Although Toyota and Subaru has confirmed that a new 86/BRZ is in the piepline four months ago, not much information has surfaced regarding the new Toyobaru twins – even when it has been rumoured that the official launch will take place some time next year.
However, Autocar UK claimed to have receive inside knowledge on the next 86/BRZ, and if the sources are correct, changes are aplenty – starting with the name.
The next-generation Toyota 86 will be rebranded as the GR86 (at least on Toyota’s side), to be more aligned with the rest of the Gazoo Racing brand alongside the GR Supra and recently-announced GR Yaris.
Originally launched in 2012, the Toyota 86 was built on a Subaru-developed architecture. However, as Subaru no-longer supports RWD drivetrains, Autocar suggests that the new 86 will utilise an evolution of the TNGA platform.
Currently, most TNGA platforms are designed for front- and all-wheel drive cars, so significant work needs to be done if the GR86 were to uphold its front-engine rear-wheel drive legacy.
Autocar also suggests that Subaru will once again take charge of the powertrain development, and we will most likely see the 2.4-litre boxer-four turbocharged engine seen on the Outback XT.
The FA24 engine is capable of generating 250 hp and 376 Nm of torque, a healthy 50 hp increase from the original Toyobaru. The new change will definitely appease many fans who have been crying for a power bump, though a bigger engine also means a heavier car.
Adding to the weight will be the new interior of the GR86, as Autocar says that the two brands are working to increase the aesthetic appeal of the car, both inside and out.
Often criticised for the cheap-looking cabin, we can expect that the next-generation 86/BRZ will be fitted with better material usage, technology, and fit and finish.
It will be interesting to see how Toyota and Subaru manage the added weight, and possibly realign it the car to appeal to a wider buyer market. But of course, these are all rumours, and it may all turn out to be untrue – we’ll just have to wait and see.