This could get very interesting.
We know that both the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 (formerly the Scion FRS) will each receive second-generation models sometime in the near future. We don't know when exactly, but sources at both automakers have all but confirmed successors are in order. However, details about their general makeup remain top secret, but a few leaks are beginning to filter out.
According to Motoring.au, an unnamed senior Subaru executive has confirmed both sports coupes will not only retain a rear-wheel-drive architecture, but Subaru will no longer provide the platform basis. The current models ride on a heavily modified version of an old Impreza platform, meaning Subaru engineers had to adapt it from an all-wheel drive set up to a rear-wheel drive one. It was no easy feat. Today, however, things are different at Subaru.
The automaker has switched to a single global platform that's flexible in size for specific models, all of which are solely AWD. "It's a very flexible platform, but we make all-wheel drive vehicles. That's our forte, all-wheel drive," said the source. Called the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), it's no longer possible to do a RWD conversion. Fortunately, there are a couple of alternatives. The first is for the BRZ/86 successors to retain their current platform, albeit heavily updated.
The more likely scenario will come courtesy of Toyota. You see, Toyota has an all-new flexible architecture of its own, called TNGA, which underpins everything from the new Corolla to the just revealed Highlander. Thing is, TNGA was developed for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive setups. Combined with its adjustable sizing, significant weight-savings over the coupe's current platform, and increased torsional rigidity as well, it would make complete sense to go with TNGA.
A separate source, this time from Toyota, added that it was a "safe assumption" the next 86 and BRZ will continue to be co-developed side-by-side. What's more, Toyota's Gazoo Racing division, which played a key role in developing the new Corolla GR hot hatch (please bring this to the US, by the way), is also slated to provide its input for this next generation of sports coupes. Some of the new cars' styling may have also been previewed on the 2017 GR HV Sports Concept, pictured here.
In any case, neither Subaru nor Toyota are abandoning their respective RWD coupes. They're about to get even better.