Toyota’s return to the sports coupe segment with the GT 86 has been a successful one, and the company is already planning its successor.
Karl Schlicht, the automaker’s European division boss, told Autocar that the second-generation is most definitely a go, probably for a late 2018 or, most likely, 2019 launch.
“The GT86 will carry on”, Schlicht said. “The car serves a big purpose. We are not getting out of that business. Sporty cars go through their phases. It’s our intention to continue with that car.” Right now, he revealed, the second-generation “is at the stage where it’s been decided on. Then a chief engineer will be assigned and away we go”.
The current coupe was co-developed with Subaru, which markets it under the BRZ moniker. Schlicht was non-committal on whether the next GT 86, or plain 86 as it is named in some markets, will also be a joint effort.
“Will it be with Subaru? I don’t know. But for the concept to carry on, with the low engine, we’d have to do that. There are a lot of reasons to continue with Subaru.”
The boxer engine was key to the GT 86 achieving a low center of gravity that benefitted its driving dynamics, and with Mazda, which Toyota is said to have considered before teaming up with Subaru, declaring the rotary dead and buried, rekindling the Subaru partnership seems like the logical thing to do.