For its second generation, Toyota decided to differentiate the GR86 from the Subaru BRZ a little more than it had for the cars’ first generation. That might just be the beginning, as rumors from Japan suggest that for the third-generation, the sports car could get a Toyota engine and a Lexus platform.
Reports indicate that Toyota’s engineers are already hard at work on the next iteration, and that it could ditch the Subaru boxer-four engine entirely. In its place, Toyota’s 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder has allegedly been selected.
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The rumors cite only unnamed sources and come from Japan’s Best Car Web, so a grain of salt is likely advisable. The three-cylinder engine certainly has been a success for the automaker, though. It currently makes 300 hp (224 kW/304 PS) in the GR Corolla, which would be quite a jump over the current GR86, whose four-cylinder engine makes up to 235 hp (173 kW/232 hp).
It seems that Toyota isn’t just done with the Subaru engine, though. It’s also done with the Subaru platform, as it will reportedly stick its 1.6-liter engine into a shortened version of the chassis that underpins the Lexus IS.
The latter can be equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 hp (352 kW/479 PS), so it should be more than capable of accommodating Toyota’s three-cylinder engine. However, the base version gets a four-cylinder that makes less than the GR Corolla, so it doesn’t need that much power to be fun.
It’s not hard to imagine how the platform could be a true driver’s car with less weight and more compact proportions. Moreover, the Lexus platform may offer a little more in the way of refinement than the GR86’s existing underpinnings.
There is no word on what that means for the Subaru BRZ, but Best Car Web claims that the new GR86 is arriving in 2025, which sounds quite soon, since the current model was introduced in 2021. However, previous reports have also suggested that the end may be nigh for the boxer four.
What do you think? Should Toyota ditch the Subaru hardware and turn the GR86 into an in-house project? Would you still be into it if the Lexus chassis made it a little more expensive that it currently is?