Lively flat-four, rear-drive coupe successor confirmed.
There was some speculation that both Toyota and Subaru had doubts about a direct replacement for their sweet-handling two-door, especially after news broke of slumping sales and the former automaker having cemented the arrival of a less expensive four-cylinder Supra.
However, the apparent confirmation that the twins BRZ and 86 will be renewed for a second-generation will ring like music to fans of the effervescent rear-drive coupe everywhere. While sources have confirmed to various outlets that, under the Toyota banner, it will indeed be sold as a product of the GR (Gazoo Racing) division.
With that said, it’s unclear how much the car will differ between brands - the first generation cars are essentially identical save for the choice of logos strewn about. Because customers would likely expect more from Toyota’s newly minted performance sub-brand, the 86 will need to be differentiated to suit.
It’s anyone’s guess how this will play out, but as we aren’t too far off the pair (introduced in 2011) will be celebrating a full decade in production, it’s reasonable to assume that a successor model has been in development for quite some time.
Should the formula remain unchanged, the next car will also sport a horizontally-opposed EJ petrol engine, though this time we’re praying for a solid power bump and/or some turbocharged torque. Tetsuya Tada will likely have final cut on how the chassis behaves, hopefully replicating the same blend of accessible excitability as the original.
A more potent six-cylinder Boxer is all but dead on arrival, naturally, as it would clearly clash with the Supra. However, Subaru possibly fielding such a car in their portfolio depends more on willingness than any technical hurdle (i.e weight).
Like before, rear wheel drive will be non-negotiable, as will a six-speed manual transmission and a Torsen limited slip differential on most variants. Speaking to Brit mag Autocar, Matt Harrison, head of marketing at Toyota Europe, said: “Its role is not one particularly about volume globally. It’s about adding excitement to the brand and emotional appeal. The GT86 has definitely been successful for us in achieving that, particularly in markets like the UK.”