The Toyota 86 Will Never Be Turbocharged, so Shut Up About It
Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the Toyota 86 and upcoming Supra, has finally stamped out the possibility of a from-the-factory turbocharged version of the Toyobaru coupe. That’s right, enthusiasts, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are incapable of being turbocharged.
According to Tada, installing a turbo on the model’s 2.0-liter Boxer engines would require an entirely new platform. That’s odd, considering every reputable aftermarket company offers a turbo kit for it. Equally strange is the automaker’s total unwillingness to seriously entertain the idea of a turbocharged Toyobaru, even though it knew the public was clamoring for one.
“When we launched 86, I got literally millions of questions from around the world of ‘when would you be launching the turbo version?'” Tada said. “I believe that often times I answered that there won’t be a turbo version, and there were some articles in the media that Mr. Tada doesn’t like a turbo.”
In defense of the media, Tada-san has made their ugly jobs very easy by perpetually refusing the prospect of forced induction. Toyota and Subaru seemed interested in building a very specific kind of car — and neither wants the recipe tampered with. In an interview with CarAdvice, the chief engineer defended the claims against him.
“I do like turbos, however if we come up with a turbo version of the 86 and boost up the power that would result in the necessity of changing the basic configuration completely, to come up with a car that I would be satisfied with,” Tada explained. “One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance its slightly front loaded so it makes the handling more fast and agile. So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear … That means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts.”
Companies like GReddy and HKS would beg to differ. If Toyota doesn’t want to mess with what it has, they will provide the alternative to a factory turbo that is never going to happen. In fact, that’s probably part of the 86/BRZ magic — it’s a fun and focused performance platform that lends itself to upgrades. Don’t like those easy-drifting narrow tires? Get something wider. Seeking more power? Well, there are dozens of aftermarket outlets that are happy to take your money if Toyota won’t.
Tada’s answer as to why a turbocharged Toyobaru is an impossibility is about as satisfying as a dry sneeze. But it does finalize the matter. No, Toyota will not be bringing out a Gazoo Racing edition of the 86 with a boosted engine. If that’s what you’re in the market for, you’ll either have to order parts and employ a little DIY or shop elsewhere. If all you want is more horsepower and rear-wheel drive, Ford’s Mustang can be had for roughly the same price. However, if you want the surgical precision of a smaller, lighter, and more dialed-in coupe, Toyota still recommends purchasing an 86 and leaving its powertrain alone.
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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