The man who led the development of the Toyota 86 has revealed exactly why the Japanese brand has not answered repeated calls for the rear-wheel-drive sportscar to be given more power.

Speaking to Road and Track through an interpreter, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada admitted that the 86 “perhaps” lacked power.

"When we launched the 86, the fun-to-drive element and the ease of manoeuvrability were more important to us than quantifiable figures," Tada-san told the US publication.

"The element that was lacking was, perhaps, the power, and I've heard about a million questions about 'when we will we be launching the turbo version?'," he added.

So, why hasn’t Toyota simply strapped a big turbocharger onto the naturally aspirated 2,0-litre flat-four, and hiked its peak outputs from the current 147 kW and 205 N.m?

"It's not that easy to boost up the engine. If you just increase the horsepower, that creates an unbalanced car, so we have to start from redesigning the platform to accommodate more horsepower.”

Tada-san added that the brand had considered this “lesson” during its development of the new Supra.

"So, when we started the Supra project, we kept this lesson in mind, and saw that this car can have more power, while keeping the fun-to-drive element," he said, confirming that the production version of the Supra would be offered with an inline-six, but likely not with a manual gearbox.

"Obviously, we are receiving many requests for different variants or versions of the 86 because it's been five years since we launched that,” Tada-san added, according to drive.com.au.

“In that sense, the Supra answers partially, or actually fully, the various requests we’ve received since the launch of the 86 ... I think we’ve covered all those requests through Supra.

“We are thinking and discussing the possibility of coming up with a new version of the 86, however it is not decided yet,” he told drive.com.au.

Earlier this year, Toyota South Africa Motors pared back its local 86 range from three derivatives to just one, while also switching the sportscar range over to the GT86 badge used in most other markets.