The first-generation Toyota 86 looked the goods but was let down by a lack of power from the 2.0 litre engine. Therefore, the team at GAZOO Racing had one thing to do to get the second gen GR86 right and that was give this sporty coupe more power.
Thankfully that’s exactly what they did with a 2.4 litre, naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that now produces maximum power of 174kW at 7,000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 3,700rpm. What a difference an extra 20 odd kilowatts makes. The engine now finally befits the GR86 and it is so much more fun to drive!
The official 0 to 100 km/h time is 6.3 seconds, which sounds slow but doesn’t feel slow when you are chasing the 7,500rpm red line and perfecting your gear changes on the 6-speed manual transmission. The GR86 gets up and goes when you put your foot down and will even lose traction from the rear tyres between first and second gears under hard acceleration. Given the sporty nature of the GR86 the ride is comfortable enough for when you are just doing the boring commute as well.
The engine loves to rev so watch out for the red light in the centre of the taco that flashes just before the red line to tell you when to shift up. The manual transmission offers the driver sharp gear changes and I never missed a gear. Switch to Track Mode and the taco becomes a bar graph and you get extra info on the 7″ Digital Dash Cluster like lap times, G-forces as well as water and oil temperature.
The seats in my GR86 GTS were black Ultrasuede and leather accented with gunmetal grey accents. Both front seats are heated and only have manual adjustment controls, but even so they are comfortable and grippy so hold you in tight. To keep the front passengers cool there is dual zone climate control, but no rear air vents for passengers in the back.
The rest of the cabin is sparsely appointed with a lot of plastic on the dash, centre console and door trims, but there is Ultrasuede over the driver’s side of the dash to help reduce glare. There are two cup holders in the arm rest between the front seats, but as there is no cubby at the front of the centre console so you will need to store your phone here instead. Thankfully there are good drink bottle storage cubbies in the front doors as well.
In the armrest there are two USB-A ports and one AUX inlet here to connect your phone to the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The 8″ colour touchscreen display has a matt finish so it does not get bad finger-marks on it. On the downside you do not get sat nav in the GR86. You can use voice control to operate some of the infotainment options by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine looking silhouette on it. Voice control worked well for me to make a phone call and change the radio station.
To access the rear seats you manually slide the front passenger seat forward. Although the gap is large enough for me to fit through the rear seats are definitely not spacious enough for adults and even my tween sized daughter complained about sitting back there. There are two ISOFIX/rear tether child seat restraint points, but you would need to carefully select a car seat due to the shape of the rear seats.
The boot has a power assisted manual opening boot lid and is just large enough for the weekly shop. If you need extra space the entire rear seat can be laid down flat to make one large space. There is no spare tyre available, just a puncture repair kit.
Driving aids are limited to standard cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitor in the manual GTS model and the rear-view camera also only has reversing guidelines and no sensors. The automatic transmission GT/GTS GR86 models do get a bit more though with Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beam. Passive safety includes seven airbags, but the second-gen Toyota GR86 does not have an ANCAP safety rating.
All new Toyota vehicles are backed by a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty. If your vehicle is properly serviced and maintained per its Warranty and Service Book, Toyota will extend your engine and driveline warranty for an additional two years. The service interval for the GR86 GTS is 12 months or 15,000kms, whichever occurs first, and the price is capped at $300 per service for the first five services.
The Toyota GR86 GTS is a really fun car that now owns the 86 badge and I guarantee it will make you smile. Once again, an injection from GAZOO Racing has created another brilliant Toyota vehicle. The Toyota GR86 GTS manual is priced at $45,390 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. Due to the unprecedented global demand, some Toyota models are currently experiencing extended wait times. Visit your preferred Toyota dealer for the most up-to-date advice.
|Extra power from the 2.4 litre engine||No rear parking sensors|
|Slick 6-speed manual transmission||Lots of plastic in the cabin|
|Matt finish infotainment screen||No sat nav|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.