NEWS: Toyota and Subaru have begun work on the next-gen 86 and BRZ, and they’re putting a bigger engine in it

Toyota and Subaru have reportedly begun development of the next-generation 86 and BRZ models. The lightweight FR twins are currently in their sixth model year, and have remained essentially unchanged since 2013. Addressing one of the most persistent critiques of the current model, the successor will likely receive a sizable performance boost thanks to a larger engine.

The Japan Times reported Tuesday evening that the next-gen Toyobaru will feature a 2.4-liter engine, upping displacement by 400cc from the current 2.0-liter Subaru FA20 flat-4.

Though no specifics were mentioned, the article is presumably referring to Subaru’s new FA24, the flat-4 that powers the new-for-2019 Ascent 3-row crossover. Thus far it has come in only one flavor — turbocharged with direct-injection, good for 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. However, as we all know, Toyota and Subaru have been reluctant to offer forced induction in the 86 and BRZ, so perhaps the successor will utilize a naturally aspirated version.

The article also says that Subaru’s version will have safety features such as automatic braking. Potentially, the entire Subaru Eyesight suite of safety tech will be available on the BRZ, which would add adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. Both cars would be built in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, home to Subaru’s main manufacturing base. The production version is slated for an on-sale date sometime around 2021.

Japan’s automotive press has a reputation for generating outrageous rumors, and no sources were named in the story, so take it with a grain of salt. But, for what it’s worth, The Japan Times is a credible paper and not your typical car tabloid, which lends a bit more weight to the claims.

If true, this is very exciting news for drivers. No new car on sale today better captures the traditional Japanese sports coupe ethos than the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins. Unfortunately, many sensationalizing articles have condemned them for low sales numbers, putting their future in doubt. In fact, they were never meant to be volume sellers (in 2017, a total of 10,977 sold in the US for both models combined). Let’s hope this pans out and proves the naysayers wrong.

Image courtesy of Subaru.

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16 Responses to NEWS: Toyota and Subaru have begun work on the next-gen 86 and BRZ, and they’re putting a bigger engine in it

  1. BlitzPig said:

    Let’s hope that they don’t go overboard with all the electronic nanny band aids, and still give us a pure driver’s car. I also hope that Toyota will see fit to offer their car with a Toyota engine. The 86 chassis deserves a smoother, higher quality, engine.

  2. Max said:

    “The article also says that Subaru’s version will have safety features such as automatic braking. Potentially, the entire Subaru Eyesight suite of safety tech will be available on the BRZ, which would add adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.”

    Which is only available with a CVT automatic transmission in Subaru cars.
    Not cool for a car like a GT86/BRZ if you ask me.

  3. Yuri said:

    Personally I think the current 86’s have enough power (it is after all, a Hachiroku). If anything, it just needs to rev a bit easier, like the 4AGE.

    They do fine in the mountains,cities, and expressways of Japan, and the mountains,cities, and freeways of California (I’ve driven 86’s in all six environments). If you ever need more power, you just drop a gear or two.

    That being said, I do hope the new ones come with more power, just so everyone out there who has an opinion but no plans on buying one will finally shut up about their “lack of power.”

    I hope the 86 remains a focused driver’s car, and doesn’t give up it’s purity in the pursuit of trying to win sales from the types of people who wouldn’t purchase one anyway.

    • Ben Hsu said:

      I agree, well said. Sadly, no amount of horsepower will likely ever be enough for armchair racers. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

      • Michael said:

        Agree too, 100%.

        Plus, if you want more power it is easily obtained through the aftermarket.

        You choose; supercharger, turbo, capacity increase, engine swap etc. They are all there as power building options.

        What the 86 does is give you a great & solid base on which to start, then you make your car as you see fit.

        I believe this has always been a perfect trait of Japanese performance cars.

        • Randy said:

          They COULD offer 2 levels, though…

          Level 1 is the regular, NA, and Level 2 would be the forced induction version.

          Scion (tC, as I recall) had a Supercharger, at least in the first generation, that could be bought through the dealer, so it’s not like you’d have to trust aftermarket companies, and the warranty would be unaffected.

        • Ben Hsu said:

          That supercharger was a TRD part that was sold at dealers, but not an official factory option. Once you put forced induction on it, the price goes up and for Subaru at least it begins encroaching on WRX STI territory. That’s the main reason the BRZ (and thus 86) have remained naturally aspirated.

      • Addds said:

        Completely agree. Demands for more horsepower are usually from people that have never driven one to begin with.

        I daily drive a BRZ and it has enough power for fun in the mountains, it definitely needs more torque for city driving.

        I read sometime ago on the Australian 86/BRZ forums of a bloke that turbocharged his 86. Whilst the increase in horsepower made the car faster, he lamented that it didn’t make the car any more fun to drive.

  4. Jayrdee said:

    Lets hope they do a little facelift to the front end while they’re at it. The BRZ/FRS front bumpers look soooo much better than the 86.

  5. madis said:

    why the electronics???? totally not necessary for any car, makes future generation of drivers retards who cannot drive without car wiping their ass..

  6. M1abrams said:

    The design of these cars never clicked for me. (They look like e a collection of details that you have to think about – then decide if you like as a whole.) I think Mazda has been pretty good with the MX5/Miata design – something simple and emotional. Very important in this small sales segment.

  7. bv911 said:

    Can’t believe it — is this another April Fool’s article??

  8. dbdr said:

    I hope it stays naturally aspirated or at least has it as an option. In my opinion true driver’s cars shouldn’t have a lot of power and should concentrate on handling and connection instead of speed.

  9. Corin Jones said:

    I just hope it doesn’t move “upscale” and get bigger and heavier.

  10. ACSK said:

    Can’t they just lighten the car and put something like a modern 3S-GE in it? I want an I4, not a H4. The power is already fine, but needs a more reliable engine with better torque curve.

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