Developing a sports car in this day and age when it's mostly about SUVs and EVs is a courageous business decision. Toyota and Subaru joined forces yet again to make the GR 86 and BRZ happen, and there's an interesting rumor we might be getting a third variation of the rear-wheel-drive small coupe formula. Reports from Japan state Lexus will introduce its own UC, which has now been speculatively rendered by Motor.es.
The adjacent design exercise stems from the article published by Spyder7 last week, but it's important to mention the are some spy shots seemingly showing Lexus’ take on the 86/BRZ. Attached below, the images depict a sports coupe wearing the spindle grille (unless it's fake) while hiding the badges. It's worth noting these were published at the end of March, so only a few days before the 2022 GR 86 was unveiled.
We are still not entirely sure Lexus will be launching a more luxurious version of the two coupes as the spy shots could depict the Toyota model with deceiving camouflage. Another plausible scenario is a lookalike Lexus body kit in the same vein as the one offered by Japanese tuner AIMGAIN for the original GT 86.
According to the rumor, the Lexus UC won't be mechanically identical to its mainstream siblings as it's allegedly getting an electrified version of the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter engine. The jury is still out on whether it will be a mild hybrid, hybrid, or a PHEV, but regardless, the combined output would surpass the 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (249 Newton-meters) of torque of the stock US-spec GR 86.
Gallery: 2022 Toyota GR 86
When contacted by Carscoops, Lexus did add a bit of fuel to the rumor by saying that while the company does not "comment or speculate on future product strategy," there are "some exciting things coming up for Lexus. Please stay tuned!"
Based on a separate report from Creative Trend, the official premiere could take place as early as this fall. The UC is said to be a smidge longer than the GR 86 and feature the newly developed infotainment Lexus will be using in future products, starting with the 2022 NX crossover.
We'll have to wait and see how this plays out. On one hand, the RC and LC aren't exactly huge sellers for Lexus, so adding another coupe doesn't seem like such a good idea. On the other hand, most of the bones for the UC would be taken from the GR 86 and BRZ, so the development costs would be kept down to the minimum.