Back in January 2018, we reported that Toyota South Africa Motors had quietly trimmed its local 86 line-up from three derivatives to just one, while also switching the sports car range over to the GT86 badge used in most other markets. And now the local arm of the Japanese automaker has finally confirmed the move, while also announcing a number of “motorsport-inspired” changes to the model.
The single GT86 derivative on offer – which is now priced at R575 700 – gains a Brembo performance brake package (similar to the TRD model offered in the United States and the GR Sport model available in Japan) that comprises ventilated rotors measuring 326 x 30 mm up front and 316 x 20 mm at the rear. In addition, Toyota says the callipers’ swept area increases by 38 percent fore and six percent aft.
Toyota’s small sports car also gains Sachs performance dampers, along with black treatment for the rear spoiler and side-mirror caps, as well as new 17-inch black alloy wheels. Inside, there’s a new touchscreen infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Show Plus functionality, as well as satellite navigation. Other standard features include LED headlamps, taillamps and foglamps, plus keyless entry, dual-zone climate control and heated seats.
The exterior colour palette, meanwhile, gains a new Bright Blue option, while Toyota SA says that the option of black metallic paint has been discontinued.
As before, the GT86 is powered by a 2,0-litre boxer-four sending 147 kW and 205 N.m to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission (the automatic is no longer offered in South Africa).
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.