Last month, Subaru lifted the veil on the new generation of its BRZ sports car, a car developed jointly with Toyota. The Japanese automaker’s car is of course called the 86.
But in regards to actually producing a second generation of that 86, Toyota has been very discreet until now. Folks are getting antsy to see it, let’s say. At a recent Toyota event in Ontario, I took the opportunity to ask a representative of the company about it. Of course, he couldn't tell me when the model would arrive, but when I mentioned that I thought it would happen towards the end of 2021, he replied that my assumption made a lot of sense.
The Los Angeles Auto Show, perhaps, in November? Could be.
Now, at least, Toyota has broken its silence regarding… its silence. In fact, Toyota would like the 86 not to be a BRZ clone, at least in terms of performance. We know that with the first-generation model, the two models offered very similar driving experiences.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda reportedly told his design team that he wanted there to be “a difference in performance from the BRZ”. The time needed to achieve that could be what explains the delay between the two models' debuts.
Thing is, Toyota’s engineers can't just transform everything, since the two cars will use the same mechanics. What’s left is making adjustments to the engine’s actual workings, gearbox ratios, suspension, etc.
Aesthetically, the two coupes will be assembled on the same assembly line. So we shouldn't expect any major differences on that front. In fact, what Toyota is focusing on is for its model to provide a different driving experience than the BRZ.
Remember that the 86 is powered by a 2.4L Subaru 4-cylinder engine that develops about 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The configuration, of course, is rear-wheel drive.
So we'll have to be patient before we see the 86, but who knows, Toyota might be able to move up its timeline. A story to follow.