It may seem like the Toyota GT86 and its counterparts, the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ just came out yesterday, but in fact, the GT86 has been in production since the beginning of 2012. That means a redesign is coming, and we now know to expect it in April of next year.
Not only will the styling of the compact sports car change, but Australian media is reporting there will be a small boost in power as well. A “major body panel redesign” is expected to include new bumpers, a restyled hood, updated headlights, and a wider, lower grille. Don’t expect anything too dramatic, though, as the GT86 and BRZ share the same assembly line, and both need to maintain recognizable and inoffensive aesthetics.
As for that slight bump in power, the refreshed GT86 is expected to make 208 horsepower from the same 2.0 liter four-cylinder, a bump of nine ponies over the current car. Additionally, the intake manifold will be reworked to improve fuel efficiency.
The 2016 Toyota GT86 will come standard with Sachs dampers and a beefed up rear suspension sub-frame. Gazoo Racing has also tweaked the chassis a bit for better handling.
While Subaru has confirmed a hotter version of the BRZ, Toyota has yet to announce a higher performance iteration of the GT86 or Scion FR-S. This could be due to the fact that GT86 and FR-S sales have leveled off lately, while Subaru just hit its five-year sales goal far ahead of schedule.
Letting numbers tell the story: Scion FR-S sales are down 29 percent what they were this time last year, and 37 percent of its 2013 numbers. That’s not to say Subaru’s BRZ is any better. In fact, it sold 40% fewer models in April than it did a year prior. Still, Subaru has branded itself as a sporty vehicle manufacturer with the WRX and STI, so it has more to gain from a higher performance BRZ than Toyota does with the GT86 or FR-S.
Besides a hotter version, Toyota has shown sedan and convertible concepts of the FR-S that would suggest alternate versions of the GT86/FR-S are on the way, but only time will tell.