Working with Subaru once again, Toyota has revealed its new two-door coupe sportscar but this time around things are slightly different. Like the Yaris and Supra, this will wear the Gazoo Racing badge to signify its place in the brand as a performance offering. The second-generation GR 86 remains naturally aspirated but with more displacement, it offers more power.
Visually, there are a lot of similarities between this and the new Subaru BRZ but at a close glance you’ll notice the front bumpers are somewhat different. At the rear however, the similarities are stronger.
With fender tops that extend horizontally to the beltline, the new design boasts a stance distinctive of traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Its low, horizontal underbody and narrow rear aims to combine to create a broad, low-center-of-gravity appearance. The front is distinctive thanks to the functional matrix grille. For aerodynamic purposes, the Gazoo Racing team dug into its motorsports division to source air outlets, side sill spoilers and other parts to improve steering responsiveness and stability.
Within the cockpit, a more analogue setting has been retained with various switches and a horizontally-accented instrument panel remaining. This has been decided so that the driver can concentrate on the driving without any distractions. Adding some modernisation is a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Despite the BRZ and GR 86 sharing the same wheelbase, Toyota Gazoo promises that its latest product has a distinctive driving feel of its own with a direct and satisfying sense of performance in mind. However, when you run the numbers it’s pretty much the same car. Under the bonnet sits a naturally aspirated 2,4-litre flat-four engine with 173 kW and 250 N.m of torque which can be revved to a maximum of 7 400 r/min. This sends power to the rear axle via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission option. With this, the GR 86 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6,3 seconds; 1,1 seconds faster than the last generation.
While being a bit faster than its predecessor, the new GR 86 retains almost identical proportions to retain a low centre-of-gravity. Keeping overall mass down are aluminium roof panels and fenders. The front seats and mufflers have also been lightened to reduce mass to a claimed kerb figure of 1 270 kg. For better lateral performance, the GR 86’s torsional rigidity has been enhanced by 50 per cent over the previous model.
Toyota South Africa is yet to confirm when the new GR 86 will be arriving in South Africa.