Toyota has stuck to its guns with the next-generation 86 sports car, delivering a coupe that remains true to the original’s recipe.
That means it should still represent an affordable, attractive and engaging prospect for car enthusiasts. But it also means there is no turbo under the bonnet.
Sharing its hardware with the already-revealed Subaru BRZ, the new Toyota GR 86 is powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 173kW and 250Nm, a marked increase on the old car’s 152kW and 212Nm.
That might disappoint Toyota fans who hoped the 86 would follow the GR Yaris hot hatch and Supra coupe by bringing turbo boost to showrooms.
Toyota says the beefier motor slashes its 0-100km/h time from 7.4 to 6.3 seconds while delivering improved responsiveness and refinement all the way to its 7400rpm redline.
But it’s unlikely match the effortless punch and easy tuneability of $40,000 rivals such as Volkswagen’s Golf GTI.
As before, the little coupe drives the rear wheels through a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. Lightweight seats, roof panels and mufflers help reduce weight in a body that promises to be much stiffer than before.
The interior has a better infotainment system and sharper digital dash, and automatic models get Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance suite.
Toyota Australia says local sales represented about 10 per cent of global production of a sports car that won universal acclaim when it launched in 2012.
Part of the car’s success is due to razor-sharp pricing – original models went on sale for less than $30,000, dramatically undercutting rival machines such as the Nissan 370Z and Mazda MX-5.
Full details surrounding the new model, including its price, should be available ahead of its local arrival in the second half of 2021.