Despite rumours Subaru is working on a mid-engined sports car, an insider has told Practical Motoring it’s just next-generation BRZ development work going on.

THE INTERNET IS abuzz with rumours that Subaru is developing a possibly mid-engined, possibly electric, possibly hybrid, possibly something else sports car after the Japanese car maker was seen testing a ‘modified’ BRZ.

Depending on what you read, this new sports car which could end up being an SUV. The “modified BRZ” is supposedly carrying Subaru’s new global platform which was revealed last week and will get its first production outing in the all-new Impreza which will be revealed at the New York Motor Show later this month.

Mated to this new platform, allegedly, is a reverse version of the drivetrain shown on the Subaru Viziv concept with a turbo petrol engine driving the rear wheels and two electric motors driving the front wheels, effectively making it an all-wheel drive.

Subaru VIZIV concept

The same articles suggesting the modified BRZ is a new, possibly mid-engined WRX-replacing halo sports car for Subaru, Practical Motoring’s well-placed insider said: “First I’ve heard of it”. “The reports are more likely referring to sightings of the next-generation BRZ development car.”

So, the modified BRZ many media outlets are speculating on might simply be a development mule for next-generation Subaru drivetrains but have nothing to do with the BRZ as such, or as our insider suggests, the development of the next-generation BRZ (Toyota 86).

So, what do you think, have some outlets added 2+2 and come up with 5? And, if Subaru was to build a petrol-electric sports car, would you buy it? Let us know in the comments section.


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  1. How far back in the engine bay is the motor in the BRZ mounted??

    My guess is that a front midship layout would be relatively easy to achieve with a four cylinder boxer engine if it hasn’t already been done with the existing car….

    I’m a fan of the existing car, but not in a position to buy one, so any replacement would also be on the wishlist….

    1. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure. Robert’s got an 86 so I’ll leave him to chime in on this one. I doubt Subaru will stray too far from its path… We’ll see an updated BRZ/86 soon, maybe even with the next-gen running gear, but our insider was adamant there’d be no mid-engine sports car. – Isaac

    2. Andrew, it’s a LONG way back and very low. Hence all the conversions that are going on. Can’t be shifted any further back.

      The BRZ/86 just needs a mid-life update, it doesn’t need to go mid-engined.

      1. I agree Robert…it is only a few years old, no need to reinvent it…..

        Not surprised at its mounting position, thanks for clarifying….

  2. Maybe?? the modified BRZ doing the rounds is the testing of the production version of the Turbo BRZ STI Performance Concept which was shown at last years New York Motor Show. If it is, the production version will not be as dramatic as the concept, but it’s performance should be a big improvement over the current BRZ. I am living in hope (or living in a dream) that the BRZ STI production version is at this year’s New York Motor Show; that would be pretty amazing if it is.

    1. Maybe the modified BRZ doing the rounds is in regards to the development of the electric turbocharger. For years there has been chatter about Subaru looking at an electric turbo that utilises the heat from the exhaust. I wonder if Subaru is now at the stage of introducing this form of hybrid technology to the BRZ. The BRZ would be the ideal vehicle to introduce this technology, considering that there would be no need for the complicated exhaust driven piping and associated equipment for a standard turbo. But there would be a need for additional battery capacity.

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