By on August 11, 2020

The recipe stays pretty much the same, though the dish stands to see some new ingredients.

Following years of tepid sales and speculation about the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins’ market viability, word eventually came that neither automaker was willing to cede this niche segment. A successor was a go. Now, physical proof of the upcoming next-generation cars has appeared on social media.

Thanks to photos and a short video posted by Instagram user Kystify, we can see the upcoming model making a left turn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to Toyota’s North American technical center.

The model’s distinctively rear-drive profile retains the same flavor as before: sloping hood, abbreviated rear deck with raised trunklid, and pronounced rear fender bulges. Inside, you’ll surely find a backseat capable of handling groceries, pets, or children, but not adults. Wedge-type headlamps and a wide mouth peek from the camo, giving the 86/BRZ a Nissan Z-car appearance.

The most significant change is expected to occur under hood. In place of the current generation’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the duo are believed to carry the turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four found in such models as the Subaru Legacy and profoundly un-sporty Ascent. Output in those vehicles is 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

Production of the current 86 and BRZ should wrap up later this year, paving the way for the new generation’s introduction in 2021. Will a refreshed body and added oomph budge the duo’s flagging sales figures? If the continued availability of small, affordable sports coupes is something you lose sleep over, you’d best hope so.

[Image: Toyota]

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16 Comments on “Next-Generation Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ Spotted...”

  • avatar

    The Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 forums have been buzzing with rumors and wishful thinking about a next-generation BRZ/86 for a long time (as most enthusiast forums will do). After all the ‘renderings’ and ‘concepts’, it’s nice to see a car actually *driving* around under its own power. It seems to make it much more likely that there will be a next-gen car (which, past company comments notwithstanding, seemed far from certain in the new world order of a burgeoning global financial crisis in the face of an unrelenting pandemic).

    The biggest question still remains – what’s under the hood? Consensus seems to be that it’ll be a 2.4 engine. But will it be naturally aspirated (with around 217 hp), or turbocharged (with 260 hp)? The easy, cheap, and safe way to go would be naturally aspirated. The bold path that would warm the hearts of enthusiasts everywhere would be to go turbo, and FINALLY give the car what everyone (including fans and owners) have been pleading for since its launch – more power!

    But would a turbocharged BRZ/86 threaten the 4 cylinder Supra? Who would pay so much more for an automatic only BMW Z4 in drag if they could get comparable power (and maybe better performance?) with the holy grail manual transmission, for less money? As a current BRZ owner who would be one of the first in line for a next-gen car IF it was turbocharged and had a manual transmission, I certainly hope this is what Toyota/Subaru will do. But Toyota is a highly financially driven company. I suspect they won’t do something if they think it may jeopardize Supra sales.

  • avatar

    Would have been exciting news back in 2013. However, now that I make more money and the 6-cylinder Supra exists I’m far less interested.

    This might still be the choice though for people that aren’t dirty, automatic-driving scum like me.

  • avatar

    Please Subaru/Toyota if you’ve got any brains you’ll make it turbocharged and keep the manual. 250 hp/250 lb ft would be just fine.

    Otherwise there’s no point in having a second generation.

    Those who point out the problem of stepping on the Supra’s toes remember that for many years GM had no problem finding both a Camaro and a Corvette customer. (Yes they have a problem now but that’s more of a marketing and leadership problem IMHO.)

  • avatar

    I would take one of these any day over the Supra. With a turbo it would be even better. If I wanted better 2 seat performance I would get a used Corvette.

    • 0 avatar

      My issue with this is the engine. Its subaru+DI+Turbo. It screams “problems are coming”. I would buy this car with 2.5L plain engine. 0-60? ok. Mazda somehow gets Miata 6.5s from 2L

      • 0 avatar

        Current BRZ/86 does 0-60 in 6.3 with n/a 2L. MX-5 is sub-6 and does it by weighing a couple hundred pounds less. I would love to see the next BRZ gain some power but stay n/a and, ideally, shed a little weight. But I’m probably in the minority on this.

  • avatar

    Tough to tell from such a brief clip, but I’m relieved that it appears to be about the same size as the current model. Maybe even just an evolution of the same chassis? As a first-gen owner, one of the main joys of the car is that it’s lighter than nearly anything that’s not a Fit or a Miata. Some weight gain seems inevitable with the second gen, especially of it gets a turbo, but it would be great if they can keep the manual model under 2900 lbs.

    At least this video reassures me that they’re probably not shoving it onto global architecture and essentially turning it into a WRX coupe (which would still be fun, but would totally miss the point). I’m hopeful it comes with a substantial power bump, but also hope they don’t just drop the Ascent engine in there without some changes to make it feel more sporting. There’s joy in low-end torque, but also in revving the snot out of it. Would be a real bummer if the next BRZ had a 6K redline.

    • 0 avatar

      One positive in the current 2.4 turbo is that it has a pretty nice torque mesa (I wouldn’t call it a peak) from a bit under 2000 rpm to 4,800 rpm. If you could get a current Legacy with that engine and anything OTHER THAN a CVT I’d be in heaven.

  • avatar

    I would bet on the turbo engine coming, but even moreso, I’d bet that maybe half a dozen of the people who swore up and down that the Toyobaru needed more power will actually buy one, and the rest will buy old BMW E90’s or something. Despite low sales, it’ll probably at least stick around for several years to pay off development, but it’ll likely fizzle away in time for a third generation.

    Mind you, I also thought a better power band was more important than more power. Also, there’s a diminishing group of fun, affordable cars to learn to handle RWD on. The constant demand for more power is a big part of the reason that Mustang crashes became a meme.

  • avatar

    If these pictures in Autocar are what the new 86/BRZ look like, I’m all in if they can keep it under $40k. I’m due for a new car in 2022 and this fills the bill nicely.

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