And there's a very good reason why.
Plenty of folks have long argued the 86 needs a turbo powerplant. And now it has one. Toyota put a turbocharged engine from the Toyota GR Corolla into the 86. Unfortunately, it's just for development.
Toyota's motorsports arm, Gazoo Racing, created a small group of 86s powered by the GR Corolla's G16E-GTS. That, by the way, is the internal name for the car's 300-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder. Gazoo Racing's chief engineer Naoyuki Sakamoto, confirmed as much to Australian site Carsales.
For now, these turbo GR86s are being used to test and develop synthetic fuels. Brands are scurrying to create viable synthetic alternatives to gasoline. Both Toyota and Porsche continue to work towards sustainable fuels to feed their performance cars well into the coming electric era. While it means the 86 stays turbo-less for now, we're still happy Toyota is working on a plan for its combustion models.
However, there's some hope. Sakamoto said that the brand is considering the G16E's application in the 86.
"Yes, we are thinking for the future about the possibility of using it, but there are no concrete plans at the moment. For now, we're just using it to develop carbon-neutral fuels."
The GR boss said that for now, these cars can be seen on the racetrack. They'll be used in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan. Rather intentionally, this is also the same race series the GR Corolla performs in. Obviously, that makes quite a lot of sense from a developmental standpoint.
Sakamoto went on to say that he, as well as Gazoo, believe the crucible of motorsport to be the best possible place to test both experimental new ideas and ensure the brand's vehicles are as durable as they can be. Subaru also competes in the series with the 86's twin, the BRZ. Both cars share Subie's FA24D engine, which has had a few problems of late.
In order to meet regulations for Super Taikyu, Toyota had to make a short-stroke version of the GR Corolla's motor, which now displaces 1.4 liters instead of 1.6. Still, Sakamoto said that power is well north of 300 hp. With figures like that, we have to say we're a little curious what a 300-hp 86 is like to drive.