After more "will they or won't they" back-and-forth than Rachel and Ross, we finally know the fate of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins. There will be a second generation. There will also be more use of the Toyota Hybrid System in Subaru vehicles, though that does not mean that there's any hint of a rear-drive hybrid sports car.
The announcement came as part of a new business agreement between Toyota and Subaru. The pair first joined together in 2005 with an agreement that included Subaru building Toyotas in Indiana; Toyota supplying vehicles to Subaru; and the project that became the Toyota 86 (née Scion FR-S) and the Subaru BRZ. Earlier this year, the pair announced a plan to jointly develop a dedicated EV platform and electric crossover. This new agreement, which Toyota called a "once-in-a-century period of profound transformation," will see each automaker purchase a larger stake in the other through share purchases.
That means Toyota upping its stake in Subaru to 20 percent of voting rights and Subaru spending up to 80 billion yen (about $980 million) on Toyota stock.
"During this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, even if CASE (a Toyota acronym for Connected, Autonomous, Sharing, Electrification) changes how cars will be, driving enjoyment will remain an inherent part of automobiles and is something that I think we must continue to strongly preserve. I, myself, am a rallyist, and, through my experience of training hard in an Impreza, I have felt in my veins the wonders of Subaru's AWD technologies. Meanwhile, we at Toyota have been going all-out to hone our all-wheel drive technologies by participating in the World Rally Championship, among other activities. Our companies, both of which have long pursued driving enjoyment, now want to pursue the possibilities of making ever-better cars suitable for the CASE era by bringing together our strengths and by further deepening our relationship," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda.
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More directly relevant to drivers, Toyoda's statement talks about the commitment by Toyota and Subaru to develop a next-gen 86 and BRZ. They're also planning to jointly work on AWD models that "offer the ultimate sensation in all-wheel driving."
The two will also share hybrid tech. Toyota currently supplies its hybrid system to Subaru for a North America–only Crosstrek Hybrid. The announcement says that they will expand this use into other (yet unnamed) Subarus. Finally, as part of this announcement, they're also expecting to cooperate on connected vehicles and autonomous driving technology.