2022 Toyota GR 86
It didn’t always look good for the Toyota 86 sports coupe, but it has returned for 2022, now wearing the Gazoo Racing or GR badge just like Toyota’s other cross-brand collaborated coupe, the Supra.
This new GR 86 is still a joint project with Subaru, where it’s known as the BRZ. That being said, it’s no surprise this second generation still uses a 4-cylinder boxer engine. But now it’s a 2.4-liter with a slight horsepower bump to 228. Torque is also up to 184 lb.-ft, but the real improvement is that the power curve has been widened and now peaks at 3,700 RPM as opposed to the 2.0-liter in the first gen peaking at 6,400.
It’s still sent to the rear wheels via 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The manual was thoroughly tinkered with to provide smoother shifts, while the automatic now adds paddles to the steering wheel.
0-60 time is improved by nearly a second over the first gen car with the manual getting there in 6.1 seconds.
There are only two trim levels: base and premium. Both of which can be had with either transmission.
Base models ride on 17” wheels with Michelin Primacy HP tires while Premium trims get 18-inchers wrapped in stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4’s. Premium versions also get this swoopy duckbill spoiler.
Inside, all models go with a nice-looking digital gauge cluster and 8-inch center touch screen. Premiums get heated front seats with a mixture of leather and alcantara, two more speakers for a total of 8 as well as aluminum sport pedals.
When it comes to the chassis, both trims are identical, using MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone rear. Torsional rigidity is increased and the Gazoo Racing team even managed to lower the center of gravity, which was already low.
All this to say, the GR 86 is a driver’s car, which is why Toyota invited us up to the Monticello Motor Club in New York for some track time.
"Well, one thing’s for sure, the personality of the original 86 has carried over into the new one. It’s very confidence-inspiring on the racetrack. It’s not overpowered. It’s really well balanced, so throwing into a corner and then correcting if you have to is really easy.
And the torque curve is much appreciated out on the track. Having that longer torque curve. It comes in earlier, but it’s not a revolutionary change in power. It’s not like you’re gonna be, really, at a different level of speed with this thing. It’s all about that torque coming out of corners. But ultimately, you’re still talking about 228 horsepower.
The manual transmission is still the way to go. I mean if you really want to have the best experience in the GR 86, the manual transmission is a must-have. This automatic, with its paddle shifters, just doesn’t give you the same feeling. And, I mean you aren’t going to break any lap records with this car, so being particularly fast with your shifts isn’t of much concern to me. It’s just about having fun driving the car and the manual is absolutely more fun.
At the Base grade you get these Primacy tires. They’re not quite as sticky as what you’d get in the Premium and it’s very noticeable. There’s a lot more rear-end play, but that could also mean a lot of fun."
If you want in on this fun, the 2022 GR 86 is set to hit dealers this November. As usual, Toyota isn’t releasing the exact price until we get closer to the on sale date, but they did say it will start comfortably under $30,000.
So, why don’t you get comfortable and keep it locked on MotorWeek where we’ll have more on the GR 86 soon.
- Engine: 2.4L 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 228
- Torque: 184 lb-ft