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Analysis of the Toyota GR86: the old-school coupe that is hotter than ever


Despite its aesthetic evolution, it retains its traditional configuration: boxer engine, rear-wheel drive and manual gearbox.

Toyota Argentina had closed the 2022 launch calendar with the presentation of the

new GR86

, the coupe that came with a completely renewed design and more power, but which retains a traditional configuration for a sports car.

The Japanese company allowed


to get behind the wheel of this brand new model to rotate at the Autodromo in the City of Buenos Aires.

With the plus of having as a companion neither more nor less than the multi-champion pilot Matías Rossi.

Then we had a second contact on another track.

While more and more sports cars come with an automatic gearbox and an infinite number of electronic controls, the GR86 came with a

more traditional configuration

: front engine, rear-wheel drive and, by decision of the local subsidiary of the Japanese brand, a 6-speed manual gearbox as only transmission option.

The front apron, the vents in the fenders and skirts and the rear finial help to greatly improve its aerodynamics.

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

Imported from Japan, the new GR86 is offered with a list price of



The commercialization of this model will be through the GR Garage, exclusive premises of Gazoo Racing, the sports and competition division of Toyota.

This new model joins the

GR range

that the brand offers in the country, made up of the special versions of Corolla, Corolla Cross, Hilux and SW4 that are manufactured in Argentina and Brazil and the GR Yaris and Land Cruiser GR-Sport, which They are imported from Japan.

A coupe for fun on the track

The design of this new generation evolved significantly from the model that was presented in 2012 in the local market.

Now not only does it carry the architecture of a sports car, but the aerodynamic work that was done is noticeable.

It has a completely renewed design and greater power (37 more CV).

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi.

This is demonstrated with the

Aero Kit

included in the first versions that arrived in the country, with the front apron or the vents behind the fenders, which manage to channel the air and reduce turbulence around the tires.

In addition, the design of the mirrors was also designed to help improve aerodynamics.

In rear view, the bumper allows air to flow rearward to enhance stability.

And the new

"duck tail"

that finishes off the rear sector improves downforce.

In short, the whole load of aerodynamic accessories do not only fulfill an aesthetic function (which, in fact, it does in a great way), but their main objective is to be functional to aerodynamic work.

The engine is still a boxer (horizontally opposed cylinders), which allows the center of gravity to be further lowered, but now it grows to

2.4 liters

(against the previous 2.0) with a power delivery of

237 horsepower

(against the 200 of before).

In addition,

it improved its torque

(250 Nm against 205) and now offers it at a lower rev range (3,700 rpm against 6,500 rpm).

This evolution, that of the engine, is most responsible for the performance that this model now has.

The engine remains a boxer (horizontally opposed cylinders) although it grew in displacement (from 2.0 to 2.4 litres).

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

One of the aspects that stood out from the previous generation was its balance (front engine and rear-wheel drive) and

low center of gravity

, greatly helped by the advantage provided by the boxer engine.

Following this premise, we sought to enhance these characteristics.

To achieve this , high-strength steel

and sheet steel

were used in its construction, as well as aluminum for the hood, roof and front fenders.

The interior design evolved but without losing that air of "Japanese sports car" that premiered with the previous model.

The driving position remains low, the steering wheel is three-spoke, and the information displayed on the instrument panel is almost exclusively driving related.

The interior evolved but remains traditional.

The driving position is almost to the ground.

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

It's not overloaded with screens

or different color finishes: the GR86 is dominated by black, even on the digital instrument panel, which looks monochrome without being so.

Behind the wheel with a champion

Toyota had two very good ideas for the presentation of this model.

The first was having a first taste of the

previous 86 coupe.

The proposal was to rotate in the circuit as to have a close reference.

The model that arrived in 2012 brought out all its arguments, supported by an extraordinary balance, a chassis that can always be asked for a little more and a response that generates enormous confidence in whoever is behind the wheel.

Dashboard information is almost exclusively related to driving.

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

And although the 200 horsepower of this version is an important value, the car is for more.

It even leaves little flavor because there is no doubt that it can receive more power.

By the way, that particular unit had traveled almost 30 thousand kilometers, of which more than 90% correspond to track tests, since it is one of those used in the Gazoo Racing courses.

And we must admit that it was impeccable, without any play in the steering and with a pedal board that offered an excellent touch.

Now that my memory has been refreshed, it was time to get on the new GR86.

And there appears the second very good idea of ​​Toyota, since in the passenger seat he expected neither more nor less than the

multi-champion driver Matías Rossi


Multimedia system with 8" touch screen, bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CAr Play. Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

The circuit to be covered was the same, number 6, a rather tight pattern but with a very fast curve like


's .

Just by leaving the pits you could already see the difference.

The thrust of the engine

was different

and appeared before.

The first few corners served to become familiar with this new power of acceleration.

The balance feels even better, but what is most surprising is how much more the engine pushes.

In fact,


is reached with at least  

25 km/h difference

in the speedometer compared to the previous version.

Easy tap on the brake and dive in: the 86 rides it fast and clean.

The entrance to the


is a U curve and it also allowed us to quickly see the difference between one model and another.

The pressure on the accelerator was more or less the same, but the result was a "going from the tail" product of the greater torque and for having all the assists disconnected.

It was enough with a correction in the direction and the coupe already headed towards the



The descent of the


was passed quickly and with an ease that astonished.


and exit to the main straight with each gear climbing up to 7,000 rpm.

GR steering wheel, three spokes, with commands to operate the multimedia system and the dashboard.

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

"You saw how the engine screams up top", was Rossi's first comment, who until then let us keep up with our pace.

From there, the TC, TC2000, Top Race and TN champion began to

mark technical details

of when to brake or in which gear to travel this or that curve, which made the transit of the Toyota coupe even more efficient.

"The chassis has improvements, but it's a little more imperceptible. Now, about the engine, that's really important," Rossi stressed after the driving experience.

We had a second chance aboard the GR86.

This time it was on the test track that the Japanese brand has at its plant in Zárate.

On that occasion it was mandatory not to disconnect any type of assistance.

Keys to partially and totally disconnect the electronic assistance.

Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi

It must be recognized that a bit of adrenaline is lost, because one of the great virtues of this model is that it is


even with all the controls deactivated and that is where it shines and delivers emotions in abundance.

Of course within a safe and controlled environment.

In any case, that experience served to reconfirm the good balance of the chassis, but in a different way.

In each corner we demanded more and more and the interventions of the traction and stability controls were very specific and punctual.

Conclusion: You don't need electronics to play a leading role to drive agile and fast on the track.

It is clear that it is a model that few will be able to access.

In fact, for the moment its availability will be dropper.

But this vehicle is a true example that a sports car can be fast and efficient, even with fewer electronic aids.


Toyota GR86:


Data sheet

Length: 4,265mm

Width: 1,775mm

Height: 1,541mm

Wheelbase: 2,575mm

Weight: 1,310 kg.

Fuel tank: 50 liters

Trunk: 226 liters

Engine: Naftero, boxer, 2.4L

Power: 237 HP (at 7,000 rpm)

Torque: 250 Nm (3,700-6,500rpm)

Traction: Rear

Transmission: Manual, 6-speed

Top speed: 230km/h


0-100 km/h: 6.2 seconds

Average consumption: 8.7 L/100 km


Front and front side airbags

curtain airbags

Driver knee airbag

stability and traction control

hill start assist

ABS brakes with brake force distribution

blind spot alert

rear view camera

cruise control

leather sport seats

heated seats

aluminum pedalboard

8-inch touch screen with Bluetooth

Android Auto and Apple Car Play

Bi-zone climate control

look also

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Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2023-03-16

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