Toyota’s new GR86 sports car will make an appearance at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with an uncompromising ride on the mountain track. It is the successor to the Toyota GT86 that is slated to hit the European market later this year or early 2022 as a new rival for the Mazda MX-5 RF.
Just like its predecessor, the GR86 is the result of Toyota’s partnership with Subaru and shares the same platform and engine as the recently updated Subaru BRZ. Toyota claims to have entered into “a friendly rivalry” with Subaru to develop two new sports cars with different characters.
The Toyota GR86 is powered by a 2.4-liter boxer boxer engine with a displacement of 2.4 liters, which replaces the 2.0-liter engine of the old car. European specifications have yet to be confirmed, but the Japanese version of the car develops 232 hp and 250 Nm of torque.
That’s 35 horsepower and 45 Nm more than the car it’s replacing, which means the GR86 can go from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.3 seconds, or 1.1 seconds faster than the old car. Those numbers could change once the car is away from Toyota’s home market, however.
As standard, the new engine is combined with a six-speed manual transmission, although Toyota will offer a six-speed automatic transmission as an option. Both send the drive to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential.
The GR86 is based on the same base platform as the GT86, which means that it retains the same proportions as its predecessor. However, Toyota emphasizes that the shell has been upgraded with stronger panels and stronger bonding techniques that improve the rigidity of the chassis and improve handling.
The torsional stiffness has increased by 50 percent and thanks to some new aluminum body parts, the whole car only weighs 1,270 kg. According to Toyota, that should be enough to make the GR86 the lightest four-seater coupe in its class.
The “GR” in the name of the coupé stands for Gazoo Racing. It’s Toyota’s in-house tuning department that helped refine cars like the GR Supra and GR Yaris Hot Hatchback, so it’s no surprise that the tuners were also involved in chassis development for the GR86.
The styling of the car largely corresponds to that of the Subaru BRZ and shares the headlights, daytime running lights and the smooth front surface. However, Toyota has managed to put some distance between its sports car and Subaru’s offering by adding a new front apron with a large rectangular air intake compared to the BRZ’s more angular details.
The gently shaped roof of the GT86 is retained, while the chunky bumper at the rear houses a new diffuser element and a double exhaust. As with the BRZ, the bonnet, front fenders and roof of the GR86 are made of lightweight aluminum.
Inside, Toyota has upgraded its new compact sports car with a lot more tech, including a seven-inch digital instrument and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, as part of a thorough redesign of the center console and dashboard.
Automatic versions of the GR86 will also be available with Subaru’s proprietary EyeSight driver assistance technology. By using a front-facing camera setup, this provides assistance in avoiding collisions.
Full information from the UK has yet to be confirmed, but we expect the car to go on sale either later this year or early 2022. Prices could start at around £ 30,000.
What do you think of the new Toyota GR86? Let us know in the comments …