According to recent reports from Japan dissected by AutoBlog, the future of the Toyota GR86 and the Subaru BRZ, two popular lightweight sport coupes, may be taking an interesting turn. The reports suggest that Toyota is considering equipping the GR86 with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 3-cylinder engine, similar to the one found in the GR Yaris and GR Corolla. However, there seems to be some conflicting information regarding whether Subaru will follow suit with the BRZ.
One report, originally from Mag-X and analyzed by Australia’s Drive, claims that Toyota will handle the development of the GR86 in-house. They mention the possibility of fitting a 1.4-liter version of the Gazoo 3-cylinder engine in the GR86, and there’s even a mention of a potential electric hybrid variant to align with carbon neutrality goals. Regardless, the report indicates that Toyota intends to maintain the nimble front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout that has been a defining characteristic of the GR86.
On the flip side, the platform-sharing Subaru BRZ could have a different fate. The absence of Subaru’s signature boxer engine in a new BRZ model would be a departure from tradition, which raises doubts about the BRZ’s future. However, the report suggests that even if Subaru doesn’t release its own version, they may still manufacture the new GR86 for Toyota in their Gunma factory, as Subaru aims to avoid idle production lines.
Also stated by AutoBlog, another report from the Japanese magazine Best Car presents conflicting details. According to their account, the next GR86 will feature the turbocharged three-cylinder engine from the GR Yaris, but it will retain its 1.6-liter displacement. Best Car also claims that the output of the new GR86 will be at least 300 horsepower.
Due to the existing platform’s limitations in transitioning from a boxer engine to a vertical in-line engine without significant architectural and crash structure changes, it is suggested that the next GR86 may be built on a shortened and reinforced Lexus IS platform. In this version of events, Subaru would continue to sell a BRZ variant alongside the new GR86.
While the timelines presented in these reports differ, with Mag-X suggesting a 2028 release and Best Car indicating a much earlier launch in 2025, the overlap between the two reports suggests that the GR Yaris and GR Corolla’s 3-cylinder engine is a strong candidate. It is worth noting that Toyota has already tested a prototype of the current GR86 using that engine, specifically for running synthetic fuel. Only time will tell if such reports pan out to be true or maybe somewhat true giving us something slightly different but more powerful. We can’t wait for to see what’s in store!