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A low-slung track-tuned Toyota 86 has been spied lapping Germany’s Nurburgring, hinting at the possible development of a hardcore version of the popular Japanese sports car.

Spotted by CarAdvice’s spy photographers circling the infamous racetrack, the white Toyota 86 has been equipped with a black bonnet, roof and bootlid, suggesting the use of lightweight carbonfibre.

The bonnet up front is also ventilated with twin nostrils, while at the rear, a large raised rear wing sits atop a non-standard ducktail-style boot-lip spoiler.

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In profile, a much larger brake package – front and rear – can be seen, along with miss-matched alloy wheels sitting only millimetres inside significantly lowered body work. Inside, the rear seats and carpets have all been stripped out, no doubt to further aid weight reduction.

Various high-performance variants of the 86 have long been rumoured, however, little has eventuated. The latest speculation suggests Toyota may be in the midst of developing a lightweight track-oriented special edition, built with the assistance of the car maker’s performance friends at Gazoo Racing – a concept of which was displayed at last weekend’s Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.

When quizzed on the latest spy shots, Toyota Australia public relations manager Steve Coughlan told CarAdvice that while he had “nothing to share regarding the possibility of such a [lightweight 86] variant going into production,” he noted that Gazoo Racing have in the past, released limited numbers of custom made vehicles for the Japanese domestic market.

The Toyota 86’s first update since its 2012 local launch is due to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of this year, and is already set to include suspension upgrades, a revised interior and subtle exterior changes including two new paint colours and a shark fin antenna – the latter a notable exception from the spied car.

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Despite the anticipated use of hybrid technology for the second-generation Toyota 86, recent reports suggest the project has been halted due to doubt about such a powertrain ‘speaking to the majority’.

Powered by a 147kW/205Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, the rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 starts from $29,990 – $7160 below the entry point of its Subaru BRZ twin.

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