With a fan base formed now, Toyota said it can’t lose ground in the segment, thus confirming its plans for a next generation hachi roku in an interview with Motoring Australia at the Paris Motor Show last week.
As sales of both cars (GT86 & BRZ) slowed worldwide, as is often the case with sports cars as their initial excitement wears off, it was inevitable that question marks would surface about the future of both cars — despite reports of turbocharged 2.5-litre all-wheel drive and convertible, sedan and even AWD-hybrid versions of the 86.
Speaking with motoring.com.au during the 2014 Paris motor show, Toyota of Europe’s Executive Vice President, Karl Schlicht, acknowledged the 86’s business case is not ideal but said the Japanese giant was committed to the model and that Toyota would retain its partnership with Subaru for the time being.
“The GT 86 as you know has been enthusiastically received by the motoring press, but the market’s not huge around the world for those kind of cars and they also have a bit of a lifecycle. So as a business it’s tougher to justify.
“But we are pretty serious about keeping the GT 86 pure and keeping a car like that in our line-up. Because in the past we dropped cars like the Celicas and fun cars, and we don’t want to lose that again,” said Schlicht, adding that through the late 2000s the lack of sports cars in Toyota’s range wasn’t ideal.
“It hurts the image over time,” said the Toyota executive. “We want to keep some fun cars in our line-up”.
Does that mean a second-generation Toyota 86 is being planned? “It’s down the road,” he said. “The GT 86 has to go through normal lifecycle,” stated Schlicht.
However, Schlicht would not comment on the question of whether Toyota’s entry-level $30K sports coupe will remain a collaboration with Subaru for the next generation, leaving question marks over the BRZ’s future.