Rumor: Next Toyota GR86 Could Get GR Corolla's Three-Cylinder Powertrain

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

rumor next toyota gr86 could get gr corolla s three cylinder powertrain

The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 recently got makeovers that finally gave them more power and the spirited driving dynamics they needed. New rumors point to the Toyota half of the duo getting even more power in the future via the GR Corolla’s turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder.

The reports come from a couple of Japanese outlets, Mag-X and Best Car, and were summarized by Autoblog. Some details in the reports conflict with each other, but the general idea is that Toyota is taking over the development of the GR86 from Subaru and will replace the automaker’s flat-four engine with its turbo-three. Since Subaru’s unlikely to adopt a non-boxer engine, there’s a chance the BRZ could fade away if the transition happens, as rumored. 

It's important to note that we’re likely talking about a next-generation car here. The GR86’s underpinnings can’t accommodate the three-cylinder powertrain in its current form, so some have speculated that Toyota would move to a version of the Lexus IS platform. 

In terms of timeframe, the report from Mag-X states that we’ll see the new car in 2028, though Best Car feels it’ll come much sooner in 2025. It’s an exciting prospect to think about, as the GR Corolla’s rowdy three-cylinder engine would completely transform the GR86. The only shame here would be losing the Subaru BRZ in translation, as the automotive world needs all the two-door, rear-drive action it can get. 

[Image: Toyota]

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9 of 40 comments
  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Jul 14, 2023

    That will be one wild rwd sports coupe..... The awd coupling is the "weak" spot of the GR Yaris (I assume also Corolla), if tracked hard on pavement. In rwd guise, with the exquisite poise the 86 already has, it should be both cracker, and unproblematic. Besides, rwd is more "fun" with modern tires on 98% (1st gear corners excepted) of grippy pavement anyway, for something with under 300hp.

  • Randy in rocklin Randy in rocklin on Jul 14, 2023

    After reading a lot of reviews on the 86, it's a pos. The quality and wind buffetting is a big problem, oh and noisy.

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    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Jul 15, 2023

      Stuki Moi - Not sure what alternate reality you are coming from with this. There are a few cars today which match the S2000 and cost no where near 100k. It was not *that* special of a car at all and didn't have all of that good roadfeel or handling stability either. Dare I say it is a bit over rated, and the SW MR2 was just as well finished despite being a generation older. There's no 86 love here but I've heard from several S2000 owners that either generation of 86 handles better, feels more secure and confident and more connected. Good to know Temple of VTEC mentality is alive and well.

  • Olddavid Olddavid on Jul 14, 2023

    Thank you for your input - the respondents who read the question, anyway.

  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Jul 16, 2023

    "There are a few cars today which match the S2000 and cost no where near 100k." 9000rpm? a shifter with enough precision to make the bolt throw on 2000yd rifle feel sloppy? Suspension with sufficient camber control to balance 16 inch, tall sidewall tires near all the way up to their very knife-edge traction limit (which, just like in Hamilton's F1 cart, does leave very little in the way of "handling stability" on the table. That's a feature. And takes capital L Lots of precision. Although I recognise it may not be everyone's idea of the the optimal setup for a carefree, sporty street car.). Almost draft free at 120mph.. And a chassis enabling it all, year in, year out without creaks, despite being a convertible. With real doors, not 2 feet high doorsills with a tiny moveable flap at the top, even. Who the heck does that today? Who the heck CAN do that today, at anything beyond pure hand-tuned prototype volumes? And even then, I bet at least either the chassis solidity, or the day-to-day-liveable door openings would have to give. Porsche isn't making GT3s in convertible form, probably for good reason. And for less than $100K, fat chance... I suppose, if Morizo retains sway at Toyota GR, they would be the closest. But even GR seems much more grounded and down to earth than the Oval Cylinders, Jets and Humanoid Robots company were in their giddy, infinite resources of every kind, heyday.

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    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Jul 16, 2023

      I was shopping s2000s a while ago and went home with something else. Still have it and happier than ever that there's not an overrated s2000 sitting in my garage. It is special but not that special.