This is something out of the ordinary and not good news to start the weekend. The soon-to-be-unveiled Toyota GR86 is supposedly going back to the drawing board due to being too similar to the 2021 Subaru BRZ that it is based on.
More specifically, the intangible feeling of both vehicles from the driver’s seat. Akio Toyoda, “Master Driver” or chief test driver of Toyota and of course its president, deemed the Toyota-branded coupe has too much similarities in terms of driving qualities with the new Subaru BRZ.
The revelation, which Jalopnik picked-up the article by Japan’s Next Car Web, said Toyoda-san then asked his team of engineers to go back to the drawing board and differentiate the Toyota-badged car from its donor car made by Fuji Heavy Industries.
In the launch version of the 2012 Toyota 86/Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, both teams of engineers specified different suspension tuning and thus a different driving feel. As such, one approach the Toyota engineers could work on is further altering the valves, bushings and coil spring rates of the suspension system, plus perhaps remapping the powertrain and the electric assistance in the power steering system.
If the requirement and scope of work is indeed true, the launch schedule of the new Toyota GR86 will certainly be pushed back by a few months, perhaps even a full 12 months. It is however surprising that the boss’ feedback of such an important product is related back so late in the development of the Toyota GR86.
Toyoda-san has led the development of the GR Yaris from the very beginning of the project with the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, when the development mule was based on the previous generation Yaris. Needless to say, the dynamism of the GR Yaris has been a hit with drivers of varying experience levels.