Toyota GR86: all you need to know | New Release - Car News Mar 2022

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16:59 Wednesday 23 Mar 2022

The Toyota GT86 has just gone off sale but there’s no need to worry because its replacement – the Toyota GR86 – is just months away.

It promises to deliver the same pure driving experience, reasonable practicality and generous levels of kit as the old model, while adding more power and sprucing up the interior.

More power you say? We did. Out goes the old model’s 200PS 2.0-litre flat-four petrol engine and in comes a 2.4-litre 231PS version of the same unit. The flat-four configuration means the GR86 has a low centre of gravity meaning it feels nimble in corners.

The extra power, meanwhile, means the GR86 has a top speed of 140mph and gets from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, versus the 7.6 seconds it took the old model. 

What you’ll really notice is the new car’s flexibility, a bugbear of the old car which needed to be worked hard to make swift progress. The GR86 has 250Nm of torque arriving at 3700rpm, a significant improvement on the old model which made do with 205Nm which didn’t arrive until 6400rpm. In real terms, that means you can call on decent acceleration without having to change down a gear to get it. 

It should also make it easier to return the 40mpg fuel economy the GR86 will be capable of returning at a cruise. 

Quick steering – with 2.5 turns lock-to-lock – powerful ventilated disc brakes all round and a limited-slip rear differential that makes the Toyota easy to slide out of bends, all come as standard.

As a result, you can expect the GR86 (like the old GT86) to feel lighter on its feet and more agile than hot hatch rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI, while allowing for more adjustability in corners than more serious performance cars like a Porsche Cayman. Its slide-ready setup sets the GR86 out from almost all other cars on sale. 

But while the GR86 is a serious driving tool, it’s still got everything you love about a bog-standard Toyota. 

As a result, its interior is reasonably practical for a sports car. The front seats have loads of room and while the back seats are tiny, fold them down and you have a surprisingly large boot to play with. Sure, it’s not as practical as a hot hatch, but it will fit into your life easier than the likes of two-seaters such as the Porsche Cayman and Mazda MX-5

You can expect interior quality to take a significant step up compared to the old model with soft touch plastics and better sound deadening, while the infotainment screen has also been improved. It’s bigger and quicker than the old car’s screen, and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fitted as standard. 

Despite all these upgrades, the GR86 is expected to be priced from around £30,000 when it goes on sale in the middle of this year. 

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