And then there were three. Toyota has added the GR86 coupe to its Gazoo Racing stable (joining the Supra and Yaris), with the new offering an evolution of the much-acclaimed 86 coupe, launched here in 2012.
The 86 captured the hearts and minds of motoring enthusiasts with its blend of performance, affordability, classic front-engine/rear drive coupe configuration, along with its scope for track use, with almost 22,000 vehicles sold in the past 10 years.
The new GR86 builds on this heritage with wholesale improvements that take its motorsport roots to new levels, making it more than worthy of a GAZOO Racing badge.
With improved performance, dynamics, technology and styling, while retaining the affordability and usability of its predecessor, the new GR86, like rival Subaru’s BRZ, sets the benchmark in value-for-money sports cars.
Powering the GR86 is a new 2.4-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine producing a maximum of 174kW and 250Nm, marking improvements of at least 22kW and 38Nm over the 2.0-litre powerplant it replaces.
The naturally aspirated engine provides linear throttle response and the ability to rev effortlessly to high rpm, with technologies including optimised D4-S direct injection helping to provide significantly more torque for better mid-range response.
Straight-line acceleration is also improved, with the GR86 manual able to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in as little as 6.3 seconds and the automatic in 6.8 seconds.
Owners have the choice of pairing the new engine with a six-speed manual or six-speed torque-converter automatic, with the latter featuring paddle shifters and a range of drive modes to tailor performance to driver preferences.
Combined cycle fuel consumption ranges from 8.7-litres/100km for the GT automatic to 9.5-litres/100km for the GTS manual. It comes with a limited-slip Torsen differential on the rear axle as standard too, to maximise handling capability.
Multiple other advances have been made under the skin, including revisions to the suspension and steering components, larger-diameter front brakes, and chassis reinforcements that significantly improve torsional and lateral rigidity.
Combined with a focus on weight reduction and a lower centre of gravity, the GR86 secures even sharper agility, handling and responsiveness. Those wanting to take their GR86 to the track can also choose from five different vehicle stability control (VSC) settings.
Exterior design cues are taken from some of Toyota’s great sports cars of the past, such as the 2000GT and AE86 Corolla. An evolutionary look reflects the outgoing model’s dynamic proportions and silhouette, with improved cool and aerodynamics.
Slightly longer and lower than the previous 86, the new GR86 features a long bonnet, sloping roofline and tapered rear end, with a prominent lip spoiler, giving the vehicle a low and planted stance.
Dual exhaust pipes and GR badging complete the rear-end look, with 17-inch or black 18-inch alloys available depending on model grade. Inside the GR86 cabin, designers have created a cockpit focused on pure driving, with a simple and ergonomic layout.
A horizontally configured instrument panel features, along with an upgraded 8.0-inch multimedia infotainment system offering DAB+ digital radio and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 8.0-inch screen is paired with a configurable 7.0-inch TFT colour LCD display offering a wealth of information. Display content includes a Track Mode, designed with help from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s professional drivers, providing real-time readouts.
A six-speaker audio system is fitted, with active sound control included to further increase driver enjoyment. Offered in two grades with two trim levels, the lower GT grade features black fabric upholstery.
The higher grade GTS uses two-tone Ultrasuede and leather-accented upholstery offered in black/silver or black/red. With 237-litres of luggage space on offer, there is enough to carry four spare wheels for a day of circuit driving, when the rear seats are folded.
You could of course head into the country for a weekend away too. Standard safety equipment includes seven airbags, reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, ABS brakes, vehicle stability control, tyre pressure warning and front/rear seatbelt warnings.
Automatic models add further active safety equipment including pre-collision braking with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, parking support brake with rear parking sensors, active cruise control, and lane departure alert.
All GTS grades further add rear cross traffic alert and rear blind spot monitor. A total of seven exterior colours are offered on the new GR86, including Storm Black, White Liquid, Magnetic Grey, Ice Silver Metallic, and Apollo Blue.
Rapid Blue and Spark Red hues complete the options. The new GR86 is priced at $43,240 for the GT for both manual and automatic versions, with the range topping GTS manual and automatic priced at $45,390. All prices are plus on-roads.
The GR86 is covered by Toyota Warranty Advantage, which offers 5-year unlimited kilometre coverage, extending to seven-years on engine and driveline. Capped price servicing for the first five years/75,000km is also offered.
If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.