SCOOP: Toyota 86 to go turbo

words - Peter Lyon
Convertible and four-door – with turbo and AWD-hybrid powertrains -- to join expanding Toyota 86 sports car family from this year

Toyota will launch sedan, convertible and turbo versions of the ground-breaking 86 sports car. sources in Japan this week confirmed the world’s number one car maker will round out its 86 line-up with a soft-top convertible as early as this year. This will be followed by a four-door sedan set for a 2016 debut. The four door will offer turbocharged and all-wheel drive and well as turbo-hybrid powertrains.

Born from the collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, the boxer-engined Toyota 86 coupe is a watershed model for a brand that plans to significantly expand its sports car line-up over the next decade.

After the Supra and MR2 were axed from the car-maker’s range, Toyota’s showroom floor paid absolute homage to a horde of hybrids, people-movers and SUVs, with a distinct lack of anything resembling emotion.

We’ve brought you news of a stretched 86 before, but according to our source the 86 sedan will stretch in length by 510mm to 4750mm, while retaining its current width (1780mm) and growing 100mm in height to 1400mm.

One designer we spoke to said that his team’s aim is to give the car the larger dimensions it needs to comfortably seat four adults while maintaining the original 86’s good looks.

As critical as the sedan’s proportions will be its powertrain. To cater for the larger and heavier sedan, Toyota is preparing two engines.

The flagship version will incorporate a revised version of Subaru’s DIT (Direct Injection Turbo) boxer engine generating more than 220kW (a 2.0-litre for Japan, 2.5 for export markets), married to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In perhaps the best news for performance enthusiasts, the same turbo engines will finally find their way into the existing 86 coupe around the same time (2016), probably as part of a midlife makeover.

The turbo coupe is expected to command a price premium of around $5000.

Given Toyota’s bent for hybrids, you can guess what the other 86 sedan powertrain will be. Yep, a hybrid.

But according to our source, the boxer-hybrid fitted to Subaru’s XV Crosstrek is not powerful enough for the 86 sedan. So Toyota is readying a hybrid unit that’s compatible with Subaru’s direct-injection boxer engine.

To deliver all-wheel-drive traction, Toyota is also working on in-wheel electric motors at the front, an addition that will undoubtedly push the price of the hybrid 86 sedan up to around $50,000.

That’s why the turbo version will precede the hybrid’s launch by several months, landing in showrooms priced from under $40,000 by mid-2016.

The soft-top 86 convertible however, will arrive much earlier -- in October this year.

First unveiled at the 2013 Geneva motor show, the FT-86 Open Concept pointed to way to the convertible’s styling.

Fitted with a power roof that’s expected to fold down inside 20 seconds, the convertible is a variant that Toyota had planned from the very beginning of the collaborative effort with Subaru.

The power roof will add upwards of 30kg to the original coupe’s kerb weight, but the convertible will still employ the same 147kW 2.0-litre boxer engine.

However, expect some minor modifications to the two-door convertible’s suspension to account for its extra mass.

To be priced between $35,000 and $38,000 (in Japan), the 86 convertible is expected in showrooms globally by mid-October.

Published : Friday, 2 May 2014
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