The new Toyota GR86 just arrived in America for 2022. But rumors from Japan (spotted by CarBuzz) suggest that Toyota is already working on the GR86's replacement, which will be dramatically different from the current car.
Best Car Web details what they have heard Toyota is working on with a target for 2025. The GR86 would move from a Subaru to a Toyota platform, specifically a shortened version of the Lexus IS platform because the GR86 is too small for TNGA.
The reports say the GR86 will finally receive a turbocharger, because it will pack the 1.6-liter turbo from the GR Yaris and GR Corolla. But that engine will be the basis for a hybrid setup that would use the electric componentry from the Hybrid Max motor in the new Toyota Crown — but only in rear-wheel-drive form. Toyota will allegedly (somehow) still keep the manual transmission an option as well. The total output is expected to be more than 300 horsepower.
Those changes would make the GR86 a dramatically heavier, more complex and more expensive vehicle. That's why Toyota GR86's chief engineer Yasurori Suezawa told Australian outlet Drive that Toyota had ruled out those options along with a pure electric version.
Moving swiftly and with sweeping changes does not sound Toyota-like. But Toyota is reportedly pivoting hard toward EVs. Toyota has been saying for years that cars developed after 2025 would have an electrified powertrain or at least the option for one. If the current GR86 setup could not handle a hybrid, revamping the car with the lightest hybrid engine they could and modifying a sporty platform that could accommodate sounds like the route Toyota would take.
Left to their own devices, Toyota would probably want to save money and keep the GR86 as is for as long as possible. But with the automotive market and emissions regulations moving in one direction, that may not be an option for much longer.