Toyota GR86: the most beautiful flight school

Toyota GR86: the most beautiful flight school

If Toyota has a reputation for making boring cars, it is because it is aimed at the vast majority of motorists who are above all looking for a way to get from point A to point B with a minimum of efforts. But when the Japanese brand decides to target driving fanatics, that changes everything! Akio Toyoda, CEO grandson of the founder and true “petrolhead” wanted a GR range (for Gazoo Racing, the manufacturer’s racing team), with a sporting spirit. This explains the first part of the code name of this new coupe. The 86 suffix refers to the AE86 launched in 1983. Despite its dry number, this little sports car has become a legend. His propulsion architecture, combined with a reasonable price, has made it the favorite mount of apprentice pilots, who have sometimes outrageously boosted it to improve its look or performance. A true icon among drift enthusiasts, she is the undisputed star of the Initial D manga, where she is led with virtuosity by the young tofu deliveryman Takumi Fujiwara.

Like its ancestor, the GR86 is a light propulsion: 1.264 kg is a feat in 2022. From the GT86 it replaces, the GR86 picks up a lot. The largely revised style, more pleasant and stocky than before, does not manage to hide the filiation when looking at the car in profile. The central cell retains the structure of its predecessor, including the glazing. The assembly has nevertheless been seriously reworked: diagonal reinforcements have been added to the front of the side members, while the rear ring (connection between the bottom of the window and the floor) has been stiffened. The use of high-strength steels has been increased, and many weld beads are now lined with adhesive. As a result, torsional rigidity has been increased by 50% according to the engineers.

A small coupe rich in sensations

The flat-four, developed by Subaru, gains in displacement and power, displaying 2.4 liters and 234 hp (2.0 liters and 200 hp previously). Many were the criticisms about it, on the GT86. The performance numbers were quite flattering, but its lack of low-end torque meant that you had to play with the shifter more than necessary. From now on, flexibility is added to vigor. During a journey on the tortuous roads of Andalusia, we were able to stay for long kilometers in third, without the engine struggling in the tight curves. As the displacement has been increased by playing on the bore and not on the stroke, the revving is always done with vivacity. As all this is accompanied by a sympathetic sound, and a well-staged gearbox with perfectly guided controlthe GR86 achieves faultless mechanical approval.


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