Toyota's drivetrain engineering boss confirms development of a Toyota GT86 hybrid is underway
10 September 2013

Development of a Toyota GT86 hybrid is progressing behind the scenes, a senior engineering chief revealed exclusively to Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show.

Toyota’s senior manager for drivetrain engineering, Koei Saga, told Autocar: "The development work is quite advanced now, so if the green light is given, we are ready to do it."

Saga hinted the hybrid GT86's drivetrain could use a combination of existing systems seen on road and track. He said: "We are quite prepared because we do have a hybrid system that we can use for that kind of vehicle, utilising the production passenger car hybrid system, and we also have the pure race-oriented hybrid system [in the TS030 LMP1 racer and Prius GT300 from Japan's Super GT series]. 

“So I think it won't be very far in the future that the green light will come."

Though all Toyota-branded passenger cars are front-drive, sister company Lexus uses the same basic Hybrid Synergy Drive technology in its hybrids, including the rear-drive-only GS 450h

The modular nature of the system means the electric motors can be employed in very different scenarios - the single electric motor used in the Yaris Hybrid is also put to work in the four-wheel drive Yaris Hybrid-R concept racer unveiled today, and is applied in unison with a variety of engine types, but not so far with a boxer like the current GT86's 197bhp four-pot. 

While Toyota's passenger car applications use a CVT gearbox, the Yaris Hybrid-R uses a six-speed sequential transmission. It is likely the hybrid Toyota GT86 would need to keep a manual gearbox to maintain driver appeal.

When asked if the weight penalty of hybrid drive batteries could be overcome in a Toyota hybrid sports car, Saga commented: "Yes - with a good layout design, we think that even if may be a bit heavier, it can be a fun car to drive."

Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada previously told Autocar that positioning the batteries to lower the centre of gravity and adding underbody aerodynamic aids to alter the car’s dynamic balance could both be useful strategies in a GT86 hybrid. Toyota's TRD tuning arm has been able to take 100kg out of the standard car's kerb weight.

The cost and size of hybrid drive units is also being reduced, as will be demonstrated in the next-generation Toyota Prius, which aims to simultaneously improve economy, all of which would also favour a hybrid GT86, though perhaps not in its first iteration.

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Comments
18

10 September 2013

"While Toyota's passenger car applications use a CVT gearbox,"

No, really, they don't. Honestly. Despite what Toyota themselves say in their marketing guff, the standard Toyota hybrid employs an epicyclic power split device using a planetary gearset. There is no rubber band or infinite set of ratios as you would find in what anyone would call a CVT gearbox.

It isn't even a "gearbox" as such, because it has only one fixed gear ratio. The planetary gears simply allow the power to flow back and forth between the engine, the road wheels and the two electric motors as required, all under the control of the computer.

Please Autocar, just Google Toyota Power Split Device to be enlightened... There's lots of lovely, simple, explanations out there.

10 September 2013

Come on Toyota, a manual hybrid GT86 would add torque, and driver appeal, and could even be used on rear drive Lexus models too if you are brave enough. Show the world how good a 'drivers' hybrid can be.

As for the weight gain of a hybrid, this could be offset by chucking out those useless rear seats.

11 September 2013

So a car that carries passengers is not a passenger car?
Where do these non meaning terms comes from?
Toyota makes and brands rwd and manual cars that carry passengers.

11 September 2013

Question is, should Toyota badge it as "GT86 Hybrid" and risk putting off some enthusiasts to whom the word "Hybrid" is off putting in the context of a sports car? Or should they use another term such as KERS which they may be more receptive to.
Whatever they call it, I think this is a very interesting and worthy project - and I'm sure they end result will be just fantastic.

11 September 2013

judging by the miniscule numbers of GT86s sold (despite all the MOST AWESOME DRIVER'S CAR hooey in the press they drip-sell at a rate of just 100 units a month), the target demographic is clearly thin on the ground. Adding a 'hybrid' badge can only widen its appeal - particularly if it makes the thing any faster.

11 September 2013

It's no secret the GT86 has failed to meet sales expectations. You can probably count on one hand how many you've seen on the road. Toyota has no idea why it isn't selling and they're kidding no-one if they think a hybrid version will turn that around. I think most people would rather see the convertible arrive first.

11 September 2013

Every other car manufacturer has a diesel version of their sports cars these days but Toyota want to give us an effing hybrid!!

They have this partnership brewing with BMW, why not a BMW diesel engine if as they insist diesel is not an area of expertise for them.

But a diesel won't satisfy the effing 'tree-huggers' would it!!

11 September 2013
Porus wrote:

Every other car manufacturer has a diesel version of their sports cars these days but Toyota want to give us an effing hybrid!!

They have this partnership brewing with BMW, why not a BMW diesel engine if as they insist diesel is not an area of expertise for them.

But a diesel won't satisfy the effing 'tree-huggers' would it!!

If they fitted a diesel it would have to be a Subaru diesel, the BMW units wont fit. The GT86 only has room for flat subaru boxer engines. (and as there isnt room for a turbo on the petrol you may have to have your diesel GT86 with a non turbo diesel - enjoy!

Its possible the Subaru flat 6 might fit though. Now that might just give the car the performance it looks like it should have.

11 September 2013

Why would any sane person want a diesel?

11 September 2013

Could it be that motoring enthusiasts have a lot less money than people that would like a premium badge - say stuck to an Audi S3?

I'd love one, and could run one practically, but don't have the money. I suspect there's a big market waiting for cheaper secondhand ones.

Here's a thing - outside of fleet sales, how well is ANYTHING £25k or more selling at the moment? We have a recession on right?

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