• Toyota and Subaru Are Now Engaged With Plans for Twins

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The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are pretty awesome cars in their own right. They were both built to be driven without a focus on straight-line performance but handling and maneuverability. That was made possible thanks to the collaboration between Subaru and Toyota. Thanks to Subaru’s engine, the 86 was able to have a low center of gravity that it wouldn’t have had if Toyota had but it on its own. And, the Subaru BRZ probably wouldn’t exist at all if Toyota hadn’t been there to share costs. We’ve been wondering just when we’re going to see the twins evolve into the next stage of their life and, while we don’t know that, we know that Toyota and Subaru are partnering up once again. And, it’ll be even better than before. Here’s why.

Subaru Will Actually Be an Affiliated Company of Toyota

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Part of the collaboration for the next-gen Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 means that Toyota will be buying enough shares to have 20-percent voting rights in Subaru – about 24,300,000 shares or an increase of 3.17-percent in voting rights. At the same time, Subaru will buy enough shares in Toyota, up to $741 million worth, to facilitate Toyota’s purchase. This deal makes Subaru an affiliate company of Toyota, and this is more important than you might think.

In addition to collaborating on the next-gen BRZ\86 twins, Subaru will be able to use Toyota’s hybrid technology beyond the Crosstrek Hybrid, and both companies will work together in developing autonomous driving technology and connect car technology.

It’s also said that both automakers will work together to build more AWD models, something that should benefit Toyota much more than it does Subaru – after all, Subaru’s AWD system is second to none.

Does it mean the two companies will eventually merge? Probably not, but anything is possible, and it might be good if that happened, but for now, they will just be working very closely together.

The Subaru BRZ Could Enter an All-New Niche

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It was just recently that Toyota’s chief engineer went on record saying that the second-generation 86 was going to surpass the Supra. Or, in other words, it’s going to be better to drive. We don’t know if that means that it’ll handle better than the Supra, be faster than the Supra, or if it’ll be more of a driver’s car, but it does mean that the Subaru BRZ will, in turn, also be better to drive than the Supra. That’s a huge deal, folks.

With the new investments and collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, the 86 and BRZ twins are set to move into their own, new little niche and the BRZ, more specifically, will find itself attracting new customers from different walks of life. From what we’ve taken from the rumor mill, the next-gen 86 and BRZ could switch over from the Impreza platform that underpins the current models to Toyota’s TNGA architecture. The same rumor mill says that both models will be powered by the 2.4-liter engine found under the hood of the Subaru Ascent.

2019 Subaru Ascent
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That engine, in its current tune, delivers 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque from its flat-four configuration.

It doesn’t like much in today’s world of high-performance four-cylinder cars, but it would account for an increase of 55 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. And, that’s assuming that neither Toyota or Subaru tune the Ascent’s engine to deliver more power, which is entirely possible. If the current models can get to 60 mph in 6.4-6.7 seconds, a lighter car with that much extra power and torque could break into the high 5s. Of course, neither car will be meant for straight-line performance as they will still be driver’s cars through and through.

2019 Subaru Ascent specifications
Engine 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed SUBARU BOXER, aluminum cylinder block and cylinder heads, twin-scroll turbocharger, intercooler
Displacement 2,387 cc / 146 cu. in.
Bore x Stroke 94mm x 86mm (3.70 in. x 3.39 in.)
Compression ratio 10.6:1
Horsepower 260 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 277 LB-FT @ 2,000-4,800 RPM

When Will the Next-Gen Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ Debut?

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As of right now, there’s no word as to when the next-gen Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ will debut. We have yet to see any spy shots of either car nor have we seen or heard about any prototypes. In fact, this new “alliance” as it’s being called won’t even be finalized until the deal is approved by competition authorities. That means that both cars could be at least a couple of years out if not more. That also raises yet another question: Will the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 be temporarily discontinued?

A temporary discontinuation of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 is highly possible as they have been in production since 2012 and will be eight years old at the turn of the decade.

Holding the same models without any time of moderate upgrade or facelift might not be that desirable and, as such, both companies could run out the stock they have on hand until the next-gen models are due to go on sale. We’re expecting to see them debut by 2022, but they may not go on sale until 2023, making the first-gen models 11 years old. With both cars being fairly popular in their own niche, however, this could be a big opportunity for marketing as well. If both companies end production after 2020 and start teasing and promoting the next-gen models they could, in fact, be very popular when they do launch.

2019 Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ drivetrain specifications
Type, Materials 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, boxer, aluminum alloy block and head
Valve train DOHC 4-valves per cylinder with Dual Variable Valve Timing
Displacement 1998cc
Bore x Stroke 86 x 86 mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Horsepower 205 hp @ 7,000 rpm (SAE NET) (A/T – 200 hp @ 7,000 rpm)
Torque 156 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm (A/T – 151 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm)

Final Thoughts

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I, for one, am quite happy to hear about this new collaboration \ alliance. It will bring a lot of good our way when it comes to the BRZ\86 twins while at the same time give both companies a more wide-scale edge on the competition that neither has had so far. I wish I could say for sure when we’ll see the next-gen 86 and BRZ, but the important thing, for now, is that we can finally say they are going to happen – something that we weren’t so sure was going to happen until recently.

Further Reading

Toyota and Subaru Are Now Engaged With Plans for Twins High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full, driven review of the 2017 Toyota 86.

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Read our full, driven review of the 2017 Subaru BRZ.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.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 full bio
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Toyota and Subaru Agree on New Business and Capital Alliance
Tokyo, Japan, September 27, 2019―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Subaru Corporation (Subaru) agreed today on a new business and capital alliance with the aim of further developing and strengthening their long-term partnership.

Ever since concluding an agreement on business collaboration in 2005, partnership between Toyota and Subaru has included contract production by Subaru of Toyota vehicles and supply by Toyota of vehicles to Subaru, as well as joint development of the rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports car models.

Also, with vast changes enveloping the automotive industry, which is being called on to respond to the new domains of CASE (connected, autonomous/automated, shared, and electric), Toyota and Subaru disclosed in June this year that they have agreed to jointly develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and to jointly develop a BEV model, both of which will employ Subaru’s AWD technologies and Toyota’s vehicle electrification technologies.

In this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, by strengthening their bonds and aligning their capabilities, Toyota and Subaru aim to pursue driving enjoyment in the CASE era and to make ever-better cars beyond what either company has been able to achieve thus far. Furthermore, to deepen their relationship and to strengthen their ties toward advancing to the next stage while respecting the identity of each other’s brand, the two companies have agreed that Toyota will increase its equity stake in Subaru and that Subaru will acquire shares in Toyota.

Details of business activities in the new alliance
In pursuit of making ever-better cars beyond that achieved thus far by Toyota and Subaru
Bringing together both companies’ strengths to jointly develop all-wheel-drive models that offer the ultimate sensation in all-wheel driving
Joint development of the next-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ
Expansion of the scope of partnership to survive this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation
Following the Crosstrek Hybrid*, expanding use of the Toyota Hybrid System in other Subaru models
Cooperation in the domain of connected vehicles and technical collaboration in the field of autonomous driving
*Currently available only in the North American market. (Crosstrek is the North American model name of Subaru XV.)

Details of capital ties in the new alliance
Toyota acquisition of Subaru shares Subaru acquisition of Toyota shares
Number of shares to be acquired
Shares up to an amount that will result in Toyota having a total of 20 percent of voting rights in Subaru (Based on the status of Subaru shares as of March 31, 2019, the number would be 24,289,500 Subaru shares, which would be equal to 3.17 percent of Subaru voting rights.)

Based on the planned acquisition of shares announced today, the additional shares to be acquired by Toyota would increase Toyota’s current 16.83 percent of voting rights in Subaru to a minimum of 20 percent, with Subaru foreseen to become an affiliated company of Toyota.
Shares equivalent to the monetary amount (up to 80 billion yen) necessary for Toyota to acquire Subaru shares as described on the left
Acquisition method Purchase on the market and/or purchase through a negotiation transaction
Acquisition timing Scheduled to be acquired upon approval of competition authorities
Commenting on today’s agreement, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: "During this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, even if CASE changes how cars will be, driving enjoyment will remain an inherent part of automobiles and is something that I think we must continue to strongly preserve. I, myself, am a rallyist, and, through my experience of training hard in an Impreza, I have felt in my veins the wonders of Subaru’s AWD technologies. Meanwhile, we at Toyota have been going all out to hone our all-wheel-drive technologies by participating in the World Rally Championship, among other activities. Our companies, both of which have long pursued driving enjoyment, now want to pursue the possibilities of making ever-better cars suitable for the CASE era by bringing together our strengths and by further deepening our relationship."

Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura said: "Between our company and Toyota is an alliance that already has a history of 14 years. During this time, we have deepened our bonds in various fields such as product development, production, and sales, including through personnel exchanges. By taking our relationship one step further and mutually honing our technologies, we will strengthen our ability to respond to CASE and other demands, and will accelerate our shared aspirations for making ever-better cars. This new step in our alliance with Toyota will lead to enhancing ’Enjoyment and Peace of Mind’ that Subaru is committed to deliver; and I am confident that our customers will love what we offer through these efforts."

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