Toyota and Subaru Might Actually Be Working on a New 86/BRZ Sports Coupe

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...