Go ahead and sit down if you aren't already, because I have some news that may upset you: it is possible that our beloved Toyota GT-86 (aka Scion FR-S, aka Subaru BRZ, aka The Toyobaru) could get a hybrid version in the near future. Gasp!
That's what the UK's Autocar is reporting, anyway. They spoke to chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who said he is exploring all possibilities for improving the car's performance. That could include forced induction, but it could also include electric motor assistance. Here's what he said:
“I’ve been asked a lot about a turbocharging,” Tada told us. “We are already working on a mid-life facelift for the car, and we are investigating both turbocharging and supercharging too,” he added. “But an electric motor assistance solution is also possible, and would bring benefits that forced induction does not.”
Okay, more power for the Toyobaru. Enthusiasts have been clamoring for that since then beginning, although I have driven it and I don't feel like it needs it all that much. Tada adds this, and I think it's an important point.
"But we must guard against compromising any of the key virtues of the standard GT86 in the pursuit of more power.”
I'm glad Tada sees that. He probably knows better than anyone that one of the best things about the Toyobaru is its purity, its unabashed old-school-ness. Do they really want to mess with that in the pursuit of power?
On the other hand, let's play devil's advocate. Nearly all of the hypercars we saw at Geneva this week have hybrid systems to boost power and efficiency, one way or another. Now we could also see that on an affordable sportscar most of us love already.
Does this mean that hybrids have finally arrived for people like you and me? That they aren't just for Priuses and Insights anymore? Tell us what you think this means, and if the Toyobaru should go hybrid or not.