Their supposed deaths were greatly exaggerated, but the Toyobaru twins, the 86 and BR-Z, will live on another generation. It's not just hearsay either as it has also been confirmed by a Subaru spokesperson, months after Toyota said they weren't killing them off.
So why did people think that the Toyota 86 and Subaru BR-Z will soon cease production?
For starters, there's an entry-level version of the Supra making 197 PS, about the same as the Toyota 86. Then there's Subaru shifting most of their vehicles to the SGP or Subaru Global Platform. The SGP platform is strictly for all-wheel drive applications only, hence fueling the rumors of the 86 and BR-Z heading to the chopping board. We can now be rest assured that the BR-Z and 86 will still be a collaborative effort between the two. In the words of the Subaru spokesperson, “We are working on it. There will be a second-generation BR-Z”.
The question now is this: What will the next-generation BR-Z/86 be like?
What it won't be is a mid-engined car, as Subaru officials have quashed that rumor. With that, we're expecting it to retain the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. However, there is still a big question mark hanging over its hood. Both Toyota and Subaru have suitable engines to power a small coupe. Toyota has their BMW-sourced 2.0-liter turbo while Subaru could go for an updated version of the 2.0-liter boxer engine, which opens up another question: will the next BR-Z/86 be naturally aspirated or turbocharged?
It is also yet to be known if the two sports coupes will have an inline engine or a boxer layout either. Some have leveled criticism at the Toyobaru twins for not having enough power. While adding a turbo could address that criticism, it could tread on the toes of the entry-level Supra. If anything, Toyota and Subaru have a tough balancing act ahead of them. By the looks of it, their goal is to fulfill the performance needs that their customers are looking for, but not something that could affect sales of their halo models, namely the Supra and WRX STI.