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So far, Tetsuya Tada has given everyone plenty indication not to expect a turbocharged Toyota 86. But in a new interview with CarAdvice, the model’s chief engineer left the issue a little more open-ended, at least for the long term. Although the current generation definitely won’t see turbo power, Tada explained a situation that could make a forced-induction 86 more viable down the line.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Tada said he has been bombarded with questions about when to expect a turbo 86. “I believe that often times I answered that there won’t be a turbo version, and there were some articles in the media that Mr. Tada doesn’t like a turbo.”
“That’s not really true,” Tada continues. “I do like turbos, however if we come up with a turbo version of the 86 and boost up the power that would result in the necessity of changing the basic configuration completely, to come up with a car that I would be satisfied with.”
Making just around 200 hp, the Toyota 86 isn’t designed for outright speed. Instead, the goal was to create a well-balanced car with a low center of gravity. “One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance it’s slightly front loaded so it makes the handling more fast and agile,” Tada said. “So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear.” That, he says, would require making an entirely new platform.
Considering the Toyota 86 debuted for the 2013 model year, when it was called the Scion FR-S here, it might not be long before we see a new generation on our shores. That’s, of course, if Toyota decides to make one. Last year, Toyota’s senior managing officer Shigeki Tomoyama told us Subaru and Toyota were “already in discussion” about the possibility of a next-gen joint sports car.
In the meantime, those looking for a turbocharged 86 may want to turn their attention to the Toyota Supra. This sports car will gets a turbocharged inline-six engine largely due to tradition, as we found out in our recent interview with Tada, who also leads engineering on the new Supra. The Supra is said to eliminate the front-heavy problem encountered by the 86, adopting a 50-50 weight balance front to rear. It will also achieve a lower center of gravity than the Toyota 86, as we also discovered.