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Monday / 17 May 2021
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My 5 favourite things about the new Toyota GR 86

Toyota recently unveiled the latest addition to its Gazoo Racing line-up – the GR 86

The Toyota GR 86 is the successor to the GT86, and both cars are the result of a joint project between Toyota and Subaru.

I own a Toyota GT86 and by the law of “people who own a certain car have the right to tell anyone who is willing to listen what they think about competing models”, I will now tell you what I like about the vehicle.

1 – A bigger engine

The GR 86 packs a 2.4-litre Boxer engine that produces 173kW and 250Nm, and features enhanced responsiveness.

This is a welcome upgrade from the 2.0-litre Boxer engine in the GT86, which puts out 147kW and 205Nm.

Driving the GT86 is a lot of fun, but in a straight line – particularly at altitude in regions like Gauteng, and if air temperatures are hot – the car can feel sluggish.

This increase in power, while not sacrificing the ability to crank the naturally-aspirated engine to 7,000rpm, will be enjoyed by drivers.

2 – Leaving the engine exposed

On the subject of the engine, Toyota has thankfully not gone the route of many German manufacturers and has left the engine decently exposed.

There’s nothing worse than reading about an engine, its layout, and the power it produces only to open the bonnet and see a black slab of plastic covering everything.

The GR 86’s engine is pictured below.

3 – Keeping it manual

Toyota will give customers the option to buy the GR 86 with either a 6-speed manual or automatic box.

Many manufacturers are moving away from manual models completely, due to low demand, and with the rise of electric cars manual gearboxes are sure to fall away rapidly in the coming years.

Fortunately, a 6-speed manual model will be available to prospective GR 86 buyers.

There are few things as satisfying as going around a sloping corner in a GT86 and punching the stick from 4th to 3rd, feeling those back wheels bite, and hearing the engine scream.

Bless Toyota. Bless them.

4 – The looks

The GT86 is a beautiful car, and the GR 86 is another stunner.

It looks sleek and aggressive at the same time, and the body in red makes your heart flutter.

There are black accents on the front bumper and a black line across the boot which break the flow of the car, however, and these receive a thumbs down from me.

Besides this, the outside of the car is as slick as they come.

On the inside, there is a large number of digital displays and screens, along with multiple buttons on the steering wheel.

Again, this gets a thumbs down from me.

“Keep the steering wheel free of nonsense and stick to analogue dials and gauges.” This would have been my instruction to the designers.

I suspect Toyota knows more about how to build a car than me, though.

5 – It’s coming to South Africa

Saving the best for last: the Toyota GR 86 is coming to South Africa.

Toyota has confirmed the GR 86 will arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2022.


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