It's more likely that the "GR86" (if it gets used at all) will be a
specific racing version / sub-model rather than renaming the normal
road-going model ... unless they're discontinuing the Subaru joint
project and want to somewhat distance the naming from the current model.
From Jalopnik.com ...
Next-Generation Toyota GT86 To Be Called GR86: Report
The Toyota GT86 is getting long in the tooth and there's been
much talk of the next generation. This discussion concerns
the next car's name, and word is Toyota might drop the "GT"
The GT86's yet-unnamed successor will reportedly be called
the GR86-the "GR" no doubt standing for Gazoo Racing,
Toyota's sporting line, according to Autocar. It's common
knowledge Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is a strong supporter of
fun, so this tracks.
The original GT86 pre-dated the creation of that brand,
which started with the GR Supra and will also include
the GR Yaris, the first model developed purely by Gazoo
Racing. The next GT86 is set to be rebranded to bring
it in line with that nomenclature.
The outlet also believes the next GT86 will be built on
Toyota's highly versatile TNGA platform.
In the past, we've reported the upcoming GT86 and Subaru BRZ
might produce more power because the new cars could use a
version of Subaru's turbocharged, boxer flat-four engine
that's found in the Subaru Ascent. Currently, that engine is
rated at 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. If anyone
ever had complaints about the GT86/BRZ, it's that their
naturally aspirated engines didn't make enough power.
I hope the GR86 will be legitimately cool and deserving of
the GR nomenclature. It wasn't that long ago Toyota unveiled
its Japan-only GR performance line and it was, uh, sort of
meh. But I'm staying positive because the new GR Yaris is
We've reached out to Toyota for confirmation on the new name
and will update if we hear back.