A spiritual successor to the legendary Toyota Corolla AE86, the Toyota 86 will live on into a second generation next year and will reportedly be badged: GR86.

It’s no secret that the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ are due for a generation change. The twins have captured the minds and driveways of enthusiasts around the world since 2012. As we mentioned above, the new 86 could come bearing the GR badge which means it will be tuned by Toyota’s racing division… making it even more attractive!

Leaked Toyota documents indicate the car will arrive sometime in the summer of 2021.

 

Toyota GR86 Powertrain

The GR86 will be borrowing the engine from the Subaru Ascent. This was cause for much rejoicing as people have demanded more power from the flat-four engine in the 86 for years. And the FA24 from the Ascent, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer with over 250 hp and 277lb-ft of torque would mean a serious bump in power. But it seems the news could be only partly true. While the engine will be from the Ascent, it is likely that it will be a non-turbo version of the boxer engine. 

As disappointing as that sounds, the engine is still an upgrade over the 2.0-liter boxer unit. The car should still make about 215 hp and upwards of 170 lb-ft. of torque. It will obviously be available with a 6-speed manual. As for the automatic, it’s not clear if Toyota plans to update the out-dated 6-speed in the current 86 or opt for more gears – as is the trend these days.

One of the reasons Toyota wants to go with a naturally aspirated powertrain is the GR Supra 2.0. The more affordable Supra is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot from BMW which makes 255 hp, which is almost identical to the output of the turbo FA24 engine from the Ascent. Toyota clearly would like a considerable difference in performance between its flagship sports car and the affordable option which costs over $15,000 less compared to the Supra. Hence, we think that the GR86 will almost certainly get a naturally aspirated motor. 

Toyota GR86 Design

 

The new Toyota GR86 was recently caught testing in Ann Arbor where Toyota has its engineering, design, and prototype building facility. According to previous reports, we believed that the TNGA platform would underpin the GR86 (if that’s what it will be called) but the spy shots show a silhouette similar to the current car which suggests that the new 86 will probably be based on a heavily reworked version of the current platform. 

The spy shots also reveal a more striking front with a much bigger grille and much sleeker headlamps. The overall design lines seem consistent with the current car but the rear end seems heavily reworked as well. The trunk sports an integrated spoiler and tail lamps seem to be wraparound units that slope towards the lower end of the trunk. The tail looks sharper compared to the stubby rear end of the current car. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Rupanya Toyota 86 atau kabarnya namanya jadi GR 86 generasi terbaru lagi dites di jalanan umum, kata yang ngerekam videonya (slide 3) lokasinya di Ann Arbor, Michigan, Amerika Serikat dimana Toyota punya fasilitas R&D di sana. Awalnya ragu antara ini 86 atau Fairlady Z model terbaru, tapi setelah lihat belakangnya dan coba disamakan dengan render slide 4-8 jadi yakin kalau ini adalah next gen si Hachiroku ini. Kabarnya 86 serta Subaru BRZ model terbaru ini bakal hadir di 2021 dengan menggunakan platform Subaru Global Platform (bukan TNGA) serta mesinnya dari Subaru juga, mesin 2.400 cc yang juga dipakai di sedan Legacy, yang sudah berturbo (tapi ada kabar kalau mesinnya masih tipe naturally aspirated alias non turbo)…. . . Foto dan video @86squad, @kystify, Caradvice.com.au, Bestcarweb.jp #toyota86 #subarubrz

A post shared by Indra Radian Fathan (@indra_fathan) on

GR86 Chassis and Suspension

Details on the new GR86’s platform remain unconfirmed. Some reports have indicated the car will make use of Toyota’s New Global Architecture, which underpins numerous other new Toyota models. However, conflicting reports hint at a modified version of the current platform, which itself is based off the Impreza chassis.

What we can tell you is that from the spy photos taken so far, test mules have been spotted using what appear to be 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. This is important as current 86 models run on 17-inch tires and have been criticized (or praised) for not having enough tire grip. Only current models equipped with the TRD Handling Package come with this setup.

Toyota GR86 Features and Pricing 

The 86 is jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota, in fact it uses and will continue to use a Subaru powertrain and maybe even a Subi chassis. Plus, given Subaru’s focus on safety, it is likely that the BRZ will come with its EyeSight driver assistance system as standard while a similar system will be adopted for the 86. It is likely that Toyota too will equip the 86 with its Safety Sense driver assistance systems. It will likely include features like AEB with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot detection as standard. Adaptive cruise control will be available with the automatic versions only. 

Details about pricing and trim break up remain elusive as of now but we expect the GR to be slightly pricier than the outgoing model and if the 86 does bear the GR name, the trim lineup could be shaken up as well. 

VS Mazda Miata

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The answer is Miata, the age-old adage holds true even today. The little sports car from Mazda is the one to beat in the segment and with good reason. It exemplifies everything that should be right in a car. It is light, adequately powerful devoid of intrusive driving nannies and is a convertible. It is possibly the most fun you can have on the road, budget immaterial. It is powered by a 2.0-liter engine making 180 hp, though it is less powerful compared to the upcoming 86, its fun to drive character along with the option of open-top motoring continues to attract buyers. 

Read More Toyota 86 Review

Detailed Specs

Price range / $29,900-$32,000 (est.)
Engine / 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer
Power (hp) / 217 hp (est.)
Torque / 177 lb-ft (est.)
Drivetrain / 6-speed manual/ AT (est.)

Our Final Verdict

The Toyota 86 will always have a special place in the enthusiast’s heart. It is one of the very few affordable sportscars that are still available off the showroom floor. Though it is a shame that the new GR86 might not come with the turbo 2.4 boxer that we were expecting but with the Mustang as its yardstick, we can be rest assured that it will certainly be something special.