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Toyota 86 followup will be a better machine than Supra, engineer attests

Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the Supra, says the 86 will be even better than Toyota's halo car.

Better than a Supra? Bold words for a car that will likely cost a lot less money.

The Toyota Supra has only barely started shipping to dealers and finding buyers, but it sounds like the automaker may already be well underway with work on a new Toyota 86.

That is, if you take comments from Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada at face value. The main man behind the reborn Supra told Australian publication Motor that the next-generation 86 will be an even better car to drive than the Supra. Unlike other previous 86 rumors, the publication has two quotes on the record about the next-generation sports car, which also doubles as the Subaru BRZ.

Tada reportedly said there is, in fact, "a new 86 [development] team," which indicates work is underway on a followup to the affordable, no-frills sports car. He also told the publication that the "customer expects" the team will create a new 86 that's better than the Supra. Local Toyota representatives told the publication a development team does not necessarily mean there will be another generation, however.

It's sort of strange to undercut a brand's banner sports car with such a comment, but nevertheless, Tada indicates there's a high bar for the next sports car. Toyota did not confirm Tada's comments but a representative told Roadshow, "As [Toyota CEO] Akio Toyoda said at the reveal of the 2020 Supra, Toyota is committed to building exciting vehicles, including sports cars. The 86 has been in the Toyota family since 2013 and the plan is that it will continue to be a part of Toyota's sports car lineup."

An April 2019 report put an anonymous source on the record that claimed Toyota and Subaru have two options for a second-generation 86/BRZ duo. The first is to move the sports car to Toyota's TNGA platform, which supports rear-wheel drive vehicles.

The second is to further adapt the cars' current platform, which is a modified Impreza architecture that supports rear-wheel drive. The unnamed source said all-wheel drive was out of the question, which rules out the cars flipping to Subaru's latest global platform. Without any information on the record, do take this information with a grain of salt.

Toyota did show off the GR HV Sports concept back in 2017 that some agreed previewed a second-generation 86, though the design largely took elements from Toyota's LMP1 race car. The Le Mans Prototype class is no longer, so it'd be strange to see a production car take cues from a defunct motorsport class. For now, we'll simply need to stay patient on what becomes of a future Toyota 86.

Originally published Sept. 24, 2:08 p.m. PT.

Update, 4:18 p.m.: Adds comment from Toyota.

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