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."