Toyota Exec Confirms Development of Next-gen 86/BRZ

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota exec confirms development of next gen 86 brz

As the future of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ began looking rather bleak in the West, we spent the the better part of this year trying to figure out the automakers’ next move. While both automakers were rumored to have something in development, subsequent reports looked less promising. Much talk surrounded what Subaru might do if Toyota pulled out of their next cooperative endeavor.

Maybe we were all just worked up over the sudden surge of special-edition models heralding the final stage in the vehicle’s lifespan. Still, with only minor reassurances coming from either manufacturer, concerns mounted. Some even floated the idea that Japan’s base-level Supra could eventually replace the 86 globally. However, it seems these fears were overblown. Toyota has confirmed that a new 86 is in development in conjunction with Subaru.

The news comes via Toyota Motor Europe’s executive vice president, Matt Harrison. On Friday, Autocar quoted him as saying the nimble little coupe’s position as a “halo product” served it well enough not to be ousted by the company’s more-famous coupe.

“Supra is not to replace that car,” he explained. “They are for different audiences and are different products. We see a situation where they will sit alongside each other.”

From Autocar:

The original GT86, launched in 2011, was co-developed with Subaru alongside the BRZ. It uses Subaru’s flat-four Boxer engine and transmission, and Harrison said it was “a safe assumption” that the next-generation model would retain those links. Toyota has used partnerships to help offset the high costs of developing relatively low-volume sports car models, with the Supra developed alongside the BMW Z4.

Toyota sees the GT86 and similar sports car models as powerful brand ambassadors, and company boss Akio Toyoda recently expressed a desire to build a full family of performance machines, in particular with its hot GR Sport line.

Previous rumors hinted at the next-generation 86/BRZ receiving a 2.4-liter mill ( likely Subaru’s FA24) with improved power output, while retaining a similar formula to their predecessor. This hasn’t been confirmed, though Harrison’s words don’t disprove that as a possibility.

Sales of the two models have not been particularly healthy. Toyota’s annual deliveries of the 86 declined in the U.S. every year since 2013. Subaru suffered a similar fate with the BRZ, which yielded even worse sales. Both companies will be lucky to move 4,000 examples in America this year. Even if they don’t, they’ll still manage to outpace European sales by a wide margin.

However, Harrison says the 86 isn’t about numbers. “Its role is not one particularly about volume globally. It’s about adding excitement to the brand and emotional appeal,” he said. “The GT86 has definitely been successful for us in achieving that, particularly in markets like the UK.”

[Images: Toyota; Subaru]

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  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Mar 25, 2019

    If they keep the curb weight about the same and put in a ~220HP/190lb-ft FA20 they will make a good car. It could probably use another 100lb of sound deadening

  • TheBrandler TheBrandler on Mar 26, 2019

    "...adding excitement to the brand..." - How about adding excitement to the car? You know, that 3.5L V6 in the camry would do very nicely. Oh you know what else will fit in there? WRX ENGINE!!! -_-

  • Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.