The front bumper of the upcoming 2021 Toyota GR 86 has leaked in patent images this week, ahead of the model's anticipated full unveiling in the coming months.
Registered design filings lodged with IP Australia reveal the front bumper worn by prototypes of Toyota and Subaru's joint-developed sports coupe spied in 2020 will in fact go on to adorn the showroom-specification GR 86, with a wide central air intake flanked by a pair of vertical black trim pieces.
The trim pieces – which double as 'air curtains' to guide air past the front wheels, improving aerodynamics – are reminiscent of the front bumper edge intakes featured on Toyota's GR Yaris and C-HR GR Sport, with the familial similarities lending weight to rumours the next-generation 86 coupe will wear Gazoo Racing (GR) branding.
In fact, look closely at the top right corner of the central intake and you'll spot a parallelogram-shaped indent where a red-and-black GR badge is meant to sit – all-but-confirming the GR 86 name change.
Above: An artist's render of how the leaked bumper will look on the final production car.
A side-by-side comparison with the related Subaru BRZ's front bumper reveals identically-shaped and sized headlight cutouts, suggesting front lighting-related changes between the twins will consist solely of different LED headlight and daytime-running light signatures.
The two vehicles' front bumpers are also of equal width and height, indicating both cars will feature identical exterior dimensions, with bonnet and front wheel-arch sheetmetal likely to be shared between the pair.
While the patents don't provide a look at the rest of the Toyota GR 86's exterior design, it's expected to be all-but-identical to its Subaru twin, with side profiles, rear fascias and tail-lights expected to be common between the two – the only difference being the badges attached to the bootlid.
Expected to be unveiled in full in the coming months, the 2021 Toyota GR 86 will share its architecture and mechanicals with its Subaru BRZ sibling, including its 2.4-litre, naturally-aspirated, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder 'boxer' engine, sending 170kW of power and 249Nm of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
If the relationship between the outgoing Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ is any guide, the new-generation sports cars' interiors should serve as a greater point of differentiation than their exteriors, with each car expected to be fitted with its own steering wheel, instrument cluster graphics and infotainment system software.
The 2021 Toyota GR 86 is expected to make its full debut within the next few months, ahead of a rumoured Australian launch late in the second half of 2021, alongside its Subaru twin.