The second-generation Toyota GR86 has lastly arrived, and it’s not the funds sports activities automotive it as soon as was. Not even shut.
The place the headline-grabbing worth of $29,990, the unique 86 was designed to place affordability again into sports activities vehicles, 10 years on I’d argue the identical could possibly be stated of the brand new model – even with the numerous worth bump.
Whereas fanboys and fans could have been hooked on the purity and unapologetic simplicity of the bare-bones Toyota 86, the brand new GR86 smashes it on each stage.
Possibly I simply didn’t get the unique formulation, or extra doubtless, my inner benchmark for an reasonably priced front-engine, rear-drive sports activities automotive had been set method too excessive all these a long time years in the past after I owned a Datsun 240Z.
The Z was a well-engineered automotive providing excellent straight-six efficiency, however at a worth most individuals with a job might afford, or at the least aspire to personal – the poor man’s E-Sort it was usually referred to.
Entrance-engined, rear-drive sports activities vehicles with beauty have all the time been briefly provide other than the Mazda MX-5, so I used to be nonetheless eager as mustard to get behind the wheel of the unique 86, given the common hype.
Nonetheless, the general expertise left me underwhelmed. It was too sluggish, with garbage tyres and a decidedly lacklustre exhaust be aware from an underpowered engine that did nothing to deliver out the boy racer in me.
I did like the way in which it seemed, and the worth was proper. In the long run it mattered little what I believed as a result of the 86 turned out to be a severe success story, with almost 22,000 examples offered within the final 10 years, regardless of its shortcomings.
The GR86 is a distinct proposition. At first look it seems just like the Sequence 1, however up shut it’s a much more resolved design with much more happening.
If the Sequence 2 has misplaced any of that boy-racer picture of the unique, it might solely be factor. It’s prone to broaden the enchantment of this real sports activities automotive even additional.
The GR86 is longer and decrease than the 86 (with a barely longer wheelbase), however now with the trademark Gazoo Racing black mesh grille, flanked by useful intakes that channel air for much less front-end disturbance.
It’s all within the curiosity of bettering aerodynamics, in addition to enhancing airflow to the radiator, somewhat than within the identify of vogue. Look intently and also you’ll discover a sequence of steps on the entrance splitter, inclined at a exact 45 levels to assist with dealing with stability. The GR86 additionally will get a flat underbody plate up entrance, once more to streamline the airflow.
Even the headlight meeting has been streamlined and now gives extra highly effective lighting with adaptive LEDs all spherical, with lively steering on the higher-spec GTS variations.
It appears no half has been left untouched. Entrance and rear guards are visually beefier, whereas rocker mouldings kick up on the rear to cut back air circulate disturbance on the wheels.
The door mirrors are bigger for higher visibility however they’re additionally extra aerodynamic than these on the unique 86, one thing I observed whereas merely pulling out of a relaxation space on the highway drive.
Each GR86 grades additionally get new wheel designs (17s for GT, 18s for GTS), and there are aero fins on the rear guards which can be stated to help dynamic stability.
Capping it off are the twin built-in exhaust suggestions positioned contained in the rear bumper/diffuser. All-in-all it’s a much more mature look than the unique 86, and all the higher for it.
Toyota has additionally addressed the largest disadvantage of the unique mannequin: a complete lack of grunt from its naturally aspirated engine.
The whole automotive has been made much more stiff with 60 per cent extra lateral rigidity up entrance, whereas on the rear, the GR86 advantages from 50 per cent extra torsional stiffness.
Moreover, light-weight measures have been utilized in all crucial areas across the automotive. The bonnet, roof and entrance guards are comprised of aluminium, however further weight-saving methods have been employed within the engine and seat, in addition to in different minor parts.
Upgrades embody revised damper and spring charges together with aluminium engine mount brackets and rebound springs. Even the steering gearbox mount has been made stiffer.
The brakes have been beefed up within the new GR86, which this time spherical options bigger ventilated discs measuring 294mm up entrance and 290mm on the rear.
First up, it’s not the bargain-priced sports activities automotive it as soon as was.
The vary kicks off with the bottom GR86 GT at $43,240 earlier than on-road prices no matter which transmission you select. That makes the most affordable handbook 86 a wallet-lightening $2950 dearer than the bottom Subaru BRZ handbook, which prices $40,290.
The shopping for equation adjustments with the automated nonetheless, as a result of Subaru fees a premium. The bottom BRZ computerized ($44,090) is $850 dearer than the 86 GT computerized – however in contrast to the Toyota it options blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Priced from $45,390 earlier than on-roads, the range-topping GR86 GTS is $3800 dearer than the equal BRZ with a handbook ($41,590), however is priced identically with an computerized transmission.
The BRZ and GR86 are constructed on the similar manufacturing unit by Fuji Heavy Industries, which additionally provides the engine, and are nearly similar mechanically, apart from particular tuning by Toyota’s GR engineers.
Within the meantime, Toyota Australia has secured 1100 examples of the brand new GR86 coupe over the primary 12 months of gross sales – a quantity which we extremely doubt will come near matching demand, regardless of the worth rise.
After all, it’s a distinct type of proposition, however the Mazda MX-5 continues to be a front-engine, rear-drive sports activities automotive priced from $37,990 for the bottom handbook, and climbing as excessive as $51,700 for the MX-5 GT RS Guide.
Patrons have the selection between a six-speed torque-converter computerized, or a six-speed handbook gearbox – there’s no further cost for the automated.
2023 Toyota GR86 pricing:
- Toyota GR86 GT: $43,240
- Toyota GR86 GTS: $45,390
All costs exclude on-road prices
Earlier 86 house owners will doubtless really feel proper at dwelling within the new-generation GR86, save for brand new screens and a barely cleaner ‘horizontal’ design throughout the dashboard.
No query it’s a comfortable match within the cockpit, which largely retains the identical dimensions because the outgoing mannequin. Being to seat 4 folks within the GR86 (and BRZ) is a giant plus for these of us with youngsters (or canine), even when it’s a tight squeeze again there.
Customary equipment for 2023 is an all-new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment show changing the previous 7.0-inch unit, providing Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ digital radio.
It’s fast to course of inputs and there’s a number of knobs and dials for straightforward entry to quantity and station tuning to make life simpler on the run.
It’s additionally paired with a 7.0-inch digital instrument gauge which is reconfigurable with Regular, Sport and Observe drive modes, although deep color copy isn’t certainly one of its robust factors.
Fortunately, the dual-zone local weather management makes use of three giant dials incorporating digital readouts, with a financial institution of rocker-style switches beneath controlling numerous different AC capabilities.
The low-slung driving place is excellent, as are the correctly bolstered seats that provide a decrease hip level for lowered lateral motion and a decrease centre of gravity. They’re now lighter by 1.5kg, however extra snug because of new seat springs.
Toyota has shrunk the leather-wrapped steering wheel diameter barely, with each tilt and attain adjustability.
Usually, we most popular the extra luxurious Ultrasuede/leather-based accented upholstery within the GTS for its further physique grip, however there’s not a lot between it and the common cloth within the GT so far as consolation goes.
Even the rear seats achieve extra cushioning in addition to higher ingress and egress because of extra considerate ergonomics through a brand new shoulder-mounted seat folding lever.
Storage smart, there’s a brand new double-door centre console field with two USB ports and two cupholders, whereas glovebox capability has been elevated by 25 per cent.
Whereas boot area is minimal at 237 litres, Toyota’s press equipment proudly boasts there’s sufficient area to haul 4 spare tyres within the baggage space with the rear seats folded – track-day warriors will little question be impressed.
On the coronary heart of the brand new GR86 is a bigger 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated horizontally-opposed four-cylinder petrol engine making 174kW of energy at 7000rpm, and 250Nm of torque from 3700rpm – an enchancment of 22kW and 38Nm over the two.0-litre unit it replaces.
The additional grunt made by the bigger engine delivers noticeably extra efficiency, particularly with the handbook, which may scoot from 0-100km/h in simply 6.3 seconds (down from 7.6s). The GR86 auto wants 6.8 seconds to do the identical dash.
Solely the cylinder block and cylinder heads have been carried over from the unique 2.0-litre unit, however with elevated bore and inlet valve diameters.
Virtually all the things else has been optimised, together with a brand new, light-weight resin rocker cowl in favour of aluminium. The higher part of the oil pan is new, however includes a stiffer cross part for enhanced rigidity.
Moreover, and a part of the rationale for the automotive’s delayed arrival, issues like throttle response and the EPS have been re-tuned after firm boss Akio Toyoda put the automotive by way of its paces throughout the prolonged improvement section.
The GR86 has a 50-litre gas tank, and drinks 98 RON premium unleaded.
Claimed gas economic system:
- GT handbook: 9.4 litres per 100km
- GT computerized: 8.7 litres per 100km
- GTS handbook: 9.5 litres per 100km
- GTS computerized: 8.8 litres per 100km
First off we sampled the GTS handbook on some quiet nation B-roads in and round Phillip Island earlier than heading onto the mainland for some correctly spirited GR86 piloting.
Initially, I rode shotgun – one of the best place to check out the suspension compliance and common trip consolation.
With out driving the previous and the brand new variations back-to-back it’s troublesome to check precisely, however suffice to say the GR86 is of course skewed in direction of a sportier, firmer trip. It’s under no circumstances busy in that regard and exactly what I hoped for.
Higher nonetheless, there was loads of alternative to check bump absorption over roads suffering from cracks and obliterated asphalt.
Even at a stable tempo, rowing by way of all of the gears, mid-corner bumps refused to unsettle its pin-point accuracy by way of the road. It’s spectacular in that regard and testomony to the suspension work as an entire, together with smaller issues like the brand new engine mounts designed to cut back vibration.
There’s by no means any tram-lining even if you’re have a correct crack, so the automotive feels rock stable and confidence inspiring.
It’s received some go regardless of what some could consider its 6.3-second zero-to-100km/h, which by the way in which matches the Mk8 VW Golf GTI with dual-clutch auto.
Whereas I used to be a harsh critic of acceleration tempo of the 86, this genuinely feels fast from the get-go and retains on pulling effectively into licence-shredding territory. I’m not even positive you want something faster than this – it’s merely higher than what I used to be anticipating on this regard.
Throttle response is tremendous sharp even within the Regular drive mode, a lot in order that we needed to run some back-to-back checks between it and Sport to recognise the additional oomph delivered, most of which comes on tune within the mid-range.
There’s a contact extra urgency within the Observe setting, however once more it’s solely simply discernible from the opposite modes. Extra importantly, it permits drivers to decide on between 5 totally different VSC settings from full help to all off.
Total, we just like the handbook shift motion. It’s nonetheless notchy (I don’t thoughts that), with comparatively quick throws between gear ratios, at the least on the highway the place the driving fashion is normally much less frenetic.
Steering weight feels a tad lighter however it additionally feels faster, which once more conjures up plenty of confidence at tempo and with fast adjustments of route when required. It’s exhausting to not be impressed, this actually is a major leap ahead in so some ways.
The place the GR86 actually begins to shine is within the dealing with division. It’s rock stable at velocity by way of the bends and laps up the fast left-right-left sections with absolute aplomb.
It’s no totally different if you’re pushing exhausting on monitor, it’s simply as reassuring. Maybe much more so given the g-loads.
Whereas the brakes have been upgraded, pedal really feel and the preliminary chunk feels a bit numb. You really want to work these stoppers to get one of the best out of them, although it nonetheless wants bigger rotors, particularly if you happen to’re going to trace your GR86.
On monitor we tasted each the GT computerized and GTS handbook, each of that are assured to place a smile in your face, albeit for various causes.
However the monitor laps additionally uncovered a number of kinks within the armour of the GR86, not the least of which was the automated transmission.
Largely the transmission performs admirably, given it not a quick-shifting dual-clutch unit, however the place it might waver is within the tighter corners on monitor at Phillip Island, similar to MG, the place you’d wish to fast shift from fourth right down to second, but it gained’t interact the latter – requiring a second pull of the paddle. It’s irritating to say the least.
The one different grievance was at full tilt down the primary straight – shifting from fourth as much as fifth and experiencing a noticeable lack of torque within the stated gear – to the purpose the place it was higher to attempt to go away it in fourth into flip one (within the auto).
If there was a problem with handbook transmission, it solely surfaced on monitor, although not in the identical vein. Whereas the six-speed unit looks like a short-throw field on the highway, it’s decidedly much less so on monitor.
Once more, quick shifting into MG from fourth right down to second gear proved difficult, even for a number of the professional drivers. There’s no auto rev-matching within the GR86 – just like the GR Yaris and GR Supra – which could have made issues simpler, however as a rule you’d find yourself with unwieldy engine braking that might sluggish the automotive down an excessive amount of.
Stopping energy (or a scarcity of) additionally solely appeared throughout the monitor periods. Every was solely two flying laps earlier than the vehicles wanted to relaxation to chill the brakes, although the Michelin tyres carried out admirably beneath the identical situations.
Throughout one session, I ran out of brakes coming into flip 4; they shortly recovered, however I’d counsel the GR86 may benefit drastically from bigger rotors for these house owners eager to trace their vehicles.
I recall the previous-gen Peugeot 308 GTi was geared up with brake rotors just below 400mm in measurement, and that was automotive that might do numerous laps at a decent circuit like Ascari in Spain, with out a lot as a touch of fade.
Maybe it’s one thing Toyota might look to as a supplier improve choice, or I belief the aftermarket will oblige.
GR86 GT highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- 215/45 R17 Michelin tyres
- LED headlights
- LED daytime operating lights
- LED rear fog lights
- Black cloth entrance seats
- Leather-based steering wheel, shift knob
- Twin-zone local weather management
- 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- DAB+ radio
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 6-speaker sound system
- Keyless entry and begin
- Energy fold and heated door mirrors
- Guide tilt and attain steering wheel adjustment
- Autonomous emergency braking (AT solely)
- Lane departure warning (AT solely)
- 7 airbags
- Tyre strain monitoring
- Cruise management
GR86 GTS provides:
- Matte black 18-inch alloy wheels
- 215/40 R18 Michelin tyres
- Adaptive LED headlights (turns with steering)
- Ultrasuede inside trim
- Heated entrance seats
- Aluminium pedals, scuff plates
- Lights for solar visors
- Blind-spot monitor
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Storm Black
- White Liquid
- Magnetic Gray
- Ice Silver Metallic
- Apollo Blue
- Speedy Blue
- Spark Pink
Premium paints price $550 – i.e. all colors besides Storm Black
The Toyota GR86 nor its Subaru BRZ twin have been crash examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, and subsequently are unrated.
Disappointingly, the GR86 GT handbook doesn’t characteristic any lively security or driver help methods, nonetheless, choosing the GT computerized will get you a extra beneficiant security suite.
Customary security options (auto) embody:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Adaptive cruise management
- Lane departure warning
- Excessive-beam help
GR86 GTS provides:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane-change help
- Rear cross-traffic alert
The GR86 is roofed by Toyota’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, extending to seven years on the engine and driveline if you happen to follow the producer’s service schedule throughout the supplier community.
Service intervals are 12-months or 15,000km – whichever comes first.
Capped-price servicing for the primary 5 years/75,000km prices $280 a pop, which is fairly cheap.
I’m tempted to say the GR86 is the automotive the unique 86 ought to have been from the outset, such is the advance on a holistic stage.
Toyota has managed to ship a real hard-charging sports activities automotive with vastly superior handing and greater than sufficient go to get the guts racing, and so they’ve accomplished it with out resorting to turbocharging. That’s commendable.
It’s not the sports activities automotive cut price it as soon as was, however you get what you pay for because the saying goes – on this case, quite a bit greater than you bought with the earlier iteration.
The one problem is prone to be certainly one of provide to satisfy the inevitable demand.
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