More sports cars are always a good thing.
Enthusiasts had good reason to celebrate when Toyota and Subaru announced new versions of their sports car twins, the GR86 and BRZ, for the 2022 model year. Now, there's news that Toyota will release a tenth-anniversary model for 2023. Internet detectives found a letter from Subaru addressed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that shows VIN decoder info with a listing for the new variants.
The letter was posted to the New Nissan Z forum and showed two tenth-anniversary models, one with EyeSight safety tech. Versions of the car with a manual transmission don't get the same features, which is likely why we see two variants listed on the document. No equivalent Subaru BRZ model appears to be in the works.
We don't know what Toyota's planning for the model, but it could be something similar to the Hakone Edition 86 we saw in 2020. That car got an exclusive (and very awesome) green paint job, bronze wheels, and a unique tan interior color scheme. The package didn't change anything mechanically, so it's possible Toyota does the same thing for the anniversary car.
The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 were all-new for the 2022 model year and got some fixes for issues people complained about for years. The cars finally picked up a larger, more powerful engine. It's a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 228 horsepower, up 23 ponies from the 2.0-liter unit it carried before. The GR86 and BRZ are also among the few purists' cars on sale today, as the market for small cars with manual transmissions has seriously dwindled in recent years.
The new GR86 isn't all that different from the car that preceded it, but it's reinforced underneath for better rigidity and handling. Toyota increased its use of aluminum in the bodywork to cut weight, resulting in a curb weight of around 2,800 pounds.
Slow sales kill cars, but Toyota's seen success with the new GR86. Sales in the first quarter of 2022 were up 326 percent, making it the best-ever period for the car. Subaru BRZ sales didn't jump as significantly but were still up more than 20 percent.
As for the anniversary GR86, we'll have to wait for confirmation from Toyota. The 2022 model year cars are just now hitting the streets in numbers, so any updates likely won't show up until summer at the earliest.