Toyota has confirmed that a second generation of its rear wheel drive 86 coupe could appear as early as 2018, with Toyota’s European boss, Karl Schlicht telling Britain’s Autocar that “the GT86 will carry on.”
The current generation holds a somewhat unique position as a low cost, rear wheel drive coupe with the only other rear drive product available at its price point being the Mazda MX-5 convertible.
Speaking about the current model, Schlicht described the 86 as being “at the stage where it’s being decided on the next one,” meaning the current model is approaching the end of its life cycle as the new model emerges.
While a late 2018 debut could be on the cards, any delays in the program could see timing stretch into 2019. With details like engine configuration and chassis still to be worked through.
Under the current model-sharing agreement the 86 has been co-developed with Subaru, and Schlicht admits “there are a lot of reasons to continue with Subaru,” pointing to the advantages of a low centre of gravity from Subaru’s horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine as a primary reason.
At the unveiling of the 86 Shooting Brake concept in Canberra in May this year 86 program chief Tetsuya Tada also mentioned the possibility of adding hybrid technology, not for its green credentials, but rather as a way of boosting the 86’s performance.
With less than two years on the clock between now and the new model, the chances of Toyota unveiling a convertible or shooting brake body style of the current model have also been greatly reduced, though a broader family of 86 models may still occur with the next generation.
Having only recently arrived in Australia the updated 86 range brings refreshed front and rear styling, upgraded handling, and more power and torque in manual variants.
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