At long last, the second-generation Toyota 86 has been spied for the first time. Caught undergoing testing on the busy streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the prototype was spotted by Instagram user Kystify who sent the juicy spy footage to YouTuber Matt Maran Motoring to share with the whole world. While the clip is only a few seconds long, we’ll take what we can get since we’ve been waiting for news about the 86 for a long time.
Toyota and Subaru officially confirmed plans to continue their sports car tie-up in September 2019 when the two Japanese brands announced there would be follow-ups to the 86 and BRZ, respectively. While the rumor mill has been working extensively, there are still no official details about the direction the rear-wheel-drive coupes will take with the next installment. Thankfully, the adjacent spy video gives us an idea regarding the exterior design of what appears to be the Toyota version.
While the general shape and proportions seem similar, it looks like the front and rear designs are significantly different compared to today’s 86. It might be just us, but the heavily camouflaged prototype somewhat reminds us of the 86-based GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum (pictured above) unveiled in early 2013 by Gazoo Racing.
After eschewing “GT” from its moniker a few years ago, it appears the 86 will once again carry a suffix, only this time it’ll be “GR” to signal Gazoo Racing is involved and to mirror the GR Supra and GR Yaris. It’s expected to arrive for the 2022 model year in the United States, and according to a Toyota insider who claims to be in the know, the car will launch stateside in July 2021.
The spy video fuels a rumor from earlier this year published by Japanese magazine Best Car, claiming the 86 and its BRZ sister would ride on the same platform rather than switching to Toyota’s TNGA platform as originally believed. The familiar shape and size points towards an update for the existing architecture, in the same vein as the 370Z teased by Nissan also hinted at a refresh of the old bones.
Power will allegedly come from a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter flat-four with a yet-to-be-confirmed 217 horsepower and 177 pound-feet (240 Newton-meters) of torque. That would represent a rather modest bump of 12 hp and 21 lb-ft (28 Nm) when compared to the automatic version of the current 86 and an extra 26 lb-ft (35 Nm) over the manual.
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The new 86 is said to be slightly longer, wider, and lower than its predecessor while adding a bit of weight. However, take these details with the proverbial pinch of salt as none of the info is official at this point.
With the prototype seemingly carrying the full production body and lights, it suggests the 2021 launch is plausible.
See the 2022 Toyota 86 and all of the other upcoming new cars in our list of future cars for 2021-2025.