Rumours have been swirling around the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ duo and the future in store for them for a year at least. Most of those had to do with the changes that might be brought to them for the second generation, particularly a new, more muscular powertrain and the possible introduction of convertible versions.
It seems we can put all of that to rest. According to Japanese magazine Best Car, Toyota and Subaru have decided against producing a second generation at all. Neither company has provided any justification for the decision.
This of course leaves us free rein to speculate. First off, leaving the segment these models compete in is a logical move for the companies, because profitability is hard to come by in the category. One possibility is that each automaker develops its own entry in the segment, though that seems pretty unlikely, because the investments required would be greater than if they worked together.
More plausible is that the two companies will continue their collaboration and develop a new model together.
But what kind?
We’ve been hearing since seemingly forever about the possibility of a mid-engined sports model carrying the Subaru badge, but nothing has happened on that front yet. At Toyota, talk recently has been of a resurrection of the MR2. The automaker has also mentioned that it wants to sell more sports-focused models in the coming years.
In our view this would make for a perfect marriage, and it would allow both companies to benefit from economies of scale.
As it happens the new Supra will be sold in Japan wih a 4-cylinder engine under the hood. Toyota will therefore have a car that is in the same mould as the 86 in its repertoire. Not so for Subaru, which will find itself without a coupe once the BRZ is gone.