The Toyota 86 Will Never Be Turbocharged, so Shut Up About It

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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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.

[Images: Toyota]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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4 of 45 comments
  • Leonard Ostrander Leonard Ostrander on Mar 13, 2018

    Stop the whining. Those of us who love the 86, buy them. We are not interested in your opinions. No one is forcing any of you to buy an 86. Shut up already.

    • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Mar 13, 2018

      Exactly this, those who wanted one already bought one , so they don't have to watch Japanese drifting cartoons anymore. Without a newer fancier model to entice them like MX5 owners have to look forward to this will likely die off as soon as the Supra rolls into the showroom through the bi-hinged glass doors, placed directly in front of a black roofed white Camry V6 screaming "look we do sporty again!, it's as good as 1993" Acura does the same with the NSX and TLX in their showrooms, and not many are buying either.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Mar 14, 2018

    None of the aftermarket turbochargers are even remotely emissions compliant. In order to package the turbocharger, the integrated exhaust manifold/catalytic converter need to be removed. That's most likely a local problem for inspection and definitely a federal offense. The practical solution for boost from the factor is a top-mounted supercharger (think a crab sitting on top of the intake). Or, even better, go with a 2.5L making 250 hp. It's doable. People are getting 200ish at the wheels out of the factory setup (that's good for about 235 magazine horsepower from a 2 liter).

    • Carlo Rossi Carlo Rossi on Apr 04, 2018

      “None of the aftermarket turbochargers are even remotely emissions compliant.” -Ricky Spanish That’s not true. A company called Works makes a 50 state legal turbo kit. Back to the point at hand. A 200hp toyobaru is a good car the same way an AC Ace was a good car. Or a 140hp 240sx was a good car. Shelby came along and “solved” a problem yet thought not to exist and made the Cobra, which was much much better than the Ace ever was. The 240sx was a good but underpowered car until guys started throwing SRs into them. If only Toyota or Subaru could get it through their thick skulls that we like the really good car they made, we’re just dying for them to make a great one.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.