Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ successor canceled?
30 January 2019 - Autoblog
Four-cylinder Supra and electric MR2 could take its place at Toyota
Rumors indicate that the Toyota 86 is done for. Japanese Nostalgic Car is quoting Japanese sources as saying Toyota and Subaru have parted ways regarding the 86 and that the current car's replacement is off the table. According to JNC, the Japanese magazine Best Car is readying a report that the 86/BRZ successor has been canceled. JNC also considers the fact that in Japan, there will be a four-cylinder, 197-horsepower version of the new Supra, ready to continue where the 86 will leave the market.
Back in 2016 the automaker seemingly confirmed that a replacement for the rear-drive car was under development, but plans can change and with a cheaper Supra version for sale in markets outside the U.S., we have to wonder if the 86 replacement has been shelved. The 86, while balanced, has only received mild enhancements and not a lot of extra power during its near-decade long time on the market, and it isn't such a strong seller that it would necessarily merit the effort of Toyota developing a successor on its own, particularly without the help of a partner like Subaru or BMW.
At the same time, Autocar quotes Toyota boss Akio Toyoda on the Supra: "At the end of the day, is there anything better than a tight rear-wheel-drive sports car? I hope this won't be the last Toyota sports car you see from us in the future." While that is far from a solid statement of Toyota's future intent, it paves the way to offerings below the Supra, and shows how much the company boss cares about driver involvement. There is a distinct possibility that the company will re-introduce the MR2 as an electrified, rear-drive sports car – which could still be a joint venture with Subaru, as Japanese Nostalgic Car theorizes. Whatever's in the pipeline – and we hope there is something in the pipeline – it seems Toyota's heart is in the right place: driving the rear wheels.