Toyota GR86, the "rear" coupe changes its name and gains in power, displacement and technology. But will it arrive in Europe?

Surprisingly, this Easter Monday A highly anticipated car by driving enthusiasts around the world makes its debut, the Toyota GR86. Behind a new name, which incorporates the sporting branch of Toyota, Gazoo Racing, lies heir to the much loved GT86. New name, new aesthetics, new 2.4 engine, more power and more technology. In Japan it will arrive later this year, while the arrival in Europe is still under discussion. So let's find out if the Toyota GR86 is still the perfect rear-wheel drive coupe to start having serious driving fun.

From the outside, Toyota GR86 is more mature, with references to Yaris, Supra and… Subaru BRZ

I know that those who are reading want to know everything about the mechanics of this new Toyota GR86, but let's start with order from the outside. The dimensions are almost unchanged. The new GR86 is 2cm longer than the GT86, reaching 4,26m, the width even drops by one centimeter reaching 177 cm, with the height set at 1,31 m. If little changes on a dimensional level, there are many differences on an aesthetic level. If the previous GT86 was very youthful and extrovert, read also "tamarra", the new generation of coupe of the Japanese house offers more mature lines, less "boy racer".

Toyota GR86, the

The front is quite personal, with a trapezoidal grille reminiscent of that of another high-performance Toyota, GR Yaris. The Full LED headlights are small and with a rather classic and regular shape, very similar to those of their sister, Subaru BRZ. As for the previous generation, in fact, Toyota and Subaru have teamed up to jointly design a small rear-wheel drive sports coupe.

Toyota GR86, the

And like last time, aesthetically, the two cars are very similar. The front compared to the past is more personal on both, with the GR86 more classic but at the same time more aggressive and pleasant. Sideways and rears, however, the two cars are very, very similar. The profile of the rear pillar recalls in its muscularity that of the third GR in the list, Supra. The rear instead sports classic and sporty lines and the inevitable double chromed exhaust, but nothing striking or innovative. In general, however, Toyota GR86 remains very pleasant, aggressive, crouched on the ground and with a low and long bonnet, thanks to the slim boxer engine. Compared to the past, however, it is now more mature, more elegant, more transversal.

The interior, traditional but with much more technology

All 'internal, Toyota GR86 shares the vast majority of components with its sister of the Pleiades BRZ. We therefore have one very classic dashboard, not quite in step with the latest trends. The central console and the area with all the controls have a vertical development, and within this macro-section the climate, on-board systems and infotainment are concentrated. The rest of the dashboard has a more modern design and the line with the latest Toyota, such as Corolla and Yaris, with the contrast between vertical and horizontal surfaces and the presence, as on GR Yaris, of the traditional handbrake: an important detail for lovers of analogue driving.

Toyota GR86, the

The steering wheel is very similar to that of the previous generation, an advantage considering the goodness of the crown and controls on the steering wheel. Behind the steering, however, there is the first big news: a 7-inch digital instrument cluster. This offers various information on driving and safety systems, navigation instructions as well as various screens dedicated to performance. At his side to raise the bar of technology again there is one 8-inch touch screen, equipped with the connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system, taken from the Yaris and other Toyota models, was deliberately positioned at the bottom, to never disturb the driver in the most agitated driving phases.

Finally, on a technological level, Toyota GR86 does not give up a kit of ADAS very complete. However, it is not "his own work": the House of the Three Ellipses has decided to rely on Subaru security systems, the EyeSight Driver Assist, one of the best driver assistance systems on the market.

The mechanics, the real heart of the Toyota GR86: 2.4 boxer with 235 HP

We could talk about Toyota GR86 without looking at the mechanics? The naturally aspirated boxer engine, rear-wheel drive, manual gearbox and crystal clear chassis were undoubtedly the focal point of the previous GT86, which thanks to the excellent driving experience totaled over 200.000 units sold worldwide. Excellent numbers, considering the nature of a true enthusiast of this model, which with the new GR86 hopes to make a further leap forward.

Even the Stones (those passionate about driving, of course) know that the biggest criticism leveled at the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ was the scarce verve and the lack of character of the 2.0 200 HP engine. Everyone thought that a turbocharger would come with the new generation, but Toyota and Subaru want keep GR86 and BRZ pure, analog, easy for everyone. For this the new engine under the hood of the two coupes is still an engine opposed cylinder boxer, is still a four cylinders, and still is aspirated. The displacement, however, rises from 2.0 to 2.4 liters, while the power goes from 200 to 235 hp.

Toyota GR86, the

35 hp more there are many, but the real leap did it in terms of pair. The very few 205 Nm are gone: now GR86 offers 250 Nm of torque. Already stopping at the numerical value only, 45 Nm more is quite a lot, but it is the regime under which they are disbursed to change everything. Previously, maximum torque was delivered at a whopping 6.600 rpm. Now however, not only is the torque over 20% more, but it's nearly 4000 rpm lower, at 3.700 rpm.

So if before to extract all the performance of Toyota GT86 it was necessary to pull the gears up to the limiter, now thanks to the lower torque it will be more ready at low revs, more regular and disassembling the rear will be much easier on dry asphalt. Toyota also said it worked on the readiness to throttle inputs and ease with which the engine revs. Despite the higher displacement, therefore, the 2.4 should be more ready, more hungry for turns, and with one red line at 7400 rpm and a maximum power of 7000, we can believe it.

The chassis: rear-wheel drive, double wishbones at the rear and less than 1.300 kg

There is not only the engine though: the strength of GT86 has always been the rigid and communicative chassis, and this new Toyota GR86 is no exception. The traction obviously remains back, with mechanical self-locking differential as standard, while at the transmission level the GR86 offers either a classic automatic with 6-speed torque converter or a nice one 6-speed manual gearbox with short-stroke lever.

Toyota GR86, the

The weight has slightly increased, due to the larger engine and additional technology on board, but still remains remarkably light. The scale stops in running order just below 1.300, a 1.270 kg to be precise. A good result, in a world where cars are getting heavier and heavier. But it's not just weight that plays an important role: fundamental is the distribution of this weight, and the center of gravity of the car. In this, GT86 has always been at the top and GR86 improves even more the results of the previous one.

We do not have certain data on the distribution of the weights, but we can expect to review the optimal 53/47 of the previous 86. Thanks to the boxer engine, much thinner than a normal in-line or V motor, the car's center of gravity is naturally low. Toyota and Subaru technicians, to further improve the final result, have created the aluminum roof, as well as the bumpers, and also the seats are lighter than in the past.

Toyota GR86, the

At the chassis level, then, GR86 has 50% improved torsional stiffness compared to the already excellent previous generation. This should result in a greater stability, agility and better performance on the road. Finally, at the level of suspensions, Toyota GR86 marks another leap forward from GT86. Self front remain the simple but effective McPherson strut suspension, back the already rather sought-after Multilink leaves room for a sophisticated one double oscillating arm system, also known by its name in English, double wishbone. A refined pattern that guarantees perfect adherence of the rear wheels in any situation.

We close with the performance, significantly improved compared to the previous GT86. The 0-100 km / h acceleration drops by almost a second and a half, from 7,6 to 6,3 seconds, While the full speed should exceed i 230 km/h.

Toyota GR86 will arrive in Japan later this year. But in Europe?

If we exclude the subjective aesthetic taste, Toyota GR86 seems like the perfect sports car for an enthusiast. Lightweight, with more than enough power to have fun but not exaggerated to enjoy the frame even on the road and without spending an exaggeration on road tax and insurance. Small but spacious enough, technological where it is needed but still exquisitely analog, on paper it succeeds in improving the already excellent GT86. There is only one small problem: his arrival in Europe is not certain.

Of the 200.000 GT86s sold, the vast majority were delivered in Japan and North America. For now, the launch has been made official for autumn 2021 for Japan only, while it is expected for the first months of 2022 in the United States and Canada. And Europe? From what we know, Subaru has decided not to bring the new BRZ to Europe. Toyota, on the other hand, is still thinking about it. We hope that the Japanese manufacturer decides that it is worth taking it to the Old Continent: in this case, we can't wait to try it. If not… where is my ticket to Osaka?

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