed manual transmission. The larger alloys are also newly available as an option on the core GT86 model.

The Primo model, entry point to the range, moves on to 16-inch alloys and comes with a lower price tag.

GT86 dynamic package and it’s proven combination of a normally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine, low center of gravity, rear-wheel drive and a beautifully balanced chassis continues to deliver the exhilarating and rewarding driving experience.

There are very subtle differences between the two. However, for us, with the heritage that Subaru has across so many different disciplines of motorsport. We think we’ll head for that!

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