why you will never have a turbo 86 brz from the factory

Why you will never have a turbo 86/BRZ from the factory

It’s not because they hate you, it’s because they don’t want to kill you

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

12 Mar 2018

The Toyobaru twins were heralded as a renaissance of the affordable sports car segment with its back-to-basics rear-drive layout and the availability of a regular manual plus the tuning world transforming into Santa’s workshop to welcome it.

By all accounts, they delivered. Well, unless certain spectrums of the internet was to be believed. The chief complaint has always been its lack of grunt from the naturally-aspirated boxer-four and its 205hp.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving it, you would find that the 205hp is just the right dab of salt for the balanced chassis’ seasoning. That’s essentially what they aimed to deliver; a perfectly-balanced chassis with the right amount of power.

Many though felt that the car would’ve been better off with a little more oomph. Many argued that about 250hp would be perfect and the easiest means towards that was by forced induction. The tuning world obliged with various turbo or supercharger kits that brought things to well above 250 ponies.

Nonetheless, many demanded the manufacturer themselves drop in a turbo from the factory because warranties matter somehow.

Toyota though has finally shown the light to the thousands of misguided disciples by answering why there’ll never be a turbocharged 86 or BRZ from the factory and the answer is as fundamental as it gets.

They simply don’t want to kill you because the chassis itself is just not made to handle the additional weight of turbocharging.

“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. 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 means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts,” detailed Tetsuya Tada; the Toyota chief engineer behind the 86 and new Supra, to CarAdvice.

So there you have it folks and keyboard warriors, the chassis of the Toyobaru twins wasn’t designed to handle the weight that turbocharging would pile on which in turn will ruin the balanced chassis that delighted petrolheads in the first place.

Tada-san also addressed rumours that he wasn’t a fan of turbocharging, “When we launched the 86, I got literally millions of questions from around the world of ‘When would you be launching the turbo version?’ I believe that often times I answered that there won't be a turbo version and there were some articles in the media that said I don’t like a turbo. That’s not really true. 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.”

That is something Tada-san is unwilling to do as; selling a 86 or BRZ that’s dynamically compromised by the additional weight in the nose that it wasn’t designed to compensate for.

There’s always hope the next generation will be underpinned by a more power-friendly platform but with the new Supra taking up most of the headlines and 86/BRZ sales beginning to slump, it’s admittedly a bleak prospect.

Still, check out the video of a 86 with the New Zealand-designed Synergy V8 revving to over 11,000rpm. Yes, that’s a thing.