Lexus UC rumoured to be on the way – luxury brand’s take on the Toyota GR86; 2.4L flat-four with hybrid tech

Rumours are plentiful in the automotive space, and one of the more intriguing ones to surface recently comes from a report posted by Japan’s Spyder7. According to the publication, Lexus is working on its own version of the Toyota GR 86 that will supposedly make its debut by the end of 2021.

The yet-to-be-confirmed model, which will reportedly be called the UC – for Urban Coupe – will slot in below the RC and LC in the Lexus line-up. Powering the coupe will be the same 2.4 naturally-aspirated flat-four used in the GR 86 (as well as the latest Subaru BRZ), although Lexus’ version will see the addition of a hybrid system to provide more power.

Said engine makes 235 PS (232 hp) and 250 Nm of torque in JDM spec and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic, although Lexus will likely go with the latter to suit its luxury positioning. The hybrid system is also said to see an increase in length to accommodate the battery pack.

Design-wise, spy photos posted on Twitter by user Marin_Kawasaki show an alleged prototype of the UC, which features Lexus’ trademark spindle grille at the front, along with revised headlamps. The idea of giving Toyota’s affordable sports car a Lexus face isn’t new, as tuning company Aimgain currently offers its LF-Sport kit for the previous 86 that achieves the same effect. As such, these photos aren’t necessarily definitive proof that Lexus is planning what’s being reported.

Affordability is one of the main selling points of the older 86 and its successor, which also means the interior isn’t lined with the most premium of materials. Should Lexus’ version come to fruition, expect the UC’s cabin to be more upmarket compared to the GR 86 (and BRZ) to justify what should be a larger price tag.

For now, Lexus isn’t willing to confirm nor deny the existence of the UC, as a Lexus spokesperson told Car and Driver and Carscoops that the company “some exciting things coming up” when questioned.

GALLERY: Toyota GR 86

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