Toyota and Subaru have confirmed the joint development of the next-generation 86 and BRZ coupes, with a launch timeframe set in 2020. The Japanese automakers issued a press release announcing a second generation of the two cars, along with new AWD models in the pipeline.
Toyota and Subaru formally forged an alliance in 2005, debuting their first products in the form of the 86 and BRZ in 2012. Their partnership also involves capital ties as Toyota’s shares in Subaru will increase from the current 16.83 percent to 20, effectively making Subaru an affiliated company of Toyota.
Both the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been around since 2012, making them prime candidates for a generational update.
While there are no concrete details as to what the new cars will offer or feature, it is safe to assume that the basic ingredients will remain unchanged. A low-mounted boxer engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and available manual transmission will continue to be part of the package. Rumour has it that the new 86 will be dynamically superior to the A90 Supra.
Further, it is being said that Toyota is contemplating a resurrection of the popular Celica nameplate underpinned by a WRX all-wheel-drive layout. How true these speculations or rumours turn out to be will only be answered when Toyota and Subaru choose to disclose finer details. However, introducing second generations of two extremely balanced, dynamic, and lightweight cars is a laudable move in the face of burgeoning demand for EVs and crossovers.
Toward that end, the Toyota-Subaru alliance is also said to be working on a completely new project that involves autonomous driving capabilities as well as electric propulsion. Commenting on the agreement, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, “During this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, driving enjoyment will remain an inherent part of automobiles and is something that I think we must continue to strongly preserve.”
Apart from the new pair of coupes, the Japanese carmakers have also agreed to co-develop AWD cars and electric vehicles.
Tomomi Nakamura, President of Subaru, said, “Between our company and Toyota is an alliance that already has a history of 14 years. During this time, we have deepened our bonds in various fields such as product development, production, and sales, including through personnel exchanges.”
If Toyota and Subaru keep the coupes alive in a market obsessed with high-riding, electric, and autonomous vehicles, the feat might very well inspire other automakers to populate the segment with new-generation models of their own.