Both cars were awesome, but they’ll be even better and the 86 will get a new name too

We’ve been preaching news about the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ rather consitently for a while now – everything from the lack of turbo in this generation to the fact that the updated twins are on their way even [what will change with the next-gen models.→art185720] Now, we’re looking at the next-gen models debuting sometime in 2021, if we’re lucky, and there’s a lot of new information to discuss.

The Toyota 86 Will Be Rebranded With a New Name

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 - A New Platform and More Power High Resolution Exterior
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In a previous article, we discuss the new that Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Division is playing a big role in the development of the next-gen 86 and BRZ. art Back then, that was just a rumor, but now we’ve learned that the next-gen Toyota 86 will go by a different name.

It will be called the Toyota GR86 – a name that makes a lot of sense if Gazoo Racing really is playing a pivotal role in the development of the next-gen car.

This near-confirmation of Gazoo Racing’s role also hints that the next-gen 86 and BRZ will be more dynamic and sportier than ever – that’s just what happens when you mix knowledge derived from racing into a tiny little sports car.

Subaru’s Platform is Definitely Out, so is AWD, and That’s a Good Thing

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 - A New Platform and More Power High Resolution Exterior
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It’s common knowledge that Subaru and Toyota are working together on the next-gen 86 and BRZ but now we know that Subaru’s platform will be nixed to make room for Toyota’s TNGA platform. We thought this was the case before, but now we know why (and we probably should have seen this coming.)

Subaru’s platform just isn’t suitable for RWD cars. Sure, it works pretty well for the current Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, but it came with its own complications and, ultimately, sacrifices. Subaru’s platform was meant for AWD vehicles and the next-gen sports cars will not be AWD. So, Toyota’s TNGA platform is a better candidate. It will allow for less customization of the platform, better weight distribution and, ultimately, better driving dynamics. That’s also part of the reason why the current 86 and BRZ could never be factory turbocharged – it would ruin the overall dynamic of the car. Toyota’s TNGA platform, however, changes all of that.

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 Will Have Turbocharged Subaru Power After All!

2014 - 2015 Subaru BRZ High Resolution Drivetrain
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I know that back in June 2019, I personally told you that the 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 wouldn’t be turbocharged. Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I was most likely wrong.

While the two cars will ride on bones created by Toyota, the will be powered by some form of Subaru’s flat-four Boxer engine

. It won’t be a direct carry over from any specific model, but it is presumed to be a modified version of the turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four found in the current Subaru Ascent. This is where the 50-50 deal between Toyota and Subaru comes into play: Toyota provides the bones, and Subaru provides the heart of the operation.

All that aside, Toyota’s platform isn’t only good because it plays well with RWD applications but because it allows Toyota and Subaru engineers to turbocharge the BRZ and 86 twins. Even better yet: With that new engine and forced induction comes a serious improvement in power output as well. According to reports, the new engine will pump out more than 255 horsepower and will feature a substantial increase in torque output as well. There are no specifics to run by, but with the current models offering just 156 pound-feet, 200 pound-feet isn’t out of the question.

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 Will Have Improved Straight-Line Performance

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 - A New Platform and More Power Exterior
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The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 weren’t all that fast in a straight line. They could get to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds when equipped with a manual transmission, so they weren’t slow, but their purpose is to be nimble, not crazy fast. That’s not going to change with the next-gen models.

Both Subaru and Toyota want to maintain that “driver’s car” spirit, but we will still see drastically improved sprint speeds too.

Those extra 50 horsepower and unknown about of torque, all available lower in the rev range, could help drop sprint times into the low six-second range with the manual transmission and mid six-second range with the automatic transmission. That would account for an improvement of anywhere between one and 1.5 seconds.

Other Improvements Will Shift the BRZ and GR86 Into Premium Territory

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 - A New Platform and More Power High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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We’re also hearing word that the next-gen BRZ and GR86 will feature improved materials inside that will, above all else, improve the perceived quality. Both automakers will strive to improve fit and finish inside to go with a whole bunch of new tech. We don’t expect pricing for either model to increase all that much but the improved power output and performance, paired with improved materials, could push the BRZ and 86 into a position in which they can actually compete with the base-model Porsche 718 Cayman.

Sure, the entry-level Cayman has 300 horsepower and can get to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, but the 86 and BRZ won’t be far off from those figures. And, if the materials and technology really are on point, the Porsche 718 might have a significantly cheaper competitor. This could really get interesting .

Final Thoughts

The 2021 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 - A New Platform and More Power High Resolution Exterior
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I know that I just told you that pricing won’t go up much, but it will go up. Both the BRZ and 86 will still be cheaper than the Audi TT, Porsche 718, and the four-cylinder Supra in Japan. The good news is that the cars will be more powerful, sportier, and feature higher-quality materials. On the Toyota side of things, the GR86 will join the GR Supra and GR Yaris, and will later be joined by a 1,000-horsepower hypercar that was previewed by the GR Super Sport Concept. As for Subaru, we’re not sure what’s next, but you can bet the next-gen BRZ will be a ripe offering as well. When these two will actually come to market remains to be seen, but we expect the 2021 GR86 and BRZ to make their debut and, potentially, launch sometime in 2021.

Source: AutoCar

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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