Toyota’s 86 together with its Subaru BRZ sibling are arguably one (we won’t say two, since they’re identical) of the most celebrated, mainstream sports cars of our time, but they’ve been overshadowed lately. Why? Well the answer comes from within the Japanese manufacturer’s own stables: the newly-revealed Supra.
“Supra this, Supra that”, has dominated much of the automotive soundscape over the past year. Whether the chatter is through news articles, social media posts or enthusiast forums – the sheer amount of hype is deafening and has been hard to escape.
So much so, that rumors erupted of the GT86 and Subaru BRZ being axed, but fortunately, for enthusiasts and fans of RWD coupes, they proved to be wrong, as both Toyota and Subaru quickly denied them, confirming the development of a second-generation model.
Whilst there are no spy shots (…yet) to elaborate on the next-generation 86’s presence, that doesn’t stop us from crystal-ball gazing. So what could it look like and what engines could it use? Let us explore further making some educated styling guesses based on history and the brand’s current design themes. We stress that this specific render is just CarScoops’ take on a possible styling direction. If and when we get our hands on pictures of actual prototypes, we’ll return with something more accurate.
While reaction to the Supra has been relatively mixed in terms of its design (frontal styling in particular), the GT86 could lure those undecided buyers with bold, yet less polarizing looks.
This design study leans on the original AE86 for visual inspiration (though you will also find elements from the Supra too). Cue the lift-back profile, wedge-like nose and sharp shoulder-line creases.
The rear hatch and elevated rear, could provide more space for luggage and the +2 seats. Unique styling highlights include bold haunches, triple DRL headlamps, floating roof design and upper fender vents. At the rear, full-width horizontal LED tail lamps, ducktail spoiler and huge diffuser complete the menacing look.
From The Driver’s Seat
Expect the next GT86 to offer a much nicer cabin, with modern, driver-orientated ergonomics and higher-quality materials.
The outdated infotainment system will be binned in favor of a much snappier touch-screen interface that finally supports Apple CarPlay phone mirroring. Another huge change will be the inclusion of standard driver assist safety systems. These range from pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, lane tracing assist, reverse automatic braking and blind spot detection.
Powertrain & Platform
If there’s one thing many consumers were vocal about, that would be the lack of a turbocharged engine, even as an option to the naturally aspirated 197hp boxer four powerting the current car.
Subaru’s new 2.4-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder boxer engine could either replace or perhaps better yet, supplement a base 2.0-litre unit. Such a move would address one of the most common complaints about the current car – lack of power. This motor is already used in Subaru’s Ascent large SUV and the all-new Legacy. In this form, it pumps out 260 horsepower (194 kilowatts) and 277 pound-feet (376 Newton-meters) of torque.
According to chief engineer of the 86 and Supra, Tetsuya Tada, turbocharging was off the table in the current car as the platform wasn’t suitable. Whilst Toyota already utilizes BMW’s rear-wheel drive architecture in the turbocharged Supra, it won’t underpin the next 86 as it should continue to be co-developed with Subaru for the BRZ.
Sports Car Rivals
Asides from its Subaru BRZ sibling, the 86 will compete against other sports coupes like Ford’s 2.3-litre Ecoboost Mustang, Audi TT, Mazda MX5, Nissan 370Z and Toyota’s own Supra (in 2.0-litre, JDM-only format, but that engine won’t be coming to North America).
We don’t have any information on when Subaru and Toyota could release the rear-wheel drive coupe, but a launch in late 2020 or 2021 would make sense.
What direction do you think the next GT86 should head? Share your thoughts in the comments below.