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Next-Gen Toyota 86 & Subaru BRZ Due for 2021

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In case you’ve never seen them side by side, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are virtually the same car. They were co-developed by the two automakers and, according to a recent report by the Japan Times, will be built together once again for the next generation, which will arrive in 2021.

Along with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the three cars dominate a unique space in the car market: that of the affordable, rear-wheel drive, lightweight sports car. But fans regularly express the wish that they’d make more power, and it seems Toyota and Subaru have listened.

According to the Japan Times’ report, the 86 and BRZ would do away with the current 2.0-liter engine and replace it with a 2.4-liter unit producing more horsepower and more torque. It is speculated that the 86 in particular will have a lower center of gravity, which should enhance its already impressive cornering abilities.

The interesting question is whether that new engine will be turbocharged. It’s possible the new 2.4-liter unit is actually the new FA24 plant to be used in Subaru’s upcoming Ascent crossover, which uses a turbocharger to make 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

It’s unlikely that the 86 and BRZ would get such a massive increase in power, but it’s consistent with recent comments from Tetsuya Tada, a Toyota engineer who claimed a turbo version of the 86 would only come with a next-gen platform.

Related: Toyota 86 model overview

“When we launched the 86, I got literally millions of questions from around the world of ‘when would you be launching the turbo version?’” he told Australia’s CarAdvice. “I believe that often times I answered that there won’t be a turbo version, and there were some articles in the media that Mr. Tada doesn’t like a turbo.”

“That’s not really true. I do like turbos. However, if we come up with a turbo version of the 86 and boost up the power, that would result in the necessity of changing the basic configuration completely to come up with a car that I would be satisfied with.”

“One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance, it’s slightly front-loaded, so it makes the handling more fast and agile. So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear.”

“That means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts.”

In other words, Tada has nothing against turbochargers, but putting one in the 86 would drastically change the handling and thus would have to be part of a complete platform overhaul. Given the news about the new 2.4-liter engine and the rising popularity of turbochargers in the industry as a whole (they help automakers keep efficiency up and emissions down), turbo fans have every reason to hope.

Related: Amazon Alexa to come to future Toyota cars

News Sources: Japan Times, CarAdvice