It was only a few days ago when we heard about Scion’s plans to upgrade to their FR-S sports coupe for the 2016 model year. Now, it sounds like the rest of the world outside of the US will also be enjoying a new version of Toyota’s budget-friendly compact coupe, but it may come in the middle of 2016 instead of later this year, but it’ll still be a 2016MY either way.
The Toyota GT86, along with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, was originally launched back in 2012. So, 2016 would be the perfect year for a mid-cycle refresh. According to Australian automotive blog, Motoring, a Toyota insider has said to “look to some major body panel redesign.” But not too major… “It won’t be too radical because the 86 is made on the same assembly line is the Subaru BRZ, so the restyling process must be carried out within set parameters,” the insider warranted.
Keep in mind, Subaru is the only one of the three brands that has yet to announce any mid-cycle changes to their version of the joint-venture sports coupe. We expect that they will eventually have a mid-cycle refresh of their own, but perhaps they will wait until the end of 2016 for the 2017MY so that Toyota’s coupes can have their time in the spotlight.
Either way, the 2016 Toyota GT86 will likely feature a revised, sportier front-end design. This will likely include a fresh new hood design, restyled headlights or DRLs, a larger grille and possibly new color options. The rear could get a new taillight arrangement and a resculpted bumper, along with a “more aesthetic yet aggressive rear diffuser,” according to Motoring’s source. In addition, they say the distance between the exhaust pipes will be extended to the rear corners in order to create a wider-feeling stance.
Under the hood, we’re told that, “Engineers have focused on friction reduction engineering and a more efficient intake manifold design that will boost power and torque by around 5%, while improving fuel efficiency by up to 7%.” A 5% increase over the current car’s 197 horsepower would put us at about 207 horsepower… Just enough of a boost to be noticeable. Meanwhile, the 86’s chassis may also see some improvements, such as the addition of custom Sachs dampers and a stiffer rear-end subframe, which should help that extra 10 horsepower feel a whole lot more fun to drive.
Either way, we’re expecting the refresh to come in April of 2016, since it was April 2012 when the Toyota 86 originally launched in Japan.