The 2022 Subaru BR-Z Doesn’t Really Need a Turbocharger

The 2022 Subaru BR-Z broke cover a couple of months ago, and although it was completely redesigned with a new engine under its hood, it still isn’t be offered with a turbocharger. Of course, we don’t blame anyone for wanting a turbocharged BR-Z since the last iteration was lacking in the power and torque department, but apparently, it really doesn’t need one.

2022 Subaru BR-Z

In case you haven’t heard, the 2022 Subaru BR-Z has a new look inside and out and has also had more power under the hood via a larger engine. The outgoing model was powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter Boxer engine that pushed out 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque and could be matched to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. But the new iteration is now powered by a 2.4-liter Boxer engine that produces 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which means 11 percent more horsepower and 15 percent more torque, however, most sports car enthusiasts aren’t happy with that number.

Why? That’s mainly because that larger 2.4-liter engine was derived from the one found under the hood of the Subaru Ascent, although that version is turbocharged. So why didn’t Subaru include some kind of power adder with this new version of the BR-Z?

A silver 2022 Subaru BRZ drifting
2022 Subaru BRZ drifting | Subaru

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Turbocharger not included

Taking a look at the power specifications on the 2021 Subaru Ascent, you might notice that its turbocharged 2.4-liter engine produces 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque which, in theory, sounds like it would be a great addition to the 2022 BR-Z. However, according to Subaru, the reason the turbocharger part of the equation didn’t make it to the redesigned coupe due to weight, packaging, and cost restrictions. Sure, a turbocharger itself really doesn’t weigh much and isn’t all that big, however, when it comes to designing a well-balanced sports car, every ounce and millimeter counts.

A photo of the 2022 Subaru BRZ outdoors.
2022 Subaru BRZ | Subaru

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If Subaru were to carry over the turbocharger system to the BR-Z, then that would mean having to figure out how to mount the other components of the system including the intercooler, pipes, and other equipment, which would ultimately add more weight and complexity to the system.

Additionally, adding the turbocharger system would add more cost to the whole research and development process, which would then be passed onto consumers via an elevated price on the car. Considering the new Subaru BR-Z will most likely be priced a little over $31,000, we doubt anyone would really want to pay closer to $40,000 just for the sake of a little more power.

There’s a much greater explanation for it from an engineering standpoint

Of course, the omission of a turbocharger goes beyond packaging and cost, as the video from Engineering Explained (above) shows that there’s a more complicated reason that Subaru left out the forced induction option. One part of it is that the car’s power delivery is much more usable with the naturally aspirated engine, which is what you would want on both the track and the street. Sure, a nice turbo boost surge would be nice, but in reality, high-rpm power would suit a car like the BR-Z much better.