You just knew they would, didn't you?
One of the benefits of major car shows like Frankfurt is that automaker insiders tend to open up about future product plans. And every now and then something very interesting slips out. That’s exactly what Toyota’s senior manager for drivetrain engineering did regarding a GT86 hybrid. You read that right. That individual, Koei Saga, stated that "The development work is quite advanced now, so if the green light is given, we are ready to do it."
Basically, a hybrid GT86’s drivetrain would be composed of several already existing systems, such as the guts of the automaker’s TS030 LMP1 racer and the Prius GT300 from Japan’s Super GT series. Other mechanical bits will likely come from the just unveiled Yaris Hybrid-R Concept. But there are two big issues that Toyota will need to take into account regarding a GT86 hybrid: weight and a manual gearbox. To answer the first part, it’s just a fact that due to the batteries, any hybrid car will have some extra heft, but Saga clarified that "with a good layout design, we think that even if it may be a bit heavier, it can be a fun car to drive." So what about that manual?
The Yaris Hybrid-R itself already has a six-speed manual, so it’s totally possible to transfer that tech over to a hybrid GT86 without any real difficulty. No word yet on a possible launch date and price tag, but don’t be shocked to hear some official announcement from Toyota in the near future.