Toyota 86 Mastermind Says Next Generation Will Go “Beyond Expectations”
Expect it to be lighter. Beyond that? We'll have to wait and see.
Now that we know the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ will be returning for a second generation of driving fun, talk has turned to what will set the next version apart from the current lightweight sports coupe. Luckily, Tetsuya Tada, the mastermind behind the Toyobaru, is more than happy to set the rumor mill spinning with coy hints.
"The whole package as a new generation 86…[we] want to make everyone go wow, and beyond expectations," Tada, who is colloquially known as the father of the 86, told Australia's MOTOR via a translator. “We have started planning the next generation 86 [but to] try to provide something beyond people’s expectation is not easy,”
For starters, Tada says the next 86/GT86/Subaru BRZ (but no longer Scion FR-S, RIP) will certainly be lighter than the current model. "[T]here is a big weight loss to the body itself [that] will [be] done,” he said. When asked if the team could bring the car down to the current MX-5 Miata's barely-over-one-ton curb weight, Tada reportedly replied with a smile. “I will try to do my best.”
In terms of powertrain, Tada didn't rule out some sort of hybrid system—but don't expect to see the Prius's plebeian setup reappropriated for Toyobaru duty, either. Any supplemental electric propulsion system, Tada said, would need to be, shall we say, shocking.
"Hybrid could be a part of the answer but if [we] provide just a normal hybrid it make no one surprise[d]," he said. When pressed on whether the car could use a LaFerrari-like arrangement with an electric motor boosting the gas engine's output, he said, “It’s a good idea but it is not surprising as [we] want to make."
Indeed, if there was one takeaway from Tada's chat, it's that Toyobaru fans should expect the unexpected when the new car finally shows up.
“It will definitely be above the fans’ expectation," he said, "because if you supply what all the fans really want, nobody gets really surprised or impressed. So wait and see, we provide something that will be really surpris[ing].” Here's hoping that includes a shooting brake version.