Toyota’s GR 86 is here – Is it a real successor to the BRZ/GT-86?

Or is it an old wine in a new bottle?

Finally after a wait of 5 months, Subaru BRZ’s cousin, the Toyota GR 86 is here. The new offering by Toyota’s  Gazoo Racing (GR) is the third global model in the carmaker’s GR series of sports cars followed by the GR Supra and GR Yaris. The new GR 86 made its world debut in an online event held on April 5, 2021 and is scheduled to launch in Japan in autumn 2021.

The new GR 86 and Subaru’s new BRZ were jointly developed and built on the same platform. Yet the two cars have their own distinct features. Toyota’s GR 86 with shares a similar grille with its sibling, the GR Yaris, while the headlight LED signature is also slightly different compared to the BRZ. The new exterior features a lowered stance and features motorsport-derived aerodynamic components such as special air outlets and side sill spoilers that are said to improve the car’s handling and stability.

Toyota has placed the infotainment system in such a way that it reduces the need to look away from the road to maximize driver focus. The 7-inch display now sports a more modern look, and upon startup shows an animation sequence inspired by the piston movements of the car’s roaring engine. The other internal updates has kept some old school charms while mating it with modern tech and features. Talking about classy, instead of touch sensors all over the place the GR 86 has retained some physical buttons, dials, and switches providing haptic feedback for the driver.

The GR 86 will be powered by the same naturally aspirated 2.4-liter flat-four engine shared by it’s cousin, the Subaru BRZ. But with a very slight bump in power, the powertrain unit now produces 232 hp (235 PS / 173 kW) with 250 Nm and allows the GR 86 to complete a 0 – 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds (That’s 1.1 seconds quicker than the outgoing model, yes we enthusiasts live for those milliseconds, trust me). The engine redlines at 7,400 rpm and the power is sent to the rear wheels via either a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual just like the old model.

Toyota has equipped the automatic transmission versions of GR 86 with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The system includes various pre-collision safety features to help avoid accidents. It also provides secondary collision avoidance measures to mitigate subsequent impacts, and emergency rescue support in the unfortunate event that an accident does occur.

While Toyata has announced its launch schedules for the new GR 86 in Japan, there’s no communication for a global launch yet.

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Himanshu Harsh

My love for automobiles is what fuels my writing. You can catch me twisting synth knobs when I'm not drooling over cars.

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