By on April 4, 2018

It was only a few weeks ago that we told everyone a turbocharged Toyobaru would never happen. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said Toyota had built the car it wanted and any manner of forced induction would spoil the recipe, necessitating an entirely new platform. Meanwhile, fans of the 86 have been clamoring for more power like they all suddenly transformed into Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. Well, they’re all about to utter a resounding uuuuaaagh?!, as the two companies may be starting work on new generation — this one with the brawny might they crave.

Rumored for production at Subaru’s assembly plant in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture, the next 86/BRZ is expected to get an uptick in displacement. So what will supposedly replace the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter?

According to the Japan Times, the new model will be graced with a motor boasting a displacement of 2,400 cubic centimeters. While helpful, that doesn’t allow us to do more than speculate. Subaru’s new FA24 fits the bill; it’s turbocharged and boasts 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque in the Ascent. While the automaker does have other units that aren’t far off in terms of size, you would have to round down to have them qualify as a 2.4 liter — and that’s not standard protocol for any manufacturer.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. While the Japan Times isn’t a disreputable outlet, the details on the next Toyobaru are paper thin and no official sources have been cited. We would have also expected to hear some buzzing if the model is truly destined for a 2021 launch. To be honest, a lot of us thought it would be killed off long before then. But we’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. If Toyota and Subaru want to take another stab at it, we’ll be in attendance as they renew their vows.

Will it be what enthusiasts want? While the current model has plenty of fiercely loyal supporters who swear 200 hp is more than enough power to put a smile on their faces, a large portion of the community has also taken to modifying them. So long as Toyota and Subaru add power without changing the overall recipe, we think everyone will be happy. It shouldn’t be so fast that you can’t explore the limits on a backroad, nor should it be so slow that you’ll have trouble pulling away from a Honda Odyssey.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corp.]

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25 Comments on “Toyota and Subaru Might Actually Be Working on a New 86/BRZ Sports Coupe...”

  • avatar

    Uh, why?

  • avatar

    Enthusiasts: “MORE HP and/or TORQUE!”

    Toyota/Subaru: “You’ll ruin it!”

    (Meanwhile in a secret laboratory…)

  • avatar

    I’m happy this car exists. What they really outta do is place convenient spare engine mounts which match either the twin turbo ecoboost or an LS.

    • 0 avatar

      I like your thinking. An LS is overkill but I wouldn’t complain.

      But 2021 ?!? That seems like a really long wait to shove in an engine it should have come with from the start.

      And yes I’ve driven an FRS on track, and can confirm it needs more power. The 260 / 277 specs listed above sounds like it would be just about perfect. Of course more would be better, but I’m sure the aftermarket will fill that in especially if its a turbo.

    • 0 avatar

      LS has been done!

  • avatar

    Just in time for my mid-life crisis….

  • avatar

    Or they could fix the torque dip in the middle of the Rev band of the current 2.0 engine…..

    • 0 avatar

      …while perhaps moving the rev ceiling, along with attendant power, a bit closer to that of a GT3. Just say no to turbos, whatever they do. Wrt turbo engines, the fun ones are difficult as heck to drive and dirty. While the clean, simple ones are duller than a Novocained Prius.

  • avatar

    2.4L? Yes! Turbocharger? No!

    Ascent’s 2.4T has the same 86mm stroke as the current BRZ (and FWIW the Honda K20), but with a much bigger 94mm bore. In theory a balanced FA24 could zing to the same 7400RPM and make 20% more power. I think they should keep the redline and maybe shoot for 10% more power, but beef up and fill the torque curve. My handy dandy performance simulator indicates the BRZ would become a mid 5/14 second 0-60/quarter mile car with ~225HP and 190lb-ft @ 4000 RPM. Not scorching but quick enough to squash all dissent. Shouldn’t add much if any weight either.

    That 2.4T definitely needs to go into the WRX/STI though.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup, I think a non-turbo 2.4 is what it’ll get. Subaru has never shown the slightest interest in designing a half-decent inlet manifold with variable length intake tracts like a common Honda engine. Hence the saggy midrange stretching back to the ’90s on the old engine. It’s a disadvantage of the boxer layout, long intake tracts arriving at the wrong angle. So unless they spend a few bucks, the 2.4 NA will just be a saggy midrange horror with a bit more torque than before.

      I waited six months for the FR-S. When I drove one, it took less than five minutes to reject. Was utterly useless trundling around suburbia. It reeked of underdevelopment.

      I could care less if thousands of people with no memory of proper engine refinement say it’s great. It isn’t. Admonishments to rev it out are useless at 30 to 40 mph. I want a snatch-free response, not multiple flat spots. Is that too much to ask?
      I think not.

      Drive a new MX-5. It has 45 hp less and feels at least twice as good, good enough to actually consider rather than reject, simply because the engine has linear response and a flywheel that doesn’t weigh a metaphoric ton. In fact, if the price of the MX-5 wasn’t so stratospherically high here in Canada, it would sell more.

      • 0 avatar
        Jean-Pierre Sarti

        sweet spot for me would be a car that looks and handles like the 86 but drives like the miata ND.

        despite what the snobs say not everyone likes convertibles…

      • 0 avatar

        I minded the BRZ (well 86) a lot less than I thought I would, and that was with a passenger and A/C going. On the highway it picked up speed well enough, and my gawd the chassis. Thing is you really need the right roads to fully enjoy it. I can see why someone who mainly commutes on the highway would hate it but on back roads it’s divine.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s shocking how much punchier the Miata feels around town compared to the FRS, despite being down 45 hp.

    • 0 avatar

      Whats wrong with a turbo? Fastest way to get the most power out of a small, light powerplant while leaving plenty on the table for tuners to get more. This is EXACTLY the kind of car that turbo engines SHOULD be in…not family sedans, or CUVs or any other grocery getters designed for old people, single moms, or joe 6-pack on his daily commute.

  • avatar

    Hmmm..April 1st was Sunday!

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    This car with 250hp would legitimately have me buy one. After a bunch of hours behind the wheel of the current gen the craptastic power delivery and not enough horsepower were the only things that held me back.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      this is exactly right, the biggest flaw in this car is the engine and more importantly how it delivers power, it just plain sucks no matter what you see on paper.

      I’m just not talking about the torque dip which is bad enough but every time I drive my buddy’s 86 i can’t help but think something is amiss engine-wise.

    • 0 avatar

      It looks like the closest you’ll get is a lightly used Z.

      There are a lot of sub-20k mile 2016 and 2017 370Z for ~$25k.

  • avatar

    I’d buy the current one if it had two more doors and a usable backseat.

    • 0 avatar

      So, what you’re saying is you want an attractive mid-size sedan with 200 HP?

      Can I interest you in a Mazda 6? Not quite 200 HP but the extra lump of torque will probably make up for it.

  • avatar

    “To be honest, a lot of us thought it would be killed off long before then.”


    Honda S660. Daihatsu Copen. Two Kei Car Roadsters that were engineered, manufactured, and somehow economically viable solely from Japanese market auto sales. So why wouldn’t 2 giants Toyota and Subaru be able to combine forces and produce a slightly larger and more powerful sports car? Especially one that borrows so heavily from their parts bins? They sell it in Japan where it is very popular, and everywhere else is probably an afterthought.

    Hmmm, I can’t for the life of me find JDM sales numbers to add some data to this post. :(

    Where’s Timothy Cain when I need him?!?!

  • avatar

    “Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said Toyota had built the car it wanted and any manner of forced induction would spoil the recipe, necessitating an entirely new platform.”

    Ill counter that with:

    “Well that might be your problem, it’s not what you like, it’s the consumer.”–Joe Dirt

  • avatar

    These guys just successfully transplanted an LS3 into a FRS for drifting purposes. Anything is possible!

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