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Toyota 86 gets boost

22 January 2020



Whether you loved it or you hated it, the Toyota 86 was a shining hope in a sea of mundane, economy-driven offerings. Built with a ton of handling and not a lot of go, it was the low-power sports car that drivers had been longing for.

Reviews were mixed, with some loving its corner-happy ability, and others slating it for being unresponsive at low rpm and slow in a straight line. The question as to why it wasn’t offered with a turbocharged option has been raised more times than chief engineer Tetsuya Tada cares to answer; however, he explains that, despite being a collaboration with Subaru and there being numerous boosted incarnations of its naturally aspirated (NA) boxer engine, it wasn’t the vision Toyota had for this new-age AE86 successor. Its intended purpose was to be driven hard to achieve the performance desired, favouring tight, technical driving rather than outright blow-your-face-off speed.

But that’s set to change, with the confirmation that the two Japanese manufacturers are working on a coupe that will use a Toyota chassis, a Subaru engine, and fall into the Gazoo Racing line-up. This will be called the ‘GR86’, and will sit alongside the GR Supra and recently announced Yaris GR-4. A 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four has been selected from the Legacy line-up, offering 193kW and 375Nm of torque, alongside an updated driveline and exterior package. The interior will also receive a modernized makeover. These second-generation 86s aren’t expected to be revealed until 2021.