Video: The Shocking Differences under the 2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86

Photo credit: Car and Driver
Photo credit: Car and Driver

Fundamentally, the 2022 Subaru BRZ and the 2022 Toyota GR86 are the same car. The two have the same engine and body structure. It can even be tricky to tell them apart at a distance. Drive the two at speed, as we did for the most recent Lightning Lap at Virginia International Raceway, and you'd be too consumed by fun to notice any differences in handling.

But on the road, these two sports coupes don't drive the same way, and that difference interested our resident suspension expert (and former engineer) Dan Edmunds. He drove both cars over the same twisty canyon two-way and then crawled underneath to try and find the changes.

Beyond the usual tuning differences (shocks, springs rates, and anti-roll bars), the BRZ and GR86 diverge in more ways than we expected. For example, the BRZ not only uses a hollow front anti-roll bar but it also has a lighter aluminum front knuckle, indicating that Subaru was willing to spend extra money to save weight.

At the rear, we found two entirely different rear anti-roll-bar mounting points, meaning different subframe designs for the Subaru and the Toyota. This means more complexity and cost in the assembly process, even if the two cars are built on the same assembly line as the Subaru WRX and Crosstrek. It might also speak to how firmly Subaru and Toyota believe in their respective suspension design philosophies.

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