2021 Toyota 86 Turbo Concept Review – The replacement for the Toyota GT86, due to be named the GR86, will come out next year with a 252bhp turbocharged petrol engine, alleged leaks from US dealer presentations reveal. Posted on Instagram by regular scoop source Allcarnews, the Toyota-branded slideshow reveals the sports car is planned to be launched in summer 2021, between an all-new crossover and a ‘CUV’. There’s no clear indication that the Subaru version, the replacement for the BRZ, will make its debut at the same time, but it’s entirely likely.
The post also claims that the GR86 and BRZ will sit on a new platform and produce 252bhp from a forced-induction engine – two facts Autocar revealed earlier this year. This is likely to be the 2.4-litre flat-four unit that Subaru uses in the US market Ascent.
The GT86 and BRZ were launched in 2012, and their future had been in doubt for years because of relatively low sales in a declining market. But both companies have committed to developing a replacement, with the GR86 a key part of Toyota’s growing performance car line-up.
Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is a major proponent of using performance models to boost the brand’s image under the Gazoo Racing division, which also includes Toyota’s various motorsport programmes.
The original 2021 Toyota 86 Turbo Concept Review pre-dated the creation of that brand, which started with the GR Supra and will also include the GR Yaris, the first model developed purely by Gazoo Racing. The next GT86 is set to be rebranded to bring it in line with that nomenclature.
The next-gen sports car will feature some substantial changes from the existing model. While the original was built on a Subaru platform, the firm’s current architectures are not suited to rear-drive cars, so Autocar understands the new model is set to be built on Toyota’s TNGA platform.
With Toyota taking the lead on the platform side, it is up to Subaru to once again provide the propulsion. As we previously reported (and new reports appear to confirm) the existing 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit will be switched for the turbocharged 2.4-litre boxer powerplant currently used in the Ascent, Legacy and Outback models.
That engine produces 252bhp in the Ascent, a figure that would represent a significant upgrade on the outgoing model’s output. Forced induction would also provide a substantial torque upgrade over the old car, too, providing a draw for those who weren’t satisfied with the performance of the outgoing GT86 and BRZ. Both brands may wish to retain the drivability and character of a naturally aspirated unit, but this needs to be balanced with what buyers are demanding – and that appears to be the on-tap grunt of a turbocharged unit.
Despite fans calling for turbo power since the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins were launched 8 years ago, a report out of Japan claims the next models are also non-turbo.
The next generation of Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ coupe – identical twins except for the names, badges and a different bend in the front bumper – will get a bigger engine but miss out on long-awaited turbocharging, according to a new report out of Japan.
Despite earlier reports claiming the new models would be turbocharged, Japanese publication Best Car Web claims a naturally-aspirated Subaru-designed 2.4-litre four-cylinder ‘FA24’ engine will power the twins – replacing the 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘FA20’ currently offered.
This would increase engine outputs from 152kW/219Nm currently to 162kW/240Nm, using Japanese power figures as a guide.
The current, first-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ went on sale in 2012 and have remained largely unchanged across their lifecycle. Current Australian models have an output rating of 152kW/212Nm when equipped with a manual transmission.
The image used at the top of this story is a Toyota hybrid concept car from the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show; it is unclear if the new models will share some of these design themes.
Best Car Web says the dimensions of the new models will remain unchanged – at 4250mm long, 1780mm wide and 1315mm tall, hinting to a carryover platform but a redesigned body – however the magazine does not say whether they will gain weight with their larger capacity engines.
Meanwhile, the latest report out of Japan also claims there will be an increased emphasis on automatic transmission-equipped Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ models “in response to the new era”, although both models are said to retain a six-speed manual option.
While the 2.4-litre four-cylinder may miss out on turbocharging in the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, a turbocharged version is likely to power the 2021 Subaru WRX STI, with a report earlier this year claiming the rally-inspired model will have an output of 298kW/489Nm.
The United States is the only market, to date, to use the Subaru 2.4-litre engine – in the turbocharged Ascent, Legacy and Outback, outputs are rated at 194kW and 376Nm.
Best Car Web says the new generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ will be go on sale in Japan in March 2021; a leaked Toyota USA dealership presentation earlier this year detailed a mid-2021 release.
While Australian timing and pricing for the new Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ remain unclear, CarAdvice believes the models will also be in local showrooms in 2021.
Toyota is filling out its sports car portfolio with another generation of the 86 sports car, now renamed GR86.
A new powerplant is the headline news. After years of pleading from the public, Toyota and Subaru are finally giving the GR86 a turbocharger. Subaru’s 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder is the obvious candidate, retuned from SUV duty where it makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft in the Subaru Ascent. Even if the power figures don’t change with the tune, it would still make 55 hp and 122 lb-ft more than the current GT86 and BRZ. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, we expect both to offer a manual gearbox as well as an automatic.
The name change reflects the larger overall strategy. The 86 remains the entry point, the new turbocharged four-cylinder GR Supra 2.0 occupies the middle of the ladder, and the turbocharged I-6 GR Supra 3.0 is the top rung. To reinforce the family connection, the 86 gets its third name change—from Scion FR-S to Toyota 86 and now to GR86. GR stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s in-house racing and performance department. The Subaru BRZ is expected to retain its name.
The GR86 and BRZ are expected to ride on a new platform provided by Toyota, possibly a shrunken version of the TNGA-N rear-drive platform to keep costs down. Before the industry slowed to a crawl, the GR86 was expected to premiere in the summer of 2021. When it finally does, we expect a starting price of about $30,000.