There’s been a lot of recent speculation surrounding the future of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes, but speculate no more. As part of a broadening of Toyota and Subaru’s existing alliance, the two automakers have confirmed they are indeed working on the next-generation 86 and BRZ.
Toyota and Subaru are actually deepening their alliance, including having Toyota increase its current 15-percent equity stake in Subaru to 20-percent and provide Subaru additional shares of Toyota. The deeper alliance includes collaboration between the two automakers on additional all-wheel-drive models and a range of electric vehicles.
While a next-generation 86 and BRZ have been confirmed, we still know virtually nothing about them. The primary question at this point is which architecture they will leverage to build the second-generation cars. Toyota’s TNGA-L architecture is an option, but it has largely been utilized on larger Lexus models; not small sports coupes. Subaru’s global architecture is, naturally, geared toward all-wheel-drive application. Another obvious choice would be to update the existing architecture.
Regardless of the architecture, most enthusiasts are going to be primarily concerned about what’s under the hood. The chief complaint of the current twins is their general lack of power, despite a small power bump during the 2017 refresh on the manual transmission cars only.
In addition to working on the second-generation 86 and BRZ, Toyota and Subaru confirmed plans to have Subaru leverage Toyota’s hybrid system in an expanded fashion. Currently only the Subaru Crosstrek features a plug-in hybrid system derived from the Toyota Prius Prime.