* Performance gains will be focus of new Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ
* Engine displacement will increase from 2.0-liter to 2.4-liter
* Information comes from confidential sources inside Subaru
* Relatively low sales led to speculation about the model’s future
The Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ are exactly the kind of cars enthusiasts have wanted for years, but truth be told, neither is one of either company’s top sellers, because they’re niche vehicles, designed primarily for fun.
So essentially, that means many of the young folks they often appeal to don’t always have the cash to run down to the showroom and pick one up. They’re waiting for them to hit the used market, and that means the biggest takeaway from the recent report from our friends at The Japan Times is that in the era of the crossover, Toyota and Subaru aren’t giving up on small, affordable, rear-wheel drive sports cars. How’s that for good news?
That said, there aren’t a ton of specifics in the report, but the little we have is intriguing. One of the biggest complaints that drivers have had about the Toyota-Subaru twins is the relative lack of power. The models currently at your local Toyota or Subaru dealer are making around 200 horsepower from their 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinders, and while there have been several special editions which made tweaks to the suspension and aero bits, that amount of poke has been consistent from the introduction. So upping the displacement by nearly half a liter means we’ll see a measurable increase, even if enthusiasts still aren’t getting the factory turbocharger they’ve been pining for.
Another focus of the update will reportedly be lowering the car’s center of gravity to improve handling, which to be honest, is already pretty great. So the only thing about this news that gives us pause is the possible inclusion of Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology, which company spokespeople have previously said might not be compatible with a manual transmission.
Now, since Subaru builds both cars, that raises the prospect of an 86 or a BRZ without a third pedal, but honestly, we can’t imagine this model being offered without a stick. Stay tuned for more on the next-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ!