The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 sports models are both coming to the end of the line this year, with production of both winding down. Subaru is no longer accepting orders for the 2020 BRZ models, while Toyota says it is ending production of the 86 a little later this fall.
Those who are considering acquiring one or other of these jointly-developed models in their current incarnation will have to move quickly. However, since we know that a second generation is in the works, it may also be a good idea to wait and see what they come up with.
In fact, the second generation model may well add what was missing from the first one, which is a bit of power. Not that this generation of the BRZ/86 duo was totally inept in that regard – the models ran on a 205-hp, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine - but the most persistent rumour in recent months has been that Subaru's 2.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is earmarked for the new generation. It produces 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.
That would instantly transform the handling of this duo of models.
And if you're wondering why Subaru and Toyota didn’t simply decide to offer that powerplant with the first generation of the model, or another more powerful engine for that matter, it's because engineers were loath to mess with the sport car's mass balance. The second-generation car, on the other hand, will be designed with a more powerful engine block in mind from the outset service, thus preserving the car's weight ratio.
We don’t know at this point when the model(s) might debut. If 2020 had been a normal year, we could have expected it at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, but Covid-19 has thwarted the plans of just about every player in the industry.
Now, the expectation is that the new Subaru-Toyota creation might debut around the turn of 2021. Time will tell.
Time frames aside, it's refreshing to see this kind of model survive, as cars that offer premium driving pleasure, especially affordably priced ones, are becoming rare in the industry.