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Next-gen Toyota 86 gets green light; Subaru still partner

by Justin King

The second-gen model will remain slotted below the Supra.

A second-generation Toyota 86 has reportedly received a production green-light, extending the automaker's partnership with rival Subaru.

The 86's fate has been the subject of conflicting rumors in recent years, suggesting the Japanese automakers may have been debating whether to continue investing in a low-volume car that engages a shrinking segment. Some viewed the Supra's revival as evidence that Toyota may have no longer seen the need for a cheaper 'halo' model.

Despite the 86's lackluster sales numbers in recent years, Toyota's European marketing head, Matt Harrison, has told Autocar that it has been a "successful 'halo' product" and will continue to exist beneath the Supra.

"Supra is not to replace that car," he clarified. "They are for different audiences and are different products. We see a situation where they will sit alongside each other.”

The executive indicated the next-gen model will likely carry over the fruits of the Toyota-Subaru partnership, suggesting Subaru's flat-four boxer will remain. Fans have been calling for more power, however, and some rumors point to turbocharging or even hybrid technology for the upcoming 86.

Subaru's new 2.4-liter turbo boxer engine is viewed as a potential candidate. Known as the FA24, the mill made its debut in the Ascent with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, though it could be revised without forced induction to keep weight and size down.

The second-generation model is rumored to be slated for a 2021 arrival.

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