Toyota planning a high-performance petrol-electric hybrid version of the GT86

Article by Christian A., on March 9, 2013

Toyota is considering a plan to build a high-performance petrol-electric hybrid version of the GT86 sports car, according to an Autocar report. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said that the company is open to boosting the performance of the rear-driven two-seater, with a focus on the assembly of a variant of the rear-drive coupe that’s faster and even more focused.

It’s expected to be released at a later part in the model’s lifecycle. Tada revealed that he has received plenty of inquiries about turbocharging. He added that the company has begun working on a mid-life facelift and that they’re considering both turbocharging and supercharging. He also mentioned the likelihood of an electric motor assistance solution that provides benefits that forced induction cannot offer.

At the 2013 Geneva Auto Show, Toyota unveiled a conceptual convertible version of the GT86 that’s expected to soon enter production. It actually almost didn’t get approved for production since it thought that the GT86 was “very risky,” according to Tada.

He said that the company sought proof that the ’86 coupe would reach sales targets before they approve a convertible. After they got the proof that they wanted, the company could now consider other development plans for the car.

What they’re trying to be sure of is to not compromise any of the key characteristics of the standard GT86 just to achieve more power. Tada said that an electric motor assist solution may offer a significant low-rpm torque boost for the naturally aspirated engine without having an impact on throttle response, fuel economy or emissions.

The hybrid system is comparable to the ‘IMA’ system that the Honda CRZ. It is a lot more affordable and simpler than what the Prius economy car uses. Meanwhile, the batteries may be used to lower the model’s centre of gravity even more.

According to Toyota, the number “86” has performed an important part during the development of the new GT 86. For example, this new sports car honors not only the Corolla Levin AE86’s exceptional drivability but also that distinct relationship this model has with tuning shops, owners, and even enthusiasts. Other examples are the square bore and the stroke set-up of the boxer engine measuring 86 mm x 86 mm.

This figure is not only ideal but continues to be faithful to the long sports engine history of the brand. The 2000GT and its 3M engine, as well as the Supra with its 1G-G engine, have the six-cylinder in-line set-up having a square bore with a 75-mm stroke. For the Celica and the MR2, they have the four-cylinder in-line engine that also has a square bore and an 86-mm stroke. In fact, the diameter of the opening of this model’s chrome-tipped exhaust measures 86 mm. Toyota said that the new GT 86 has overall length of 4,240 mm, total width of 1,775 mm, and a height of 1,285 mm.

With a wheelbase measuring 2,570 mm, there is no doubt that this four-seater sports car is the most compact in the world. Further, the use of a wide range of weight saving measures resulted in the GT 86 having a mass estimated at 1,200 kg. By having a flat-four configuration for the front-mounted boxer engine, it ensures that the GT 86 would have the lowest driver hip-point of any production model from the brand. Measuring 400 mm, this allows the brand to have an ultra-low center of gravity at 460 mm.

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