Now under the Gazoo Racing name, the new Toyota 86 is a full second quicker to 62 mph than the outgoing model
by Sidd Dhimaan, on April 5, 2021, 10:00
Toyota sparked quite a buzz when it announced a joint reveal with Subaru a few days back. The online stream was supposed to happen on the Toyota Gazoo page, so we knew it would be a performance car. Fast forward to the present day and the secret is finally out.
The car under the wraps was the second-gen of the 86 sports car, which is essentially a 2022 Subaru BRZ with the Toyota badge. The GR 86 comes with a bigger four-pot engine, a rear-wheel-drive configuration, and a quicker 0-62 mph time compared to its predecessor. Does anything else really matter?
What Is Special About The New GR 86 Special?
The 2022 GR 86 shares a lot of parts with the Subaru BRZ that was unveiled last year. The new 86 was delayed because the CEO Akio Toyoda didn’t want a BRZ clone. This meant that the new 86 would be vastly different, but for now, we seem to have a rebadged car on our hands.
The GR 86 shares its underpinnings with the BRZ. The company has noted that the driving characteristics are different. The engine tuning and gearing, and suspension tuning could be the differentiating factors, although we’re yet to hear the factors from Toyota.
On the outside, they look very similar. Up front, the grille and the bumper are different, and of course, the badges. The grille is the GR-specific Matrix unit. New wheel designs could be seen here, but at the rear, things look identical, including that sweet bumper with exhaust pipes peeping out. The car will ride on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 215/40 section tires. The model it replaces was available in 17- and 18-inch wheels.
The car is said to be more efficient aerodynamically and makes use of the parts seen on the 86 models that participate in motorsports. It comes with aluminum roof panels, air outlets, and side sill spoilers. We hope there are no fake vents in the production-spec model, or not more than five of them at least. But, being a Toyota, you never know (cough… Supra… cough). The Japanese automaker noted that the torsional rigidity is enhanced by approximately 50-percent and this will make the rear-wheel-drive car a lot more stable at high speeds and around the corners.
The cabin looks sporty and a lovely place to be in, and not to mention, pretty much the same as the Subaru BRZ. The small, chunky steering wheel with a seven-inch digital display behind it makes for a perfect cockpit setup. An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system graces the center console. Toyota hasn’t revealed a whole lot of other details, so we’ll hold our horses here and wait for the production-spec model to be revealed.
How Big and Heavy Is It?
The dimensions are similar to the outgoing model. But, for the sake of comparison, here’s how its measures. The 2022 GR 86 is 167.9 inches long, 69.9 inches wide, and 51.6 inches tall. This makes it 1.2 inches longer, and 0.4 inches shorter than the previous model. The width is identical.
The GR 86’s wheelbase measures 101.4 inches while the front and rear tracks are 59.8 and 61 inches wide. This makes the wheelbase 0.2 inches longer and the rear tracks 0.4 inches wider. The front track remains the same. The ground clearance is increased by 0.2 inches this time around as the car sits 5.1 inches off the ground.
The new model weighs 2,800 pounds, which is pretty much the same as its predecessor which weighed between 2,776- and 2,835 pounds depending on the trim. Good job by Toyota considering the new 86 boasts of a bigger engine. It must be noted that the dimensions and weight figures are the developmental target dimensions for the Japan-spec GR 86.
|Toyota GR 86||Toyota GT 86|
|Ground Clearance (inches)||5.1||4.9|
|Front Track (inches)||59.8||59.8|
|Rear track (inches)||61||60.6|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||2,800||2,776 – 2,835|
The GR 86 Is Quicker
The 2.0-liter engine from the current crop of 86 gets replaced by a bigger 2.4-liter, four-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine. The power outputs are rated at 232 horses at 7,000 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 3,700 pounds.
The U.S.-spec model, however, could make around four horses fewer; the same as the U.S.-bound Subaru BRZ.
Power will be sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a six-speed manual gearbox. This allows the car to sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 6.3 seconds. Mind you, this is 1.1 seconds quicker than the 86 it replaces. The car redlines at 7,400 rpm, and this being a naturally-aspirated engine, you can expect the power delivery to be linear right till the top.
The company has paid a lot of attention to the center of gravity this time around, keeping it as low as possible. The increased ground clearance of 0.2 inches over the previous model could mess it slightly, but Toyota has made other efforts to keep the center of gravity low. This is also one of the reasons why the automaker doesn’t offer a turbo with this engine since it adds weight, and messes the weight distribution and center of gravity of the car. A healthy redline makes up for the turbo, to an extent, though.
A six-speed automatic gearbox will be offered as optional and Toyota says it will be offered with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
How Much Will It Cost?
We believe around $32,000. The 2020 86 starts at $27,060 and tops out at $30,190. Since the new car features a bigger engine and could boast better driving dynamics than the Subaru BRZ, our educated guess suggests a starting price of $32,000. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota takes an aggressive approach here and offer it at $30,000.
From the looks of it, the 86 continues to be a fun car. The bigger engine and increased power outputs only make it better. I personally think that continuing with the naturally-aspirated engine makes a lot more sense than turning it into a turbo-crazed little car that feels super strong in the mid-range and comparatively lousy in the other bandwidths. The rear-wheel-drive setup with tweaks to keep the center of gravity low further adds to the joy factor. At the onset, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference from the Subaru BRZ, but the Toyota would want to make it slightly better than the Subaru to strengthen and solidify Gazoo Racing’s reputation as a performance arm. The new 86 is the third GR product after the Supra and the Yaris, by the way.
Toyota will launch the new GR 86 in Japan in autumn 2021. It could arrive Stateside by the end of this year.
|Toyota GR 86||Toyota GT 86|
|Engine||2.4-liter, four-cylinder naturally-aspirated||2.0-liter, four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated|
|Horsepower||232 Horses||205 Horses|
|Torque||184 pound-feet||156 pound-feet|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic||Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic|