Rear-driven coupe switches to 2.4-litre engine, retains focus on lightweight design and driver engagement
The new Toyota GR 86 has been priced up from just under £30,000 ahead of customer deliveries beginning in the UK in July.
A starting price of £29,995 lines the GR 86 up against mid-rung versions of its closest rival, the Mazda MX-5, and makes it comfortably one of the most affordable sports coupés currently on sale. Toyota recently confirmed it will sell the GR 86 for just two years in Europe as it does not readily comply with incoming crash regulations. Interested buyers should act “relatively quickly” to place their orders as a result.
A simple pricing structure sees the GR 86 offered in just one trim level which brings 10-spoke 18in alloys wrapped in Michelin PS4 tyres, an 8.0in touchscreen with smartphone integration, a reversing camera and blind spot monitor, LED adaptive headlights and a 7.0in digital gauge cluster.
Buyers can opt for an automatic gearbox for an extra £2090.
The rear-drive four-seater was revealed last year alongside the new second-generation Subaru BRZ, with which it was jointly developed and made its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year before Autocar drove it for the first time in prototype form a few months later in Spain.
The new BRZ won’t be offered in Europe. Toyota claims the two models have been developed through a “friendly rivalry” and will both offer a “distinct driving feel”.
While the original GT86 and BRZ used a 2.0-litre engine, the new version features Subaru’s horizontally opposed 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. The GR 86 offers 232bhp and 184lb ft, up from the GT86’s 197bhp and 151lb ft. It can do the 0-62mph sprint in 6.3sec, which is 1.1sec quicker than its predecessor.
Peak power is offered at 7000rpm, with the uit able to rev to 7400rpm. Japanese buyers will have a choice of six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes. The GR 86 also features Subaru’s Eyesight driver assistance systems.
Toyota says a major focus has been on retaining the “essential fun-to-drive” characteristics of the GT86, which was launched in 2012, and a key part of that has been minimising the weight. The new car has a claimed kerb weight of 1270kg, which is 5kg lighter than the original. Toyota says this has been achieved through features including the use of an aluminium roof and body panels.
The GR 86 has virtually identical dimensions as its predecessor, measuring 4265mm long and 1310mm high, with a wheelbase of 2575mm. This has helped Toyota keep the centre of gravity low, and the firm claims that the torsional rigidity of the new model has been increased by around 50%, resulting in “even sharper handling and steering.”
The new model also features aerodynamic front air ducts and side panels, which Toyota says are based on learnings from its motorsport programmes and aid handling and stability.
Inside, the Japanese versions of the GR 86 will feature a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen as part of what Toyota says is an an upgraded and driver focused dashboard design.
While the GR 86 will go on sale in Japan later this year, a precise UK and Europe launch date in 2022 has yet to be confirmed. Toyota says that more details will be given later this year.
The change of name from GT86 to GR 86 brings the coupé in line with the rest of Toyota’s new GR performance line, joining the GR Supra coupé and GR Yaris hot hatch.