Update: Added statement from Toyota that suggests the 86 won't be dropped as the rumors suggest.
Now that the Toyota Supra is officially a thing, some people have been wondering about the future of Toyota’s other sports car, the 86. A new report from Japanese Nostalgic Car suggests the end could be nigh for the runabout, as well as the clone-close Subaru BRZ. The news outlet cites a forthcoming report from another source that will allegedly reveal the cancellation of both sports cars. That report is said to come out later next month.
We couldn’t wait that long, so we shot some inquiries to both Subaru and Toyota on the subject. A Subaru representative told us that a second-generation BRZ was previously confirmed, but the automaker is unable to discuss specifics about it at this time. It seems the BRZ will continue in some fashion, at least in name.
Similarly, Toyota seems just as optimistic about the 86, though the company stopped short of saying a new model was in the works. Here's what a Toyota spokesperson told Motor1.com directly:
"As Akio Toyoda said at the reveal of the 2020 Supra, Toyota is committed to building exciting vehicles, including sports cars. The 86 has been in the Toyota family since 2013 and the plan is that it will continue to be a part of Toyota’s sports car line-up."
Gallery: 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition
Furthermore, the article from Japanese Nostalgic Car also mentions Toyota and Subaru could be parting ways on its sports car partnership, though no details on that separation are provided. The companies teamed up for the BRZ/86 development, with Subaru providing the naturally aspirated flat-four engine and Toyota backing it up with a six-speed manual, among other things. The car launched with both automakers in 2012, and though a few special editions have cropped up through the years, it remains primarily unchanged to this day.
Gallery: 2018 Subaru BRZ tS: First Drive
The rumors are indeed timely, to say the least. Toyota offers its new Supra with a four-cylinder option in markets outside the U.S., slotting directly into the spot currently occupied by the 86. Now would seem a logical point to put the 86 to bed, but that doesn’t mean a Toyota/Subaru partnership is completely dead. Rumors about a revived Toyota MR2 – once again with Subaru DNA – have stirred recently. Could the BRZ become a mid-engine car? Could Toyota continue a relationship with Subaru to introduce a new MR2?
So many questions. It looks like the next few months could be very interesting for both Subaru and Toyota fans.