Toyota GR86: Enhanced GT86
Presenters about it
Without electronic support, hardly anyone new would dare take to the streets today. Ironically, Toyota’s flagship hybrid now brings with the GR 86 a light and fun mobile, a totally alien body in the green.
Many people want to be politically correct these days. Suddenly, the Toyota GR 86 turned a corner, a car that couldn’t do much to save the world other than a pleasure to drive. Just three weeks after Toyota placed orders for the new GR 86 in March, annual production of 600 cars has already been sold to Germany. If you are very lucky, you can still find one at your trusted Toyota Dealership. Only the British were hotter, after 90 minutes the unit was gone.
What makes the GR86 so attractive that customers open their hearts and wallets, moving at least 34,000 euros without ever getting behind the wheel? Visually, the GT86’s successor has hardly changed. Toyota put the good scalpel in GR, which resulted from a collaboration with Gazoo Racing. The 2 + 2 seat is not fundamentally different from its predecessor, which was discontinued in 2020. The proportions and dimensions remain virtually identical.
As with the Subaru BRZ twin, the engine sits in the front and the engine in the rear. That was non-negotiable. Anything else would be off-limits to implanted lateral acceleration friends.
The GR 86 is also visually a pure sketch of the beautiful old GT era. The side silhouette stretches the muscle that doesn’t let go even when you’re standing. Short, tight tail with two powerful horns, compact driver’s cab, long snout. That’s how driving pleasure in the late ’60s, at the height of the cult, did a little coupe fun.
One of the last of its kind
Only a few manufacturers have remained true to the two-door concept. Quantities are too complex and too small, the picture no longer fits the green path. The latter of its kind comes from Mazda (MX-5 RF) or, to a lesser degree, from BMW (2 Series Coupé). That’s it. In the meantime, Toyota is striving for a particularly consistent recreational sport.
After the Yaris and the Supra, the GR 86 is already the third companion from the Gazoo Racing team that has no particular difficulty putting itself in the spotlight. Freed from ballast, the light-footed brother takes less than 1,300 kilograms with him on the way to the next turn. You can already talk about an ideal weight today. With a high proportion of aluminum in the bodywork, the GR is about 15 kilograms thinner than the GT.
The precision and effort they put into tuning shows that Toyota is very serious about civil disobedience. He and his student were repeatedly stimulated by the supreme president and senior contestant Akido Toyoda. Chassis rigidity has been increased by a good 50 percent compared to its predecessor, the center of gravity has also been lowered even more, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 high-performance tires are fitted.
And of course the most important thing: increased displacement, torque and performance. The displacement of the four-cylinder boxer is now 2.4 instead of two liters, torque jumps by 45 Nm to 250 metres, and the car’s registration now shows 172 kW / 234 hp – thus 34 hp more than before.
Lots of driving fun
This alone does not seem like an adventure worth the amusement tax. But the truth is there. And then, GR 86 suddenly played as if it had been released. While its predecessor still calls for screaming, and revs astoundingly high for something like a fire, the fun for our new sporty friend begins with over 2,000 laps. The gas foot now has direct access to the corners of the mouth and pulls a little higher with each push. More speed also means more power and the bass from behind gives you goosebumps.
The execution takes place spontaneously and with a strong focus that many have so far missed. GR 86 needs 6.3 seconds to sprint to a hundred, 1.3 less than before. The high-torque boxer can now be persuaded to drive at low speeds in high gears, which has always been anathema to him. That’s how drivetrain gains the lordship it promised over the GT86, but it can never be maintained.
Possible small drifts
On closed roads, the GR 86 turns moderately talented drivers into fast contemporaries. The reactions of the greatly improved structure are superbly predictable. With nearly perfect weight distribution (53 percent front, 47 percent rear), the 4.27-meter sports coupe pushes only minimally over the front wheels. In track mode, the ESP and ABS allow the bridle to loosen up a bit and allow for small manageable drifts, and here it helps significantly rickety Michelins get back on track.
The crisp, short-stepped manual transmission gives no reason to choose the optional six-speed automatic, which Toyota believes will do less than 20 percent anyway. Steering the steering wheel is now much easier than before, without Toyota draining the target water for it. With very small steering corrections, the GR 86 can steer through curves with centimeter accuracy.
Small but suitable for everyday use
Good news for everyone arguing with GR 86 at home: it can also be used every day. Yes, it rolls tightly, but without being annoying with excessive stiffness. The sports seats are surprisingly comfortable, and they are easy to operate because most functions can be directly regulated using switches or rotary knobs. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 226 liters, which is done only by the family council.
Less acceptable is the boxer’s desire to drink, which tends to drift into the double digits at a brisk pace, and Toyota’s white carbon dioxide.2-Vest loaded at approximately 200 g/km. Background noise is also borderline. From Tempo 100 the drones permeate from the rear area. Toyota explains this by reducing sound insulation to save weight. After all, the GR 86 is a sports car.
Which, by the way, will only be shown by us for another two years. 2024 is already the end of the fun. Tougher emissions standards would then eliminate the latter of its kind, which is politically correct.