With the Toyota 86 set to be replaced by the second-generation ‘GR 86’ later this year, Toyota has shown that all-new machine in action for the first time, taking to the famous hillclimb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
With a larger, more powerful engine than the 86 it’s replacing, the GR 86 also offers a stiffer chassis, but retains the compact dimensions and front-engine, rear-wheel drive character that has been so popular. To date, more than 20,000 examples of the 86 have been sold locally, with close to 80,000 sales in the USA.
The last new examples of the current 86 have sold out from local Toyota dealerships, with only a handful of demonstrators and certified pre-owned examples remaining Australia-wide.
"Since it arrived in Australia, the 86 coupe has found favour with sports car enthusiasts, whether it is being driven on winding back roads, around town or even out on the racetrack," said Toyota Australia Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley.
"Its popularity is evident by the demand we are seeing even at the end of the current 86's lifecycle, showing that fans still have an appetite for compact, lightweight and affordable sports coupes and the new GR 86 will continue to delight fans with updates that will make this an even more fun vehicle to drive."
Key changes in the upcoming GR 86 include a 2.4-litre flat four 'Boxer’ engine, replacing the current 2.0-litre Boxer, and a stiffer chassis that’s also lighter thanks to increased use of aluminium.
A choice of six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions are expected to be offered, while some safety and driver-assistance tech is expected to be upgraded.
Styling on the GR 86 is notably different from the 86, with a new-look grille, headlights and front bumper, as well as ventilated front guards and more prominent sills. It’s a similar story at the rear, with redesigned tail lights, bootlid and a more aggressive lower valance. Overall, the GR 86 bulkier, more muscular appearance than the current 86.
Toyota Australia says a local release date for the GR 86 won’t be announced until Q4, 2021, which most likely means the new model won’t reach out shores until sometime early in 2022.
Pricing for the GR 86 is expected to be announced at the same time, with a small increase likely on the current 86’s $32,180 starting price.