The Subaru BRZ has been struggling along since hitting its sales peak in 2013, and its recent refresh hasn’t done much to help it rebound on the sales charts.
Now, thanks to conflicting information from Subaru itself, the future of the rear-drive coupe is as clear as San Francisco Bay at 7 a.m.
The recently launched 2017 Subaru Impreza is the first model built on the Subaru Global Platform. According to a release earlier this year, the rest of Subaru’s model lineup is to follow: “The Subaru Global Platform … will be used in the development of all Subaru vehicles from now on, beginning with the next-generation Impreza, due to hit the market in 2016.”
Subaru representatives reiterated this point at the recent launch of the new 2017 Impreza.
In a separate conversation during the Impreza launch, one of the company’s engineers stated the BRZ may not go on the new platform, bringing into doubt whether the BRZ will continue into another generation, and if so, in what form.
Additionally, speculation last year around the BRZ’s twin, the Toyota 86 née Scion FR-S, hinted at a move to the platform used for Mazda MX-5. Such a move by Toyota could spell the end for Subaru’s sports coupe.
Asked for clarification, Subaru’s national manager for product communications, Dominick Infante, didn’t offer absolutes, saying, “[The BRZ] currently uses a custom chassis so it’s possible for a next generation car to do the same.”
Still, a few possibilities exist regarding the BRZ’s future, should it continue.
The Toyota/Subaru project could divorce, with Toyota opting to use the MX-5 platform for its next-generation coupe. However, this would leave Subaru without a partner, and saddle it with the old platform.
The marriage between the Japanese automakers could continue, with both cars using a bespoke platform or one from Mazda.
The BRZ moving to Subaru’s new platform could open the door for it to offer all-wheel drive, a core part of the brand’s marketing DNA. Such a move would lead the BRZ down the road of becoming a successor to one of Subaru’s previous vehicles — the SVX.
Or Subaru could just kill the BRZ entirely — which is looking more likely by the day.