Published on April 5th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Toyota Gazoo Racing Finally Unveils The New GR86
The enthusiast-favourite GT86 lives on for a second generation with a new GR86 name.
Ever since the second generation Subaru BRZ first broke cover late last year, many were wondering when would Toyota unveils its other half of the much-loved Toyobaru twins. Well some 5 months on from that time, the Japanese auto giant has finally taken the wraps off of its new GR86.
Though Toyota would like to convince everyone that the 5 month delay was all due to the automaker wanting to differentiate the GR86 from the BRZ, there is no denying however that both cars are still pretty closely linked together. Such is to be expected of course, given that both these new Toyobaru twins continues to share the same internals underneath those slightly differently styled bodies.
Then again, there are nevertheless some subtle changes between both those cars, with one such example being found under the hood. While the Toyota does retain the Subaru’s new 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four, the GR86 has a total of four extra horses in its stable as compared to the BRZ. With a total of 232 hp and 250 Nm of torque being sent to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or a paddle shifter-equipped automatic with the same number of forward ratios.
The GR86 also gains a more aggressive front fascia as opposed to the smiley Subaru. Featuring a new wider rectangular ‘Functional MATRIX’ grille that is similar to the one found on the GR Yaris up front on this Toyota, flanked on both ends by boomerang-styled slit-like air intakes. Slightly different LED headlight signatures are featured too, as are black mirror caps and black 18-inch alloy wheels down the side that replace the body coloured and silver items on the BRZ.
Moving on inside meanwhile, the straightly-styled cabin first seen on the new BRZ remains largely identical within its new Toyota sibling. The automatic-equipped model even comes with Subaru’s Eyesight active safety suite. Exclusive to the GR86 however are a larger 10-inch central infotainment touchscreen (as opposed to an 8-inch unit on the Scooby), a bespoke start up animation on the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster, and naturally the Toyota and GR emblems that are to be seen on the chunky leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel.
That then just about sums up the distinguishing differences between the GR86 and the BRZ, though it is not necessarily a bad thing as the Subaru has already shown how much the Toyobaru twins have evolved from its prior iteration. Case in point being that these new Japanese sports cars are now even more driver-focused than its predecessors, courtesy of a lower centre of gravity, a 50% increase in torsional stiffness, and a new five-way Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) traction and stability system.
Actually, there is in fact one more distinguishing trait with the GR86 that might be music to the ears of European enthusiasts especially. That is because while Subaru may not be bringing the BRZ over to the Old Continent, Toyota however has confirmed that the third model in its global GR lineup is indeed making its way over there.
Speaking of international markets, these new GR86 will most likely be making its way over here to Malaysia too. This is especially seeing that UMW Toyota has recently been putting in a concerted effort to push the GR brand locally.
The GR86 is expected to launch in its home market alongside the new BRZ sometime in the autumn of this year. So if it were to arrive over here, expect it to arrive sometime in 2022 costing in the region of the same RM 250k mark as its predecessor.
PRESS RELEASE: On April 5, 2021, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) gave the new GR 86 its world debut in an online event held together with Subaru Corporation (Subaru). Following the GR Supra and GR Yaris, the new GR 86 is the third global model in TGR’s GR series of sports cars. The new GR 86 is scheduled to launch in Japan in autumn 2021.
Toyota developed the original 86 with the goal of delivering the dreams and the joy of driving inherent in sports cars to its customers. Conceived as a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicle with intuitive handling and instinctive responsiveness, the 86 launched in 2012. Since then, the vehicles have been utilized as base models for a variety of participatory motorsports, including rallies, one-make races, gymkhana, and dirt trials, while others have been uniquely customized. A total of more than 200,000 86s have been sold worldwide, playing the role of reliable partners for their owners.
TGR’s new GR 86 and Subaru’s new BRZ were jointly developed. Yet, although the two vehicles share the same vehicle base, the two companies focused on imbuing their respective models with a distinct driving feel. While engaging in friendly rivalry with the BRZ development team, TGR sought to develop a vehicle that would provide happiness to 86 fans, and realize an evolution of the 86’s unique driving sensations. As a result, the new GR 86 is specially designed for sports performance, and provides direct and satisfying driving performance of the highest order.
In September 2019, Toyota and Subaru entered into a new business and capital alliance, as part of which the two companies committed to jointly engage in making ever-better cars. The new GR 86/BRZ is not only a concrete example of this commitment, but also represents a new challenge for both companies, as they seek to subvert conventional ideas of cooperation in the automotive industry. Going forward, Toyota and Subaru intend to further ally their respective strengths, deepen their relationship, and so pursue the possibilities of making ever-better cars.
Key Features of the GR 86
1. Interior and exterior designs embrace responsive handling and functional beauty
- With fender tops that extend horizontally to the beltline, the GR 86 boasts a stance distinctive of front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Its low, horizontal underbody and narrow cabin rear combine to create a broad, low-center-of-gravity appearance.
- The front of the vehicle features the GR-specific Functional MATRIX Grille, which fuses performance and emotionality.
- The operating system―which includes the various switches and the horizontally-accented instrument panel―is optimally located to create a space that enables the driver can concentrate on driving.
- The display features a 7-inch TFT screen. Its opening animation sequence is inspired by the piston movements of the GR 86’s horizontally opposed engine, and fosters a sense of excitement even before the drive begins.
2. The evolutionary new 2.4L horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine retains the unique qualities of the 86
Sporting a lightweight, compact engine with a low center-of-gravity in line with previous iterations, the GR 86 increases its displacement size from 2.0 to 2.4L. The engine delivers superior driving performance as a consequence, achieving 0-100km/h acceleration in just 6.3 seconds―down from the 7.4 seconds of the outgoing model. Engine responsiveness has also been enhanced, providing smooth, stress-free sensations from low to high rpms.
3. Inheriting an extremely low center-of-gravity front-engine, rear-wheel-drive package, the new GR86 provides a step-change in agility
- The dimensions of the new GR 86 are almost identical to the previous model. Limiting both the overall height and hip-point of the vehicle helps lower the center-of-gravity and enhance turning performance, and so delivering the agility required of an 86.
- The use of aluminum for the roof panels results in a lower center-of-gravity, while aluminum fenders and updated front seats and mufflers contribute to reduced weight.
- Body rigidity has been improved, with the goal of offering pleasurable handling in all speed ranges―from urban driving to the upper limits of performance. Torsional rigidity has been enhanced by approximately 50% over the previous model for greater steering stability.
4. Aerodynamic components are rooted in motorsports
The GR 86 features aerodynamic components seen on 86 models that participate in motorsports. These include air outlets, side sill spoilers, and other parts that improve steering responsiveness and stability.
5. A sports car that provides a secure and safe car life
The AT version of the GR 86 uses Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This system of comprehensive safety technologies provides safety support during everyday driving; pre-collision safety technologies that help avoid or reduce collision impacts; and emergency rescue support and secondary collision avoidance support in the event of an accident.