It’s been about 7 years since the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ made their debut as a jointly-developed sports car and a close collaborative journey between two Japanese automakers. Being a rear-driven, three-pedal’d, lightweight, nimble coupe, and one that was priced for mass accessibility, it was met to roaring cheers.
The number of years elapsed also means both cars are ripe for an all-new replacement, which Japanese automotive publication Best Car reports to be on the cards for this year’s Tokyo Motor Show in late October, though few seem truly confident of these intentions.
Somewhat infamously, Toyota’s most recent sporty model, the GR Supra, the fruit of another joint effort (this time with BMW), took a rather protracted route to its eventual production-spec unveil. In the intervening period, the company teased multiple concepts, design studies, even racing versions of the A90. The most notable thing about the surfacing of a second-generation 86/BRZ is utter silence from both marques.
Therefore, the potential reveal of a successor would be a pleasant surprise indeed. Best Car purports an on-sale date somewhere in 2021 to be a likely timeline. However, unlike the current Toyobaru, it will be underpinned by a unique RWD-specific version of the TNGA platform instead of a reuse of the current architecture, which is loosely based on the previous Impreza.
This implies that the burden of production could also shift away from Subaru to Toyota as all BRZs and 86s are presently manufactured at the former’s factory in the Gunma prefecture. That said, its engine should still be sourced from Subaru.
Instead of the current FA20 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-four, the report goes on to say that a larger displacement 2.4-litre FA24 Boxer will be called up for duty, resulting in a reasonable, albeit incremental, increase in power and torque. It’s difficult to estimate just how much performance the next-generation car will be ‘allowed’ to have, but in the range of 160kW and 250Nm is where the smart money is pointing.
If these speculations prove true, the all-new BRZ/86 will be a more refined yet lightweight and rigid machine thanks to its new platform while an uprated engine improves overall quickness and low speed grunt. Under the supervision of Toyota’s handling boss Tetsuya Tada, who’s team were largely responsible for the original’s lively dynamics, the sequel should be as feisty as we’ve come to expect.
Yet again, we can expect no less than a short throw manual transmission with the proper 6 forward ratios to be a requirement, supplemented by an automatic option for the rest of them.