Toyota’s great little sports car, the 86, is getting a rebadge and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing upgrade to the GR86 and will be available in New Zealand from September.
The GR86 has been thoroughly revamped through the design and engineering expertise of Toyota’s racing marque, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. As a result, the GR86 is more powerful and its performance has been significantly upgraded to create a lightweight sportscar, with the handling and driving experience of a car that should cost a lot more.
Enthusiasts had called for a power upgrade and Toyota has delivered, with a 2.4L 4-cylinder Boxer engine delivering 174kW (up 22-27kW) and 250Nm of torque (an increase of 38-45Nm). Additionally, the power-to-weight ratio is substantially improved.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager for Product and New Vehicles, Steve Prangnell says TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is now well established in New Zealand as the marque for Toyota motorsport activities and motorsport-influenced sports cars.
“The new GR86 carries that racing heritage we have developed over 60 years, into a street version that is built for a thrilling driving experience,” he says.
While retaining the same format and shape of the previous 86, the GR86 has received many improvements. Lateral bending has been improved by approximately 60% and torsional rigidity has been enhanced by approximately 50% providing pleasurable handling in all speed ranges for both urban and performance drivers.
“By bringing car development into the world of motorsport, the demanding conditions of racing allow TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to hone both race and roadgoing vehicles,” says Steve. ”The GR86 is a car for drivers who enjoy the journey more than arriving at the destination.”
The low-slung two-door coupe styling of the new GR86 delivers far more than good looks, with functional aerodynamic components including the front air outlets, side skirts, and a rear ducktail spoiler designed to enhance its dynamic driving characteristics.
Other significant upgrades to the GR86 include premium 18-inch, 10-spoke matte black alloys, with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres for better grip and performance.
At the heart of the car is a new 2.4-litre horizontally opposed boxer four-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels via a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. With the significant boost in power and torque, the new manual GR86 can cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds; the automatic takes a little longer at 6.8 seconds.
The front MacPherson strut and rear double wishbone suspension has been tuned for performance. Add in a low centre of gravity, superb balance, and a lightweight stiff chassis and the new GR86 is an outstanding driver’s car.
“The popularity of the 86 is evident by the demand we experienced for the previous GT86, which is now sold out. That tells us that fans still have an appetite for compact, lightweight, and affordable sports coupes,” says Steve. “The new GR86 will no doubt continue to deliver on this performance for our New Zealand fan base.”
The GR86 will be available as a GT version with either manual or automatic transmissions.
When the GR86 arrives in New Zealand, it will become the third member of the GR sportscar family, joining the GR Supra coupe and GR Yaris performance hatch and will add a new element to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s growing portfolio of fun-to-drive vehicles.