A bunch of different blogs have jumped on a report that Lexus might sell its own version of the Toyota GR 86/Subaru BRZ twins. I have my doubts that these rumors are true, but I think I know why they’re catching on anyway.
All of these rumors start with a Japanese blog called Spyder7 with a handsome render of an 86 with a Lexus Predator face. The blog doesn’t say how or where it got this scoop:
In April, Toyota unveiled the new Japanese version of the “GR86" along with the Subaru “BRZ”, but the scoop site “Spyder7" got rumors that it was planning a “Lexus version 86".
The site did speculate on the car getting a hybrid setup, “expected to be a 2.4-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine + electric motor plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid as a premium unique to Lexus.” Perhaps Spyder7 is making this declaration because that is information it got from an unnamed source. Perhaps it’s because telling the internet that there will be a higher-power version of the 86 but it won’t be getting a turbo is perfect bait.
The rumor got a little bit of added credibility when someone on Twitter claimed they spotted a prototype of the Lexus UC. All you see is a GR 86 with a Lexus face from far away.
I’m doubly skeptical of this one because there already are a bunch of 86s with Lexus faces running around. A Japanese company called AIMGAIN sells just such a body kit. One of these kits has been bopping around D1GP, even, with old school driver Masayoshi Tokita rocking one since 2019.
True or not, this rumor brings two things to mind. The first is that we already know this car would look good. Those AIMGAIN-kitted 86s would easily fit into the Lexus lineup. Maybe they wouldn’t be quite as handsome as the lovely Lexus LC, but they’re certainly as good-looking or better than the RC.
The second is that America could use a car like this. We do buy affordable luxury coupes. We let the Integra fade away, but we’re still scooping up whatever the G37 is called these days (it’s the Q60) and all of the various small coupes BMW puts in its showrooms. There’s an appetite for a car like a Lexus UC. I don’t know if Lexus will make it happen, but I would be happy if it did.