Toyota’s next generation GT86 could share its bones with the Mazda MX-5 Miata

Shared technology is commonplace among automakers these days, but there are definitely some platforms that get a little more “use” than others. The new Mazda MX-5 Miata is quickly becoming one of them.

Motoring is reporting that Toyota is seriously considering using the Miata as the foundation for its next generation GT86 sports car. That of course means the little roadster would underpin the Scion FR-S, and likely the BRZ as well. Fiat will also use the new MX-5 as the platform for the Fiat 124 Spider. In total, Mazda’s iconic roadster would be the basis for five vehicles due out in the next couple years.

At this point, it’s uncertain whether Toyota would borrow the MX-5 chassis, especially considering it’s hard at work on its own rear-wheel drive platform that could service both the next generation GT86 and a smaller model. If Toyota does borrow from Mazda, the GT86 and FR-S would shrink in size and weight and, paired with a smaller displacement turbocharged motor, the new crop of Toyota-family sports cars would become strong rivals to the Miata.

Mazda would of course still have the differentiation of an ultra-light 2.0 liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, but it begs the question of whether the Japanese automaker would be shooting itself in the foot by providing such a well-praised foundation to a direct rival.

Either way, Toyota will downsize its next generation GT86 in order to improve the fun-to-drive factor and potency of its engine. Before the redesigned sports car comes to market, Toyota will introduces a facelifted GT86 and Scion FR-S in April of 2016 with 10 more horsepower, Sachs dampers, a reinforced rear suspension, and other chassis tweaks from Gazoo Racing.

While technology sharing among automakers fulfills the “two heads are better than one” philosophy, I wonder how far brands can proceed in co-developing new vehicles before it becomes a situation of “which shade of gray would you like?” for buyers.

Cars

Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bona fide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.
Cars

Fisker wants to make sure Tesla’s Model Y isn’t in a class of one when it lands

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota becomes impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.
Cars

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.
Cars

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Cars

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.
Cars

Intel hates that your car is dumber than your phone. Here’s how they’ll fix it

Motorists are often underwhelmed and/or frustrated with their car's native infotainment system, so millions of them rely on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Intel is helping Google and Volvo change that by bringing phone-like tech to the…
Cars

Could a high-performance Nissan Leaf steal the mighty GT-R’s lunch money?

Nissan developed the electric Leaf with range and practicality in mind, but the hatchback could lend its hardware to a high-performance flagship. One of Nissan's chief executives announced a four-motor, 850-hp model could arrive during the…
Cars

Forget turrets. Hummer could fight its next war in the electric SUV segment

General Motors is considering resurrecting the Hummer brand it axed in 2010 to make electric off-roaders. The plan hasn't been approved yet, and it risks alienating some die-hard Hummer fans, but it makes sense on several levels.
Cars

This futuristic driverless pod will soon be delivering pizza in Texas

Pizza delivery using driverless pods is about to become a thing. Domino's has partnered with autonomous-tech specialist Nuro to use the futuristic pods for a trial delivery service starting later this year.
Cars

Flat-six makes a brief but triumphant return in Porsche’s hot-rodded 718 duo

Porsche unveiled a pair of 718-based sports cars that brazenly buck the industry's downsizing trend. The 718 Cayman GT4 and the 718 Spyder ditch the turbocharged flat-four in favor of a naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six rated at 414…