Toyobaru, the nickname of the joint project between Toyota and Subaru, revealed its fruits of cooperation over six years ago.
They are called GT86 and BRZ, and the two Japanese automakers managed to squeeze themselves in a niche of the market that has not had a similar product in ages.
We are referring to compact 2+2 coupes with rear-wheel-drive. These two automobiles are catered to the enthusiasts of sporty driving, but do not come with a massive power level.
While many have criticized the two for their lack of power, it is understandable that Toyota and Subaru could not have offered them at this price level with lots of horsepower.
Mazda?s MX-5 Miata manages to be the world?s most popular roadster with even less, and Toyota?s GT86 and its Subaru brother compete with it on a spiritual level. They can be sporty cars without too much power, and we like them as they are, even if we dream that they had more power and torque.
Toyota officials have previously confirmed that both models are set to receive replacements, which are expected to arrive before 2020. Until those arrive, the Toyobaru twins have been facelifted for the 2017 model year, a move that has brought more tech and minor refinements for both cars.
The replacement of the GT86 will be the Supra?s smaller brother, and the BRZ will maintain its position in the Subaru lineup. Both cars will remain coupes, as the automakers have no interest in making convertibles out of them. However, everyone wonders what kind of engine will power these Japanese coupes.
Rumors place a hybrid drivetrain for the GT86/BRZ successors, which has an unspecified configuration. Toyota and Subaru might employ a mild-hybrid setup to keep weight down, but these restrictions would come only if today?s technology is applied.
Toyota has invested heavily in the next generation of batteries, which could lead to a full hybrid GT86 in 2020 if that configuration would prove superior to a mild-hybrid during its development. The hybrid setup would be used to supplement torque and power, while also providing an improvement in fuel economy.
We already know that the partners want to continue to use the Subaru-sourced boxer engine with a direct injection system from Toyota, but its displacement might be reduced to make room for the hybrid setup.
Regardless of the configuration, an improvement in performance and acceleration is expected to come to address the critics of these twins, but do not expect a massive hike in power and torque.
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