Toyota and Subaru have reupped an alliance that will bear a second-generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, the Japanese companies confirmed in a Friday announcement.
Not only will the latest marriage bring us new sports cars, but Toyota will take an even larger stake in Subaru: The automaker said it will acquire a total of 20% of Subaru shares to expand voting rights. With the move, Toyota brings Subaru even closer into its orbit.
Details on the next-generation sports cars weren't provided in the announcement, but Toyota explicitly said the new deal will produce joint development of the 86 and BRZ between the two automakers. The news follows a recent report out of Australia that put the Toyota Supra's chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, on the record about a next-generation 86 and BRZ.
The engineer was quoted saying there is a new development team in place, though when Roadshow inquired for more information, Toyota wouldn't confirm the news at the time. Instead, the automaker proclaimed "the plan is that [the 86] will continue to be a part of Toyota's sports car lineup."
With confirmation, speculation is rife for how the sports cars will transition into a second generation. The rumor mill has since produced two possible options: The sports cars could stick to their current Impreza-based platform that's been modified for rear-wheel drive, or switch to Toyota's TNGA platform. The latter supports rear-wheel drive vehicles.
Aside from sports car news, Toyota is keen to tap Subaru for more all-wheel drive know-how. In the announcement, the automakers said they will combine their strengths to "jointly develop all-wheel-drive models." Previously, the two also said they'd work together on an electric car platform and spilled plans for joint work on a new battery-electric car with Subaru's AWD expertise.