New Toyota GR 86 makes UK debut at Festival of Speed
13 July 2021 - Autocar
Rear-driven coupé switches to 2.4-litre engine, retains focus on lightweight design and driver engagement
Toyota has presented the new GR 86 coupé, the successor to the GT86, to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The rear-drive four-seater made its dynamic debut at the event's famed hillclimb, ahead of going on sale later this year.
The lightweight coupé was revealed earlier this year alongside the new second-generation Subaru BRZ, with which it was jointly developed. The new BRZ, which was first shown last November, won't be offered in Europe. Toyota claims the two models have been developed through a "friendly rivalry" and will both offer a "distinct driving feel".
While the original GT86 and BRZ used a 2.0-litre engine, the new version, as was expected, features Subaru’s horizontally opposed 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. The GR 86 will be launched in Japan offering 232bhp and 184lb ft, up from the GT86’s 197bhp and 151lb ft. It can do the 0-62mph sprint in 6.3sec, which is 1.1sec quicker than its predecessor.
Peak power is offered at 7000rpm, with the uit able to rev to 7400rpm. Japanese buyers will have a choice of six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes. The GR 86 also features Subaru's Eyesight driver assistance systems.
Toyota says a major focus has been on retaining the “essential fun-to-drive” characteristics of the GT86, which was launched in 2012, and a key part of that has been minimising the weight. The new car has a claimed kerb weight of 1270kg, which is 5kg lighter than the original. Toyota says this has been achieved through features including the use of an aluminium roof and body panels.
The GR 86 has virtually identical dimensions as its predecessor, measuring 4265mm long and 1310mm high, with a wheelbase of 2575mm. This has helped Toyota keep the centre of gravity low, and the firm claims that the torsional rigidity of the new model has been increased by around 50%, resulting in “even sharper handling and steering.”
The new model also features aerodynamic front air ducts and side panels, which Toyota says are based on learnings from its motorsport programmes and aid handling and stability.
Inside, the Japanese versions of the GR 86 will feature a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen as part of what Toyota says is an an upgraded and driver focused dashboard design.
While the GR 86 will go on sale in Japan later this year, a precise UK and Europe launch date in 2022 has yet to be confirmed. Toyota says that more details will be given later this year.
The change of name from GT86 to GR 86 brings the coupé in line with the rest of Toyota's new GR performance line, joining the GR Supra coupé and GR Yaris hot hatch.