TopGear just got out of the Toyota GR86. You can read the full test report in our July issue (in stores at the end of June); now the highlights.
Test object: Toyota GR86
Performance: Premium MT
Location: Seville and surroundings, and Circuito Monteblanco
Weather conditions: just hard 30 degrees and sun
You spelled ‘GT86’ wrong…
No no. Well be careful. Toyota’s sporty label GR (from Gazoo Racing) provided the successor to the small rear-wheel drive. After the GR Supra and GR Yaris there is now the GR86.
What are the differences with the GT86?
Well, there are a lot of them, but one stands out. Everyone loved the GT86, but everyone also thought it could use more power. Not a whole lot more – that would miss the point of a small, tractable sports car – but a little extra was really nice. Toyota has listened: the GR86 has 234 hp instead of 200, and 250 Nm instead of 205. Moreover, that torque does not come all the way up in the rev range, as before, but already at less than 4,000 rpm. And after that it pretty much lasts. That makes a huge difference in rideability.
What else changed about the Toyota GR86?
It is still turboless, but the volume of the four-cylinder boxer grew from 2.0 to 2.4 liters. It also still has a manual six-speed gearbox (or an automatic transmission, but you can forget that) and weighs appropriately little: less than 1,300 kilos. Yet it is much sturdier than before: plus 50 percent in torsional stiffness and at the front even plus 60 percent laterally.
Rides nice, huh?
Oh, it’s a party. A dreamy and frolicking dance. We can’t believe our luck on the hilly, empty southern Spanish roads. Then we chase it across the Circuito Monteblanco and we go into ecstasy. The lines are so short, the responses so immediate, he is so capable yet so approachable and friendly. And we are sure that it is not only wonderful to frolic with him here, but also in our busy country. There, a light, not overly powerful playmate is just what you need to string together through roundabouts between traffic jams, speed bumps and speed cameras.
How much does the Toyota GR86 cost?
This will make you less happy. It should cost less than 40 grand, but should yield 60,995 euros in our country. Or 64,495 euros for the Premium with bigger wheels, better tires and some goodies. Also buy a (pretty) thick 3-series for, for example. But if you like driving and want something pure and unique, then this Toyota deserves your undivided attention.
Read our full Toyota GR86 test report in TopGear Magazine 205, in stores from June 23!