- Official statement from Toyota and Subaru puts rumours to rest
- No decision yet around what it will look like
- Will a concept appear at the Tokyo Motor Show?
After months of speculation, Toyota has finally confirmed that the 86 will live on into a second generation.
Announced as part of a major strengthening of ties between Toyota and Subaru, the “joint development of the next-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ” was specifically mentioned as a goal of the new alliance.
The tie-up will also see the two companies share their respective areas of expertise more widely; more Subarus will be equipped with Toyota’s hybrid systems, for example, while Toyota – interestingly – is keen to tap more deeply into Subaru’s all-wheel-drive expertise.
While the two companies collaborated on the original 2012 86/BRZ pairing, it was far from easy. The car was built on top of a modified Impreza platform, and used many Subaru chassis parts and the basics of its 2.0-litre boxer engine.
The engine, meanwhile, was fitted with Toyota’s variable valve technology, something that many Toyota engineers reportedly resisted.
The next-generation car – which is still at least two years away or more – is likely to switch to a rear-wheel-drive version of Toyota’s TNGA platform, which will also see duty under next-generation Lexus products.
The engine could potentially morph into a larger capacity 2.4-litre flat-four engine, currently used by Subaru in its US-built Ascent large SUV (below in concept form) where it makes up to 197kW in stock form.
As well as the 86/BRZ, the two companies will join forces in the electric car field, with Subaru’s AWD systems mated to Toyota’s EV tech. They will also work together in the areas of autonomous vehicle development.
Toyota has long been a part-owner of Fuji Heavy Industries (nee Subaru) and the new announcement sees the world’s biggest car company increase its stakeholding to 20 percent. Subaru will also spend $1 billion on Toyota shares.