Currently reading: Next Toyota GT86 confirmed for 2021 in leaked presentation
New GR86 sports car is set to launch next summer with 252bhp turbo flat-four; Subaru version to follow

The replacement for the Toyota GT86, due to be named the GR86, will come out next year with a 252bhp turbocharged petrol engine, alleged leaks from US dealer presentations reveal. 

Posted on Instagram by regular scoop source Allcarnews, the Toyota-branded slideshow reveals the sports car is planned to be launched in summer 2021, between an all-new crossover and a ‘CUV’. There's no clear indication that the Subaru version, the replacement for the Subaru BRZ, will make its debut at the same time, but it’s entirely likely. 

The post also claims that the GR86 and BRZ will sit on a new platform and produce 252bhp from a forced-induction engine – two facts Autocar revealed earlier this year. This is likely to be the 2.4-litre flat-four unit that Subaru uses in the US market Ascent.  

The GT86 and BRZ were launched in 2012, and their future had been in doubt for years because of relatively low sales in a declining market. But both companies have committed to developing a replacement, with the GR86 a key part of Toyota's growing performance car line-up.

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is a major proponent of using performance models to boost the brand’s image under the Gazoo Racing division, which also includes Toyota’s various motorsport programmes.

10 Gt86 2017 a

The original GT86 pre-dated the creation of that brand, which started with the GR Toyota Supra and will also include the GR Yaris, the first model developed purely by Gazoo Racing. The next GT86 is set to be rebranded to bring it in line with that nomenclature.

The next-gen sports car will feature some substantial changes from the existing model. While the original was built on a Subaru platform, the firm’s current architectures are not suited to rear-drive cars, so Autocar understands the new model is set to be built on Toyota’s TNGA platform.

With Toyota taking the lead on the platform side, it is up to Subaru to once again provide the propulsion. As we previously reported (and new reports appear to confirm) the existing 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit will be switched for the turbocharged 2.4-litre boxer powerplant currently used in the Ascent, Legacy and Subaru Outback models.


Read our review

Car review

This light, uncomplicated coupé promises so much. Can the Toyota GT86 deliver?

Back to top

That engine produces 252bhp in the Ascent, a figure that would represent a significant upgrade on the outgoing model’s output. Forced induction would also provide a substantial torque upgrade over the old car, too, providing a draw for those who weren’t satisfied with the performance of the outgoing GT86 and BRZ. Both brands may wish to retain the drivability and character of a naturally aspirated unit, but this needs to be balanced with what buyers are demanding – and that appears to be the on-tap grunt of a turbocharged unit.

9 Ubaru brz 2016 ff

Toyota and Subaru will also want to improve the aesthetic appeal of the new car, both inside and out. The old GT86 and BRZ were widely criticised for their low-rent cabin, so expect improvements in technology, material usage and fit and finish. Whether or not the model becomes more of a true four-seater in order to really help it stand up against more practical rivals remains to be seen.

Such changes – particularly the power upgrade – would be likely to see the price of both cars increase. However, both brands will be conscious of the close proximity of more premium models, such as the Audi TT and BMW Z4. Toyota won’t want to tread on the toes of its own Supra, either, particularly in Japan where a four-cylinder version of the reborn sports car is offered.

The second-generation BRZ and GT86 will build on expanding links between Subaru and Toyota. As well as the sports car, the two firms are teaming up to develop a new EV platform and electric SUV.

Back to top

Toyota weighs up sports hybrids

Toyota is considering hybrid versions of future performance car models – but only once the weight of the systems are reduced.

The Japanese firm is in the process of electrifying all of its models, with a heavy focus on hybrid systems. But the new GR Yaris will only be offered with a three-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, despite 80% of Yaris sales expected to be hybrid.

8 Gr yaris 2020 015

Naohiko Sato, chief engineer of the GR Yaris, said that while a hybrid system would fit in the car and was under evaluation, Toyota didn’t believe it was currently suitable for performance cars.

“Right now, if we chose an electrified powertrain for a sports car, it would be heavier,” said Sato. “We decided it’s not the right way to go right now. Maybe when the technology gets better and we have new technology allowing lighter powertrains, it could be good.

“Right now, the Toyota Prius and Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrids can have big batteries because they’re not sports cars, but it is best not to have a big battery for a sports car.”

The Gazoo Racing range

7 Gr super sports

Back to top

Toyota GR Super Sports - arriving in 2021: Road-legal version of forthcoming Le Mans racer will serve as range-topping ‘halo’ model, built in very small numbers.


GR Yaris - arriving in late 2020: Four-wheel-drive, 247bhp-plus hot hatch brings World Rally Championship learnings to Yaris range.

5 Supra 2019 launch 3678af

GR Supra - on sale now: Famed two-seat grand tourer has been reborn through partnership with BMW.

4 Gr86 for sidebar

GR86 - arriving in 2021: Second generation of rear-wheel-drive coupé will be brought in line with new GR branding.


Toyota plots new Aygo to capitalise on city car demise

Toyota Corolla goes hybrid-only for 2020

New 2020 Toyota Yaris revealed with ground-up redesign

Join the debate

Add a comment…
LP in Brighton 26 March 2020

Respect to Toyota and Subaru

Great to see that enthusiasm for building pure relatively affordable sports models is not yet dead within the industry. It's just a pity that there are not more enthusiastic buyers out there. I too would like to see the GT86 and BRZ be more separated, but I suspect that the sales numbers would not justify the additional costs involved.

Boris9119 25 March 2020

Great Entry Level Car For Young Petrolheads

These really are great entry level cars for young petrolhead enthusiasts. Not to much power, not to expensive, relatively cheap to run, repair and maintain.

typos1 25 March 2020

But of course, the Subaru

But of course, the Subaru version should be 4wd only.