WE’RE not living in a Gangsta’s Paradise, but we are potentially, in the case of the 2019 Toyota 86 GTS Performance (Apollo Blue), living in a modder’s paradise, as the Toyota 86 and its sibling from Subaru definitely lend themselves to some aftermarket love.
That’s not to say you should buy this limited edition 86 and rush out and modify it, but the potential is there. It’s a cult car after all, the modern day ‘mustang’ Celica if you will, and every owner likes to make their cult car their own.
Out of the box though, the 2019 Toyota 86 GTS Performance (Apollo Blue) is definitely a special offering, designed to celebrate 20,000 Australian sales of this brilliant little sports car from Japan.
Powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, the 2019 Toyota 86 GTS Performance (Apollo Blue) offers up 152kW of power and 212Nm of torque, and is mated to a 6-speed manual (in the case of our test vehicle) or 6-speed auto transmission (147kW/205Nm).
The boxer engine under the hood is lifted from the shared relationship with Subaru’s BRZ, and the Apollo Blue edition is based heavily on the tS variant offered by that company, and features similar bonus bits.
The limited edition offering gets the Dynamic Performance Pack as standard, which includes Brembo brakes, SACHS suspension and unique 17-inch black alloy wheels, as well as black exterior mirrors and rear spoiler.
The driving experience is enhanced by the beefy new brakes and the new suspension system, and the best way we can describe that is; the 86 GTS Performance limited edition has cat like reflexes.
It’s agile enough to avoid an accident if you’re paying attention to what’s going on around you, and you should be, of course. In a way that negates, to an extent, the distinct lack of active safety technology in the 86.
All that driving wonderment is also delivered through some very tidy Michelin rubber, which greatly helps the cause, but it’s also a little under-powered in its standard form, despite all the goodness it gets.
The Toyota 86 is, as we mentioned already, a modder’s paradise though, and almost every example you see on the street has had something done to it, including performance updates, bigger body kits and at the extreme end, turbo kits and even LSA V8 engines.
It’s easy to see why owners would cut loose with their toys. Particularly when it comes to getting rid of the ‘augmented’ exhaust note the agile 86 offers. And if you don’t want to play, but want more power, just buy a Toyota Supra, if you can secure one.
There is of course that exclusive paint colour too, just to add to the cool factor, and a 4.2-inch information panel as part of the dash, a 6.1-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth, SatNav with SUNA, and a reversing camera. There is no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
You’ll will find a 6-speaker sound system though, hill start assist, seven airbags, dual zone climate control, push button start, leather accented front seats with Alcantara inserts, floor mats, and a premium steering wheel and shifter.
It seats four. Well actually it seats two, and two midgets. The rear seats are a parcel shelf at best, but that’s the 86 and if you’re looking at one, you know that’s how it is when you buy an 86 or a BRZ.
Lighting comes in the form of LED headlights with daytime running lights, and LED fog lights. There’s also a dual pipe exhaust system and owners can expect a combined fuel economy of 8.4-litres/100km from the manual or 7.1-litres/100km from the auto.
We managed 8.3 from our manual test vehicle. It only runs on 98-octane fuel, and features ABS, with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist in a package that delivers pretty damn good stopping power.
Given it’s name, it’s obviously only available in one colour, Apollo Blue, and hits the road at $43,660 drive away. The entire Toyota 86 range has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
If you want a different colour, but the same cool bits, jump onto a normal 2019 Toyota 86 GTS and add the Dynamic Performance Pack. If you do that, you can choose from White Liquid, Tornado Grey, Storm Black, Ice Silver, Ignition Red and Gravity Blue.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Toyota 86 GTS Performance (Apollo Blue), contact your local Toyota dealer.