Japanese news sources (spotted by Motoring.com) are churning new rumors about the second-generation Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S due in 2020.
Reportedly, Toyota will add an advanced, F1-inspired kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to the new GT86 to improve performance and fuel economy. The system will complement the rumored Mazda MX-5 body and Mazda’s Skyactiv 1.5-liter four-cylinder, though Toyota’s powertrain will add a turbocharger to the mix to make an estimated 188 horsepower.
That figure is of course less than the present car’s 197 horsepower, but with about 400 fewer pounds to move, the second-generation GT86 will undoubtedly be a higher-performing sports car.
Should Toyota adopt the MX-5’s platform, Subaru would be forced to develop its own BRZ successor, as Subaru and Mazda do not have a working relationship. For Toyota, the move to embrace Mazda’s new Miata chassis will mean a far more capable handling vehicle at a price that should match the current generation’s $24,900 sticker.
While Toyota signed its agreement with Mazda to share technologies in May, it seems strange that Mazda would offer its lightweight chassis to Toyota’s rival product. The 2016 MX-5 starts at just about the same price as Scion’s FR-S and with the next-generation GT86’s power advantages, it would seem obvious that Mazda would lose sales to the Toyota product.
As for Subaru, the loss of a shared platform might not be bemoaned as Subaru executives say the sports car project has diluted their brand message of horizontally opposed engines and all-wheel drive safety. As for Toyota, the Japanese automaker is apparently unimpressed with Subaru’s boxer four-cylinder fuel-economy figures.
A concept version of the next generation Toyota GT86 is expected to debut sometime in 2017.