The 2022 Toyota GR 86 sees the return of affordable fun

18th August 2021, 7:18am
3 min read
The 2022 Toyota GR 86 sees the return of affordable fun

Small, inexpensive coupes like the GR 86 are virtually extinct in a world of flashy SUVs and pricey electric models. But Toyota has recently updated its unique sports vehicle, and it's fantastic.

The 2022 GR 86 is more of a significant update than a redesign of the 86 that came before it. But with considerable external changes from the previous model, it looks brand new. 

Toyota has reinforced the front and rear structures. Where the 86 formerly had only an aluminium hood, the new vehicle adds an aluminium roof and fenders to help balance the added weight. Toyota claims the GR 86 has a stronger front knuckle, different springs, and a firmer front anti-roll bar than the BRZ. The engine sound is amplified by a speaker and changes in strength based on the driving mode.

A beefier GR 86

The original 2.0-litre flat-four is now 2.4 litres. Horsepower jumps from 200-205 to 228. The old engine had to be revved to 5400 to produce its 156 pound-feet of torque but now you get 184 pound-feet of torque at just 3700 rpm. With bigger ports to feed a redesigned valvetrain, a plastic intake manifold replaces the metal plenum previously seen on manuals.

In a 2800-pound vehicle, an 11 percent increase in horsepower is significant. The manual GR 86 should shave about half a second off the previous 86 GT's 6.2-second sprint to 60. 

To deal with the increased power, the car gets extra clutch plates and a new torque converter.

Stopping power

The GR 86 has the same braking package as before. Front sliding two-piston callipers pinch 11.6-inch rotors, while rear sliding single-piston callipers have 11.4-inch rotors. 

There was a Brembo package with bigger rotors and fixed callipers front and rear on the previous GR 86, and Toyota has said a trackpad will be an option. An air intake, short-throw shifter, and cat-back exhaust are available as bolt-ons.

Two trim levels

Two trim levels will be offered: Base and Premium. A digital instrument cluster that varies according to driving mode, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a beautifully constructed, no-frills cabin that prioritizes utility come with both trims. The Premium adds a decklid spoiler, heated leather seats, aluminium pedals, and most importantly, 18-inch wheels with 215/40R-18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

Optional EyeSight dual-camera lane-departure systems and adaptive cruise control will be available for automatic customers, who will also find paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

The GR 86 will start at around £21,800 ($30,000) and include a one-year National Auto Sport Association membership and a free performance driving class. Two years of free maintenance are also included. It proves that the cheap coupe isn't dead, at least not yet.

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Written by Raymond Burrett

Raymond is the quintessential car enthusiast. Motorsports and sports-cars have played a prominent role since a young age. He can now be found tinkering with his Japanese sports cars, at local car meets or out on a track-day.