There may not be a next-generation Subaru BRZ or Toyota 86, according to reports coming out of Japan. The automotive tabloid Best Car is prepared to report in their upcoming February 26 issue that the Toyobaru twins will be canceled. Apparently, Subaru and Toyota have deviated on their development policies, and have decided to take separate roads. However, we think this might make way for the return of the MR2.
The death of the BRZ and 86 was probably in the cards the moment they announced the new A90 Supra. Although the US will only receive an inline-6 Supra, in Japan Toyota will offer a four-cylinder version making 197 horsepower. That, my friends, is eight horsepower less than a Toyota 86.
However, several rumors about a mid-engined Subaru sports car have surfaced in the last six months or so. If true, that would mean Toyota could be a partner and rebadge it as an MR2.
Akio Toyoda has said his dream has always been to have a trio of sports cars in the Toyota lineup, the Three Brothers as he frequently calls them. Since there isn’t much separation between the 86 and Supra, the MR2 could replace the 86.
In this scenario, something smaller like the Toyota S-FR concept could become the third brother. Unfortunately, its size would probably mean it would only sell in Europe and Japan, skipping the US market entirely.
Or, Toyota and Subaru could still go ahead and develop their own entry-level sports cars completely separately. But as we have seen, Toyota seems unable to produce sports cars of their own.
UPDATE: Carscoops was able to get in touch with a Toyota spokesperson, who responded, “As Akio Toyoda said at the reveal of the 2020 Supra, Toyota is committed to building exciting vehicles, including sports cars. The 86 has been in the Toyota family since 2013 and the plan is that it will continue to be a part of Toyota’s sports car line-up.”
Whether that means a new generation is not definitive. It could mean that the current car would live on in some way. Regardless of what Toyota and/or Subaru choose to do, the world could definitely use more lightweight sports coupes.
I’m sure the US dealers are screaming for more SUVs. Sadly.
The “entry level” sports cars, like the MG Midget, Triumph Spitfire, or more recently the NA Miata, are a thing of the past. It’s really a sad thing too, as those kinds of cars served as gateways to the wider world of driving beyond just back and forth to work.
I hope someone will step into this yawning chasm in the market, but, to my great distress, no one (the larger market) really cares anymore.
All hail the universal transport pod (SUV) overlords.
I think I’m going to be ill…
Yep, just about every automotive commercial I saw during the 24 Hours of Daytona was for SUVs. Groundbreakings SUVs at that. “High Performance” SUVs even. Ugh.
Well said. Cars nowadays don’t have any fun factor to them. Sad.
The market place has sadly changed, the good news for people like Mazda and Toyota who are still producing affordable sports cars is they will largely rule that segment of the market… I hope it rewards them financially so they continue to make interesting fun cars. Not every one is a Mustang or Corvette buyer as cool as they are, and all the super cars, exotics and most classic sports cars are relatively unrealistic purchases for the most of us and generally lack any shred of practicality for daily driving…
I understand that enthusiast cars are taking a back burner to ever-increasing SUV demands, but hear me out Toyota: if you can’t make the Mk4 MR2 focused, lightweight and compact with a non-hybrid, manual-transmission powertrain, please let the legendary nameplate rest in legend and do not bother at all.
If Toyota does build the S-FR, it’d certainly go quite some way to making up for any disappearance of the 86 – particularly if a lower-end Supra fills that gap. Still holding out hope for the S-FR as it just looked too close to being production-ready not to make it all the way… but then you really never know with concepts.
“Toyota seems unable to produce sports cars of their own” That sh*t had me rolling.
I would buy the S-FR just to drive around SF in.
I would love an S-FR, and I think that it remains the best interior I have seen for years. Totally simple, focused and no bs.
I would suggest though, that instead of a sports car, how about a sports sedan? Two door impracticality can be a hard sell, but a small, simple RWD sedan with the same fun attitude would likely find its way into a lot more driveways.
Toyota could even revive their best nameplate for it: Corona.
I’d be all in on that. It’s a sure thing Nissan won’t give us a new 510.
I’m all for the SF-R, especially if they actually put a Toyota engine in it.
At the same time, I’m torn. I kept hoping over the last couple years for confirmation that it would hit production. I thought if it did and came to the US anywhere near the estimated price…I was highly interested in making it my first NEW car purchase.
But as hope has been looking lost, I went ahead and got an FR-S last summer. I’d hate to trade the FR-S, but I also still want an SF-R…so…conundrum.
hate to burst the bubble but toyota debunked this rumor https://www.carscoops.com/2019/01/toyota-debunks-rumors-86-coupe-will-axed-range/
That’s great to hear! I do want the 86 to live on, but felt we had to pass on the report. I hope that means a next generation is in the works, Subaru collab or not.
Hello. And Bye.