Next-gen Toyota GT86 will have 260bhp and FWD
The current Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ are brilliant small sporty coupes which don't cost too much both new and used. Sure, they're not the fastest or most refined things on the market but, they ooze fun.
Despite small sales, Toyota and Subaru are committed to developing a new model, but taking a new direction. Pursuits would want the new GT86/BRZ to remain RWD but, Toyota already has an RWD sports car in the form of the new GR Supra, which is available with both a 2.0-litre petrol and a 3.0-litre petrol. This is where the problem is.
The GT86/BRZ is currently powered by a 200bhp 2.0-litre flat-4 petrol and if it remains RWD for the next-gen, along with a power hike, it would eat into the 2.0-litre Supra sales, and this would be bad business.
So, the only solution is to make it FWD using Toyota's newest TNGA architecture which is the base for the new Yaris, Corolla, Prius etc. The TNGA architecture is highly versatile and the rumour is, Gazoo Racing (GR) is playing about with it for the next-gen GT86/BRZ. So, the chassis will come from Toyota, which means Subaru will have to provide the engine again.
A small FWD Toyota coupe reminds us of the Celica. Image: Toyota UK
So what will power the new car? Again, the rumour mill suggests that the GT86/BRZ will use Subaru's 2.4-litre turbo flat-4 as seen in the latest Legacy and Outback models. Powerwise, expect 255bhp which is 55bhp up from the existing models. This address' a large complaint from current GT86/BRZ owners who say the stock models are underpowered.
The Toyota/Subaru ties will carry on into the interior with vast improvements to the materials, infotainment and overall packaging. There's no word if the GT86/BRZ twins will remain four-seaters to maintain an element of practicality when compared to say the Audi TT.
All these changes will bring an increase in price. The basic GT86 costs £27,830 while the basic BRZ costs £31,995, so with all these changes, expect a starting price point of say, £35,000. Another dramatic change will be the change in name. The BRZ name is expected to stay the same but with Toyota, the GT86 will likely change to GR86 to go in line with the GR Yaris and GR Supra. This is rumoured but, we really want it to be called the GR Celica.