Reports suggest Toyota has delayed the launch of its anticipated 86 replacement, the GR 86, due to the model needing further development.
According to the Japanese motoring website Best Car Web, Toyota president Akio Toyoda was concerned the GR 86 would drive too much like the new Subaru BRZ and told his engineers more needed to be done to differentiate the sports car from its twin sibling.
How big are the reported changes? Well, Toyota is rumoured to be looking into a completely bespoke engine tune for the 2.4-litre boxer four-cylinder and is even considering different gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission.
Other likely changes could include a unique chassis tune, different interior and exterior styling, and aero tweaks.
If all these changes sound like they could take a while to get right - they might. Best Car Web also reported the GR 86 may not be unveiled until the end of 2022, a full year behind its expected release.
WhichCar reached out to Toyota Australia for comment regarding any updates on the new GR 86, however, a spokesperson for the company said there was nothing to confirm.
This could leave the already diminished sub-$60k sports car market wide open for Subaru for nearly a full year, as the new BRZ is expected to land on Aussie shores before the end of 2021.
The sharp-looking new BRZ, based on Toyota’s TNGA architecture, is said to address a number of its predecessor's issues.
Perhaps most notably, Subaru’s somewhat breathless 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine and its meek 152kW output has been bolstered to 2.4 litres and now produces 170kW and 250Nm.
The extra grunt is also said to be more evenly spread through the engine’s rev-range, ending the old 2.0-litre unit’s frustrating torque trough.