The sports car perfects the formula of its predecessor by adding more power and improving stiffness for the enjoyment of the driver. Reaffirm strong points and improve weak ones. It is usually the formula to achieve success and it is precisely what Toyota has done with the GR 86, the sports car of access to its range that evolves its concept to be, in short, a “more and better” in every rule.
Its predecessor, the GT86, brought the concept of affordable Japanese sports cars of the 90s into the 21st century, with a tight weight, rear-wheel drive, and a focused focus on feel. However, and as it is difficult to complete it in the first attempt, it had certain shortcomings that the Japanese firm has been in charge of solving.
The first of these was power. The coupe launched on the market in 2012 used a 2.0 naturally aspirated engine with 205 hp and 200 Nm of maximum torque. The figure was somewhat short, even more, because the need to carry the propeller quite revolutionized to be able to get the most out of it.
Hearing the complaint from the users, Toyota has solved it in their relief. The GR 86 has under the hood with a block bóxer 2.4 tetracilíndrico also naturally aspirated, but which increases power up to 234 hp and above all, its torque up to 250 Nm. The latter is appreciated in that the engine feels very full in any range of revolutions, especially at low speeds, responding quickly to the demand that the driver applies on the accelerator pedal.
This also means that it is much less necessary to have to play with the gearbox, since gears like the third are very versatile, picking up the car even when it is quite low and stretching a lot.
As for the transmission, like the previous model, it can use an automatic or manual gearbox. Toyota Spain still does not know if it is going to bring the first one to the national market, it is quite likely that only the six-relationship manual will be offered, which in the predecessor accounted for the vast majority of sales.
The lever guidance is quite short, which makes it possible to link gears with ease, although in some cases (when reducing from fifth to fourth) the transition is not as fine. This may also be because the particular unit that was tested was a pre-series.
Another point on which the manufacturer has placed special emphasis is the chassis, reinforced in multiple sections, which has served to increase torsional rigidity by 50% compared to the previous model. In addition, the weight has been reduced by 20 kilos and the center of gravity lowered, which contributes to optimizing its behavior.
Special mention deserves the sound of the engine, with a very guttural roar that is just right, transmitting notes that make it seem that it is a propellant with more than four cylinders. Especially noticeable is inside the cabin, where a mechanical resonator makes the sound impressive.
An attention-grabbing packaging
If something works, don’t change it. That is why Toyota has chosen to evolve the GT 86 line instead of revolutionizing it. The sleek, sporty coupe design that conveyed force is now being pushed to a new level.
The Japanese brand has decided to do without artificial nerves and tension lines, opting for smooth shapes and clean surfaces, which let the muscle of the body do the talking. The wheel arches stand out, both front and rear, which give it a lot of presence; the front bumper with a large air intake, the appendages on the side skirts, or the rear spoiler.
An interior with concessions
Perhaps, to contain the price of the model, which has not yet been revealed (it will go on sale in May 2022) but aims to be significantly less than the 52,801 euros that the Toyota Supra costs, the brand has opted for a spartan interior, in the vein of its predecessor, in which what matters has been taken care of.
This means having a multi-function steering wheel with a good touch, metal pedals, and front bucket seats, which offer great lateral grip and hold the body well without being tight.
But, in return, although the finishes are good, in the cabin there are many plastic surfaces both on the dashboard and the central tunnel, and on the doors. Although this is not final, it remains to be seen what the final finishes will be when it goes on the market and what equipment will be available in Spain is revealed.
Toyota GR 86: on the track and the road
To take advantage of the dynamic qualities of the Toyota GR 86, the tests included both circuit runs and a mountain road route in which to test its performance in more realistic circumstances.
However, the weather conditions were particularly adverse, with heavy rain and very wet asphalt, so carrying out the test was difficult, and very precise conclusions could not be drawn.
On the Parcmotor Castellolí track, there were several laps to put the GR 86 to the test, but circumstances made it necessary to exercise extreme caution. Even with care, due to the abundance of water, the rear axle tended to lose grip and open, so the capacity of the car could not be fully squeezed.
There was more luck on the external route, no longer rains and with a drier road surface. It is in this more conventional driving (the one that the average car buyer will be able to do) where it is appreciated that it is a fun car to drive, that feels comfortable on twisty roads, agile in curves, and with a very interesting engine response, which makes it unnecessary to push the limits to enjoy joyful driving.
Of course, it must be taken into account that due to its size, the 2 + 2-seater interior configuration is more theoretical than anything else, since the space in the rear is very small (more appropriate to put a backpack and coat), on all of the pilot surpasses the meter eighty of height.