Toyota has always been famously defensive of keeping the GR86 naturally aspirated and lightweight, but a new report from Japan’s Best Car Web claims the GR86 could undergo some substantial changes for its next generation.
Some of these changes include things like platform switches, new engines, and even electrification, and they all sound like quite the departure from the normal formula.
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The car would reportedly ditch its current Subaru platform for a Toyota one, but rather than moving to TNGA underpinnings, it would instead ride on a shortened Lexus IS platform for the added space it provides. The next part of the rumor is that it will be a hybrid, likely as a way to comply with tightening emissions regulations. As for the engine component, the report claims that the most likely candidate is the G16E-GTS 1.6L turbocharged three-cylinder found in the GR Yaris and GR Corolla.
Alongside that engine would supposedly be the electric component of the new Crown‘s Hybrid Max system. Combined output would theoretically be north of 300 hp (304 PS / 224 kW), and seeing as the GR Corolla makes that kind of power with the engine alone, we can’t imagine it would be difficult to eclipse with the help of an electric motor. What we find a bit harder to believe is that in spite of this new electrified powertrain, the GR 86 would somehow still offer a manual transmission.
See Also: Toyota Has Reportedly No Plans For Any Other GR Performance Models
On top of that, adding a hybrid system would most likely make the car a bit too heavy to fit the lightweight, tossable philosophy that the 86 strives to embody with each generation.
While there are some parts of this theory that are feasible, such as the switch over to the G16E-GTS, the entire reason Toyota is able to sell the GR86 for such an affordable price is due to the Subaru collaboration. Take away the costs saved by sharing a chassis and not having to develop an all-new powertrain, and you’re now left with a heavy, complicated, expensive version of a car whose whole ethos is about being lightweight, simple, and affordable.