Photo: Toyota, Illustration by Jalopnik

For years, the aftermarket has been supplying turbocharger setups and engine swaps for the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/GT86, satisfying those who wanted more than the car’s stock 200-ish horsepower. It all seemed odd. Toyota could meet that demand, right? Well, the car’s chief designer claims that it can’t, and that it’d need a whole new platform. His justification is, uh, dubious.

Here’s the key quote from Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer both for the 86 as well as the imminent new Supra, speaking with the Australian news outlet Car Advice:

“One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance its slightly front loaded so it makes the handling more fast and agile. So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear.

“That means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts.”

A completely new platform just to offset a slightly different weight balance? I understand the pursuit of fine driving dynamics from Toyota, but this is more than a little extreme.

Also, it’s not entirely clear if Tetsuya is saying that adding the necessary hardware for a turbo setup (the turbocharger itself, the intercooler, the piping required to make everything meet up, the extra-heavy TURBO badges on every body panel) will upset the car’s weight balance as it is, or that with added power, the car would benefit from having a different weight distribution.

In either case, both of these feel like cop outs, particularly since so many tuners already show that an 86 plus a ton of power makes a very fun car. Ask me how I know.