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The Next Toyota 86 Will Probably Be a Subaru Joint Venture Again: Report

Illustration for article titled The Next Toyota 86 Will Probably Be a Subaru Joint Venture Again: Reportem/em
Photo: Toyota

As we near the end of its run, I care less that the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ never got crazy turbocharged power the way everyone wanted and more that they were happening again, period. The world needs more small sports cars. Evidently both automakers agree, even as crossovers and trucks take over the world, because all signs lately point to another Toyobaru in the cards.

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And yes, it seems it will be a Toyobaru again—a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, potentially to use a Subaru Boxer motor once more.

This news comes to us from Toyota’s European marketing boss Matt Harrison speaking to Autocar, who said:

The original GT86, launched in 2011, was co-developed with Subaru alongside the BRZ. It uses Subaru’s flat-four Boxer engine and transmission, and Harrison said it was “a safe assumption” that the next-generation model would retain those links. 

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And in the world of cars, that’s a hell of a lot more solid than the usual “can’t comment on any future product” boilerplate we always get when we ask about anything that isn’t currently sitting in a showroom.

Harrison added that the new Toyota Supra isn’t meant to replace the 86, and that the latter has been a great “affordable halo” car for the automaker—especially in the UK. And while it’ll never eclipse RAV4 sales, it’s clearly popular with enthusiasts across the world. I think the demand is there for sure.

Toyota and Subaru have long agreed. The former has said for a while it wants a “family” of sports cars with an affordable one at the bottom of the ladder, and cars like the Supra up higher. Subaru too has said it’s definitely moving forward with another BRZ too.

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The big question to this point has been whether the two companies would work together again on their sports cars, and it looks like that probably will be the case. Which makes sense! Toyota did the Supra with BMW as a means of cutting down on development costs; it’s hard to fathom it would want to do a new 86 entirely in-house or from scratch. Also, the joint venture between the two companies is successful and proven; why start over? Plus, I’m not sure tiny Subaru would have the ability to make a new BRZ without some backup from Toyota.

Anyway, we’ll keep an eye out for official confirmation, but for now this seems like good news. Maybe we’ll even get a turbo next time? One can hope.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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DISCUSSION

boxerfanatic
BoxerFanatic, troublesome iconoclast.

And the hype machine changes gears now that Supra is released.

prepare for years of meaningless leaks and minor details as headline stories.

BTW... the next one should be a revival of MR2, not AE86. The first FT86 project should have been... but now the second should DEFINITELY be.

here’s an idea... spice up the plug-in version of hybrid synergy drive with some higher current controllers and higher output motors, and a bit more engine power, and make a car out of steel, aluminum, and plastic that can match i8's level of real-world applicable performance, with 30-ish miles of highway-speed electric range, cruise-charging and regeneration, and combined-output sport mode, at Prius and 370Z price points, much less than Supra’s MSRP.

The FA20 engine doesn’t NEED torque if the electric traction motors can supply it, it could be an efficient generator and cruise-mode direct-drive engine.

And placed behind the driver with an electric motor, and a 2WD transaxle, and a traction motor/regen unit up front... it could be AWD like Subarus SHOULD be, as well as being an affordable alternative to 718 Boxster and Cayman, which if they weren’t Porsches... would otherwise be 30-40K cars anyway.

That might actually be worth the hype.